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Example of bokeh.


From Japanese 暈け ‎(boke, blur), the nominalized form of the verb 暈ける ‎(bokeru, to blur (intransitive)).

The terminal -h (by comparison with the romanization boke) is a pronunciation guide, so that it is not pronounced as /boʊk/ as it would under standard English orthography. Contrast karate, karaoke, which have undergone sound change.

Used since at least 1996,[1] with spelling bokeh popularized by editor Mike Johnston in the March/April 1997 issue of Photo Techniques magazine, which featured three commissioned articles on the topic, Johnston writing:

“it is properly pronounced with bo as in bone and ke as in Kenneth, with equal stress on either syllable”.[2]



bokeh ‎(uncountable)

  1. subjective aesthetic quality of out-of-focus areas of an image projected by a camera lens


  1. ^ Merklinger, Harold. "Understanding Boke". The Luminous Landscape.
  2. ^ Johnston, Mike (April 4, 2004). "The Sunday Morning Photographer, 2004: Bokeh in Pictures". The Luminous Landscape.
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