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Bokeh: What is the meaning of word on Apple iPhone commercial?

Little boy on the iPhone screen during bokeh demonstration
A new iPhone commercial has viewers wondering what ‘bokeh’ means. Pic credit: Apple/YouTube

What does “bokeh” mean? A new iPhone commercial has viewers wondering what this term means and whether it’s real or made up by Apple.

It turns out that bokeh, though weird-sounding, is a real word used by those in the photography field.

In the new Apple commercial, two moms are sitting together, with one sharing a photo she took of her child with the other woman’s child in the background.

“Wait, who is that blurred out there in the background?,” Mom number two asks. “Did you bokeh my child?”

“Umm…it was totally unintentional,” the other mom says.

The iPhone commercial is advertising how easy it is to edit photos, specifically the ability to blur out backgrounds using a sliding bar that allows for more or less blur. It turns out, that is what “bokeh” means.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKok5dykRBM

According to Merriam-Webster:

“The blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field.”

So essentially, mom number two did bokeh mom number one’s kid when she edited the photo of her own son and blurred out the background.

It looks like a pretty handy ability for iPhone to integrate into their platform, allowing users to easily edit photos before sharing online and with their families and friends.


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