Bokeh in Motion

I have to admit I have a healthy love of bokeh in motion—or is that an unhealthy love? Something about those moving circles of light and colour, and the life they represent.

In a way that is probably very personal and specific to me, it reminds me of standing atop a hill somewhere in the middle of winter, a crisp wind blowing in my face as people in the distance below go about living their lives. All you hear is the murmur of the wind and faint rumble of vehicles. Cars, trucks, motorbikes. All of these people are far away from me, and so am I from them. We can sit next to someone on the train, or in the bank, or anywhere and never actually see them, and yet, from the distance, we see how much of their struggle is also ours. These moving lights are not faces, but they are people.

Of course, having said that, these shots were not filmed in this wintry gaze. These circles of light, in fact, have their own backstory: they were shot in a tropical country on a warm, humid night, as I was surrounded by new friends. In the background was the sound of human voices, not a murmuring breeze and distant rumble. Remembering this backstory, they represent, to me, a beginning of friendship in a new place, but also, by the very product of their existence, the fact that even as I was making new friends, I was still looking elsewhere, wondering about the people in the distance, hurriedly going on about their lives.

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License & Attribution

By Joaquim Baeta. The files associated with this video are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. You are free to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon them in any medium or format, even for commercial purposes, provided you give appropriate credit to Joaquim Baeta.

Example attribution: "Bokeh in Motion" by Joaquim Baeta,, CC BY.