We thought this was an interesting phenomena; frozen craters on the beach. When we stepped on them, they crunched. It was like they were bubbles from a wave that froze as the water filtered away.
Oh, and the blurriness? That’s intentional.
It’s bokeh — or “the aesthetic quality of the blur”. As a thing, it tends to be polarizing; some people like it — some people hate it. Hipsters are all into it these days, but bokeh has been around ever since the very first photographs, though the term “bokeh” itself didn’t come into widespread use until 1997. However, if you like isolating the subject matter from the rest of the image, there’s no escaping it, and it tends to be emphasized with wider apertures and longer focal lengths.
Bokeh also happens to become more and more sophisticated with the larger image formats, like APS-C, 35mm full-frame, medium format, and large format. Anyone using smaller sized imaging chips — like those in a smartphone — will have a difficult time capturing it due to the physics involved. That’s not to say it can’t be done with a smartphone — because I’ve been able to do it myself — it’s just difficult.
I happen to love bokeh; from the soft-creamy-bokehlicious versions, to the sparkle-globes-of-the-highlights versions, to the vertigo-inducing-swirls-when-it’s-overdone versions — I love it all and would even be so bold as to say it’s one of my styles. You can see many more of my bokeh images here.