Bokeh Photography

Hello Day Campers!

This week, I am going to be discussing bokeh.  The term comes from the Japanese word boke, which means “blur” or “haze”.  In photography, it refers to the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur.  Bokeh is often most visible around small background highlights, such as reflections and light sources.  However, bokeh is not limited to highlights, because blur occurs in all out-of-focus regions of the image.

One way to achieve this effect is by opening your camera’s aperture to the widest setting, a low f-stop.  Lenses with low f-stops, 2.8, 2.0, 1.8, 1.4 and lower, are best.  This will make a very small depth of field, and thus blurring the back ground.  A second way would be to use PhotoShop and apply a blur the background. 

Now, when using bokeh on lights, the lights blur in a circular shape.  This is caused by the shape of the aperture.  A very cool DIY project would be to create your own shapes.  What you would do is to create a fake lens hood out of paper.  (there is a link to this tutorial at the end of the blog)  Make the diameter a size that will tightly fit around the lens.  Now, in the middle of this hood, is where you will cut your shape.  The size oh the hole will depend on the size of your lens.   This can be easily checked by looking through the viewfinder. If you cut out a heart shape, the out of focus lights will appear as hearts, and so on with other shapes.  If you are not into DIY projects, you can also buy packs here –  Bokeh Masters Kit.

That’s all for this week.  Hope you all found this useful!  I’m planning on making a few of my own shapes to try out.

-Crystal

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