A Lesson in Bokeh

Bokeh results in visually appealing photographs. It forces viewers to focus their attention on one main focal point, while the background of the image becomes a unique blur. Often, that blur takes the form of dots of blurred light. That light can come naturally through trees or be done with Christmas or fairy lights. 

The word bokeh actually comes from the Japanese language. The word boke translates as “blurred,” hence the name for the unique blurred background in a bokeh image. 

With that said, obviously to create a good bokeh image, a photographer needs a Shallow Depth of Field. The photographer will also need DISTANCE between the main subject and the background to create this effect. 

For this example, the photographer used a red light and a blue light on each side of the Donald Duck figure to create a unique two-toned lighting effect. The subject, Donald Duck, was placed on a mirror with white paper in the background along with two strings of fairy lights.

From there, the photographer made sure to get close to Donald Duck and take full control of the camera settings. By using Manual Mode on a Canon Rebel, the photographer selected a 1/200 Shutter Speed, a f5.6 Aperture, and an ISO of 400. The photographer also slid the lens into Manual Focus to control the focusing ring in order to fully blow out the background and mainly focus on Donald’s eye facing the camera.

The mirror Donald Duck stood on actually helped “double” the amount of fairy lights in the background in order to create an even stronger bokeh background. 

And, there you have it, folks! This is a short and easy introduction to how to create a bokeh image. 

Now, it is your turn. Create some bokeh images and explore all the ways you can creatively capture the world around you.