Photog Friday- How to create a wicked cool Bokeh

I read an article on I Heart Faces about creating magical Bokeh (the blurry background you get with portrait shots) with Christmas lights, and I thought, “Well that sounds easy, and not believable at all, but…”

If you have a DSLR camera (even a point and shoot with an AV setting) you can do this!

All you need is some dark paper, tape, scissors, and a shaped hole puncher (I got mine at Hobby Lobby) and some Christmas lights.Cut out a dark piece of paper to wrap around your lens (not too tight) about 4-5 inches, then cut out a circle to fit inside your tube. At this point, pick out your paper stamp, or hole puncher, and place the circle inside the tube.

(Sorry for the awesome quality! This was taken with my iPhone)

It’s very important that when you look through the viewfinder you see everything clear as day. If the stamped paper is not centered directly, it will make your lights look funky. I bent mine a bit to get it centered.

Set your camera to Aperture Priority and make the aperture setting to the lowest number you can go. (I used my kit lens, and that only goes down to 3.5) Then set your item to photograph far enough away from the lights to get the right look and start shooting!

I had quite a bit trial and error to get everyone and everything in the right position, but it was soooo cool when I saw them! And the great thing is, you can do this year round by using different shapes. I’ve seen hearts, circles, stars, etc. It’s a very easy, fun, and cheap technique!

Tallahassee Photographer

Tallahassee Photographer

Tallahassee Photographer

I’d love to see how your “Wicked Cool Bokeh” turns out! Send me a picture of yours, and I’ll have a contest for the best Bokeh effect! Or, leave me a comment below with a link to your pictures!

PS I have a 3 day weekend, and absolutely no plans. Looks like my wallets gonna be a-hurtin!

PPS I eat a PB & J everyday during the week. I’ve been doing this for, like, a year, and I still haven’t gotten sick of it. Is that weird?

Want to get more tips and tricks like this? Sign up to receive email updates of new blog posts in that column over there >, so you don’t miss out!

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Friday!

Leave a reply