Have you heard people talk about this crazy word before? Bokeh?
How do you pronounce bokeh? Bow (like a ribbon) Ka (like ca-ca).
Bokeh is a photography term – when the area behind (or in front of) the main subject is blurred and makes a pleasing pattern. It doesn’t have to be a big area, really – but of course, it’s lovely when the photo has lots of bokeh.
Here are some examples of Bokeh from my Flickrstream:
BUT, HOW DO YOU MAKE BOKEH?
1. Shoot photos on the manual setting. If you aren’t doing this, check out my post about it here.
2. Try to shoot photos on the lowest # f-stop your lens will allow. The best bokeh comes from f-stops 2.8, 1.8 and 1.4. (I’m sorry, your “kit” lens will probably not go down this low in f-stop.)
3. Shoot things that naturally give bokeh… like foliage, lights, crowds. Put your subject in front of a pattern, basically.
4. Give the subject space. Meaning, if you have your child stand right up against a bush, there is no room between them and the “pattern.” Meaning, no room for the camera to blur the background and give bokeh.
5. Or – blur on purpose. Switch your lens to manual focus and *do not* put the subject in focus, then CLICK. This works great with Christmas trees and other types of lights.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A DSLR?
You may not be able to achieve bokeh. [Sad face.] However, look and see if you have a “manual mode” on your point and shoot, to try the tricks I mentioned above. Or, try your “portrait mode” (usually looks like the head of a lady). That mode is most likely to achieve bokeh, because it tries its hardest to put the subject in focus and blur the background.
NOW, SHOW ME YOUR BOKEH!
Post links in the comments of your bokeh examples, new and old. And share any other great bokeh tips you may have!