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DIY – Create your own Bokeh

Mei 12, 2009

Bokeh is an adaptation from a a Japanese word meaning blur. In photography this term is used to describe the quality of the areas in the picture which are not in focus.

When referring to Bokeh, we can distinguish some of it characteristics:

– Is the light/dark gradient smooth or sharp?

– What shape will a small dot of light take what it is in the Bokeh area? (mirror lenses for example, create a bagel like Bokeh)

We can play with those two variants to create a special Bokeh.

You will need :

1. Cut and shape the sheet to make a fake lens hood. The Diameter is made so that it snugly fits on the lens.

bokeh_heart

2. In the middle of the filter the wanted bokeh shape is cut out – in out example a heart is used. I’m not sure how big a hole the shape can be. But you can check it right away by just looking through the viewfinder. On the 50mm lens @ F1.8 a 15mm heart gives a metering value equal to F3.2, so it can probably be a little bigger (you can use a puncher or cut it by hand).

3. Set your camera to its lowest aperture value (completely open).

Here are two shots to demonstrate this technique  – one with a bare lens and the other with the hearted hood. see more shots here and here (I leave it as an exercise to tell which is which🙂

heart-bokehregular-bokeh

Here are the parameters for the example shown above:

  • Lens – Canon 50mm F1.8
  • “Lens hood” Diameter: 70mm (2.75 inch)
  • Hole diameter: 15mm (0.6inch)

Here are two more great examples for this technique from RottieLover (note – there only one “real” heart in each picture):

353392636_30c215ff3d

378717376_898541a616

Do you have a cool bokeh? show off on the comments or on the flickr group.

This article was contributed by Karsten Stroemvig (aka Lullaby), see his other great photograph projects, or browse through our readers projects section.

One comment

  1. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?

    Appreciate it!



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