Week 16 Challenge & Theme:  Create Your Own Bokeh

On your very first challenge, I had you put your lens in Manual focus and you took some amazing bokeh pictures. We are going to revisit this concept this week but with a twist.

First, let’s review what a bokeh is. Simply put, it’s a blurry background. But bokehs can be found in any out-of-focus areas on your image. Some lenses will give you a circular bokeh {mine does} and others a more hexagonal bokeh. That is due to the lens abberation and aperture shape. As photographers, we often shallow our depth of field to create more bokehs in our images. This allows our subject to pop off the background.

Now that you know what a bokeh is and why we like it {at least, I hope you like it}, let’s have a little fun with it. Not long ago, I found a tutorial on how to create your own bokeh.

create your own bokeh

All you need are two things: your lens {preferably a large aperture lens like an f/1.8} and a piece of black cardstock or construction paper. That’s it!

1. Cut the paper so that it fits your lens like a hood. You want it to be nice and tight! {See the picture below}

2. In the middle, cut out the shape you want your bokeh to be. If you have any scrapbooking punches laying around, they would be perfect for this! If not, just wing it like I did.

create your own bokeh

3. Open your lens all the way up {the largest aperture setting}. I set mine at f/ 1.8.

4. Take a picture

It’s that simple!

Here are two comparison pictures I took {one with bokeh lens hood and one bare}.

create your own bokeh

You can also use this with a subject! And for your photo books, this is a great way to create your own unique background!

create your own bokeh

Some things to remember. You need to have a direct light source. I hung up some Christmas lights on a drying rack! This would be fun to try at night with city lights. You can also use colored paper. On the above pictures, I actually used white paper. I liked the lightness of the pictures better. The black paper will give your image a darker look.

If you want to take your bokeh shapes to the next level, you can buy the DIY Bokeh Masters Kit. I have been toying around with buying these just to have them! They come in fun shapes like airplanes, smiley faces and butterflies.

Have fun with this challenge by experimenting with different shapes. But don’t stop there! I want to see bokehs in your every day pictures. Not just the ones with a fun filter! I can’t wait to see all of your bokeh pictures on the Facebook wall.

Check out 10 amazing BokehPhotographs taken by Picaboo fans.

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Ready to turn your digital images into photo books, calendars and more? Click here to see our weekly specials!