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Bokeh is a very popular photographic effect referring to the aesthetic quality of an out of focus area in the image. Bokeh can have different appearances. Smooth round dots as Robert used in his sample. Multi‐sided geometric shapes like hexagons, caused by the number of blades in the lens, and everything in between.


1. Set up (or find) a background that will have a potential to produce good bokeh. If working in studio/home environment poke holes in the dark background paper and project light from the back. (As demonstrated in the video above) Alternatively, use Christmas lights or background with strong contrast in details.

2. Focus your lens close. Manually turn the focusing ring to the minimum focusing distance, the opposite side of infinity. You may use an object or a person as your subject. Make sure the background is far enough from the subject to allow your lens to produce a shallow DOF, depth of field. (blur / bokeh)

3. Test you lens at various f‐stops. Adjust shutter speed to compensate for the correct exposure. Or use "A" / "AV" setting for aperture priority, the camera will adjust the shutter speed automatically while you are changing f‐stops. Please note that the difference in the appearance of bokeh will vary greatly even with a subtle change of ½ f‐stop. Often ½ f‐stop change will turn a circle into hexagons, or other shape depending on how many apertures blades your lens has an handful other variables mentioned above.

4. Test, test and test some more. Change distance between camera and subject, subject and background, focal point, f‐stops, test all your other lenses, test with different focal length.Bokeh effect

Photo By - Manjot Singh

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