It’s not Christmas without a little bit of bokeh action. It’s actually really easy to achieve in photos once you know how so here is your know how! I’ve put together everything I know about creating bokeh. You 100% do not need a camera for creating bokeh, you can do it on your phone but if you’re looking to get the best bokeh. A camera always wins. But I’ll talk about both.
So bokeh is created when you have lights in the background and a subject in the foreground. For example the photo below of Norah. Getting the right distance and the right setting is key. So let’s talk about settings first. Ideally to get the biggest and my favourite bokeh you need to shoot on the lowest aperture your camera will let you. Yes, this means coming off auto mode! But it’s all for good reason. My camera and lens allow me to shoot at 1.4 which with a 35mm lens creates a dreamy bokeh. But of course yours might not be the same. You will need to adjust your shutter speed and iso to counter the low aperture. But you can find a million videos on YouTube explaining camera settings.
Once you’ve worked out your settings, you need to get the lights in the background. You can use your Christmas tree or string up lights, both work well. Make sure there is space between you and the lights. The closer you are to the camera, in focus, the bigger and better the bokeh. If you are right in front of the light source it will not make for the twinkly lights you are after! Then get shooting. You will need to make sure the focus is on the subject, play around with this as you shoot and you’ll soon get the hang of the positioning.
For phone cameras you need to shoot in portrait or manual mode. Some phones allow you to change the aperture which will be an f. number, check to see what yours can do. Again go for the lowest number you can. Place your subject far enough away from the light source and then focus on the subject. This will create bokeh too!
So here’s to dreamy bokeh this festive season!