17 December 2010

DIY: Epic Holiday Bokeh

A tutorial on the bokeh effect has been requested. I love bokeh. I'm obsessed, really. It's so epic and holiday-ish. And so, so, so simple!

Bokeh works best in the dark, I've found, with small pinpricks of light (which is why Christmas lights are awesome). This is easiest with a DSLR camera rather than a point-and-shoot, because what you do is switch on manual focus. Instead of focusing on the light, pull the focus as far away from the light as you can (or to taste). This will create crisp blobs of light on the photograph. A few examples of classic bokeh...

One of my favorite sites, kevinandamanda.com, has an awesome tutorial on making bokeh in fun shapes. My first attempt was tonight, and I hope I can improve... *gulps and runs away from awful bokeh photos*

Notice that you can focus on something, just not the lights.

Bokeh is also great for layering over other photos; for example, the pic in my header has a layer of bokeh over the reindeer.

Have fun! And remember...
( c h e c k   b a c k   e v e r y   d a y   f o r   t h e   n e x t   w e e k   f o r   m o r e   C h r i s t m a s   a w e s o m e n e s s ! )


  1. Awesome! Yeah I'm getting a photography camera after Christmas settles down for my birthday. SUPER excited. :D I'll have to try this effect when I get it. :)


  2. Thanks for the tutorial! I will try it. ^_^

  3. AMAZING pictures!! the ones with different shapes look GREAT!! :)

  4. Nice pictures! It will be helpful when I get my new camera for Christmas-which-by the way-is only in 3 days for my family! My dad works off-shore and he'll be gone on Christmas day so we're having it on Monday. I'm SO excited!

  5. Thanks for the tips! I am completely smitten by bokeh, and Christmas lights are a perfect subject. As you say, it is epic.

    In Christ,
    Queen Lucy

  6. I love bokeh! And those shots are great :)

  7. Hey Olivia,
    I tagged you on my main blog, meandering Iris.
    Can't wait to see your answers!

  8. your terrible photos? I would beg to differ. ;)

    I do happen to have a point and shoot camera - and it works the opposite. I could only get the tiniest attempt of Bokeh using a lot of light. ;) It was mainly achieved because of the zoom. :D

    Awesome tutorial - and if I ever get an awesome camera...*sighs*



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