How to capture portraits with bokeh


What you'll learn

1. How to set up a background for awesome bokeh.

2. How to use a large aperture to get cool bokeh effects.

3. How to use bokeh creatively.

Bokeh is a really fun and easy technique to add cool effects and creative backgrounds to your portraits. Bokeh portraits are great for the holiday season as fairy lights are available everywhere, and adding bokeh to your photos definitely gives a festive feel. 


What you'll need

  • DSLR
  • Fast lens, for example a 50mm 1.8 would do nicely
  • Tripod
  • LED or fairy lights
  • A way of suspending the lights

A bit of theory

Bokeh is the name for the way lenses see out-of-focus highlights. It's especially prominent if you are using a fast lens. A fast lens is a lens that has a large aperture, for example 1.8 or 1.4.

We are going to be using fairy lights to achieve our bokeh, but you can also use scrunched up aluminium foil to get the same effect. Or, since it's the holiday season how about throwing some tinsel and baubles in there?


Setting up


Capturing the photos


Examples


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