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
- Fast lens, for example a 50mm 1.8 would do nicely
- 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?
Set your camera on your tripod
Attach your camera to your tripod with all moving parts secured down. This will make things a lot easier if you are capturing more than one portrait, or if you are taking a group portrait with yourself in the photo too.
Capturing the photos
Focus on your subject
Place your subject in the frame in front of the fairy lights. Expose for them and take a photo. You can experiment with the size of the bokeh by moving the lights further away from the subject. The further you move them the bigger the bokeh will be.