Behind The Magic – Bokeh – what is it and how to create it

The bouquet focused on in the front of the frame the couple are left lovely & soft in the background

You have undoubtedly seen those lovely dreamy photos where the background is beautifully blurred often to the point of seeing sparkles in the background and wandered how that was created. This is bokeh, and it’s what most portrait photographers aim for with their photos.

Bokeh creates a dreamy look and can help disguise a busy or distracting background focusing attention on the subject. So how do you create it? Below are some simple tips to help you create bokeh in your photographs.

Have the subject close to the camera but as far as possible away from the background. The focal plane (the area in focus) extends back from the subject. The further from the focal plane the more out of focus the background will be. Whatever camera you are using this technique will allow you to achieve a degree of blur in your backgrounds but ideally you need to be able to use a few of the below tips as well to create consistent bokeh.

Shot at 200mm at F2.8. The focal plane is incredibly small so only the closest eye is in focus. But the background is a resulting soft blur of greens

Use a longer focal length if you have a choice of lenses. So for example if you have a 70-200mm then the 200mm will give you better Bokeh

Shoot with your aperture wide open. This means use the lowest aperture possible for the lens as this will reduce the size of the focal plane. F2.8 is great, lower is better, but you will need to be exact with your focusing the wider your aperture, as the focal plane becomes smaller and smaller.

Clare Stu Castle Hotel Taunton Wedding

Bokeh created in front by shooting through strings of fairy lights

 

Have something sparkly either infront or behind your subject. bokeh doesn’t have to always be behind, sometimes it can be in front. Fairy lights are great for creating bokeh and therefore enhance an image.

 

By | 2017-07-18T11:38:03+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Behind The Magic, Latest Updates|0 Comments