I am a huge fan of bokeh (the blurring of background objects of lights in photos) and with an abundance of holiday lights at this time of year, bokeh light sources are readily available. Here are some examples with the boys, taken in front of our Christmas tree and at an outdoor light display.
Regular old round bokeh is great, but have you seen pictures with shaped bokeh? So cool. I Heart Faces has some great tutorials on taking bokeh photos, but also on how to make your own shaped bokeh filter. And all it takes to make your own bokeh filter is basic supplies you already have laying around. I have been meaning to do this for the whole of December and now that I’ve been threatened with the tree coming down, I finally got around to it.
I went about it a little differently because my paper punch didn’t go far enough across the page to put the hole in the center of the circle I cut out. I like this better because now I only have to store a little circle of paper instead of a bigger bokeh filter.
- Measure the width of the glass part of your UV filter. Do not include the outside edge and do not use this method if you aren’t using a UV filter, you don’t want to be taping something on your actual lens. The idea is to get a circle that fits flush inside the edges of the lens, so measure well.
- Cut out a circle with the same diameter as the glass on your UV filter. Use a circle cutter or a compass to make a perfect circle. A perfect circle is why this works–an irregular circle could let extra light in and that will ruin the whole effect.
- Punch a shape in the middle of the circle, folding the edge in necessary to get the shape as close to the center as possible.
- Secure your paper bokeh filter to the UV filter with a couple pieces of blue painter’s tape or electrical tape. Open up your aperture and start snapping!