Friday, November 18, 2011

DIYFriday: Custom bokeh

I created my first custom bokeh last weekend.

What's a bokeh you ask?


It's those little specs of light that form when you shoot with your aperture wide open.

The specs are circular with a standard lens because it takes the the natural shape of the lens. I've noticed lots of people toying with bokeh filters lately that can create some cool shapes other than your standard circle. 

Here's how I created the heart-shaped bokeh effect in these photos:

1. I used my standard 50 mm lens because it goes to a 1.8 aperture.

2. I traced around the end of the lens and then cut it out, going slightly smaller so it would fit inside.

3. I cut out a pretty pathetic heart shape and the just fit the piece of paper into the lens, pressing the edges to create a tight fit. I've seen other examples that use tape and hoods, but this was fairly simple and still produced the desired effect.

Voila. So simple. I think this is great for shooting holiday photos. You could do stars or hearts to shoot in front of the Christmas tree or the Star of David for Hanukkah shoot. I've seen people use craft paper punches to do all sorts of desired shapes. There's also this bokeh kit, which costs only $25.

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