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After writing a surprisingly successful journal entry a few days ago, I've decided I'll be trying to update this as much as possible - thanks for all the support everyone! You're amazing!
There are so many more topics in photography I think people would find very useful. Years ago, when I first started dabbling in photography, I was always so fascinated by the 'bokeh' effect in backgrounds, and often attempted to get the same effect but to no avail. What was I doing wrong? I had a good Canon slr and a kit lens of 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 - shouldn't that be enough? WRONG! I started again from scratch, researched every possible tutorial existed on the web... I realized I was doing all the wrong things!
How to create beautiful Bokeh
1. Large aperture works best, so use a low f-stop number like f1.4, f1.8 or f2.8.
2. The best lens I ever bought was the Canon 50mm f/1.8, creating soft beautiful bokeh light in the background. I remember I only paid around $100 for it, so it really isn't that expensive as opposed to other lenses!
3. Experimenting with focus - I soon found out that being CLOSE to the subject and FURTHER away from the background (lights) was the most effective way to create bokeh.
4. The obvious - LIGHT in the background! It can't be a consistent kind of background, there has to be some form of lights in the background. I discovered plain yellow/white fairy lights and used them quite often in concept/still life photography for a prettier background. I've also used standard christmas lights.
5. Remember that the shutter speed must be faster than 1/60, otherwise the bokeh won't turn out as well. In past experiments, I've tested this indoors and realized I could still use my Canon speedlite flash and use a faster shutter speed to create an excellent bokeh effect.
6. Want to see my Bokeh photography in action? I've uploaded a simple & quick video to demonstrate my set up: Click here to see BOKEH!
DIY - Create your own Bokeh!
Feeling excited and adventurous with photography? Why not try out some different shaped bokeh effects!
DIY Photography has demonstrated a very clever way to fake heart bokeh lights! Easy, make a lens hood yourself!
In the middle of the filter specific bokeh shape is cut out - in out example a heart is used. But you can check it right away by just looking through the viewfinder. On the 50mm lens @ F1.8 a 15mm heart gives a metering value equal to F3.2, so it can probably be a little bigger (you can use a puncher or cut it by hand).
Beautiful Examples of Bokeh
More Bokeh Resources!
How can I properly set up my camera to create a bokeh effect?
Video tutorial on creating bokeh cut outs
dSLR Bokeh Photography tutorial
Exceptional examples of Bokeh