Introduction: Bokeh-licious! {how-to Make Your Own Bokeh Filter}

About: German-born, Montreal-based Graphic Designer/ Stylist with a passion for everything DIY & Vintage!

I always loved Bokeh Photography, but I never knew, how to do it. When I had some time the other day, I did some research.

Everyone has seen pictures like this with points of light in the background. The technique where shallow depth of field allows you to throw everything but the subject out of focus is known as Bokeh. What I’ve always noticed is the way points of light look in the out of focus area. I also learned that you can shape them, and when I finally got around to it, I made my very own Bokeh Filter:

Step 1: You Will Need

1. One large aperture lens --> 50mm 1.4

2. One sheet of black cardboard.

Step 2: Make Lens Hood

1. Cut and shape the sheet to make a fake lens hood.

Do keep in mind that the smaller the bokeh mask hole you ‘ll make, the less the light it’s going to get to your lens, forcing you to either:

- Shoot with a higher ISO and therefore getting a grainier (more noise) picture.
- Use a tripod or even worse get a blurry shot instead.

Step 3: Set Up

2. Set your camera to its lowest aperture value (completely open).

3. Stay as close as possible to the subject, as close as your lens allows you to focus.

4. Very Important: Try to keep your subject as far as possible from the highlights in the background that will become your bokeh, move the subject when you can further for the background, or position yourself somewhere else so the background will be further from your object.

Step 4: Finish