How to Get Heart-shaped Bokeh In-camera




Introduction: How to Get Heart-shaped Bokeh In-camera

What is Bokeh?
Bokeh is basically the out-of-focus blur in the background of a photo.
It adds a beautiful cinematic feel to a photo, and this instructable shows you how to easily DIY the bokeh from the boring usual circular bokeh to a customised and cute heart shaped bokeh!
Use this to take beautiful portraits!


  • A camera with a lens
  • Thick paper/ cardboard
  • Scissors/ craft knife
  • tape
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • Fairy lights

Step 1: What Type of LENS to Use?

Ideally here we'll be using a lens with manual control.
You can use the kit lens with the DSLR, or a prime lens.

The lens should have a wide aperture (around f/1.8 or lower).
I've used a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens.

The diameter of the lens opening is the focal length divided by the f-stop number.
For a 50mm lens at f/1.8, the opening is around 27.7 mm. Hence, our bokeh shape should be less than this value.

Step 2: Making the Heart Bokeh!

first, take the craft paper/ cardboard and trace the opening of your lens using a pencil.
Add a long rectangular outline next to it.
This will be our basic template.

Step 3: Making the Heart!

now, roughly estimate the centre of the circle. (or if you have a compass, you can even be accurate about it).

Make an inner circle with a diameter about 30% smaller than the calculated value of the lens opening.
Inside this inner circle, draw the heart shape to the best of your artistic abilities.

Step 4: Heart Cut-out Lens Cap!

Using any craft knife or scissors, carefully cut out the inside of the heart and the overall shape.
Attach a long piece of tape on the outside, and then carefully roll the rectangular strip of paper around the circular part to make a cap ( should fit over your lens).

Step 5: How to Get the Heart Bokeh

Set the Camera mode to either fully manual (M) or aperture priority (Av).

Now set it to the lowest aperture, which in my case was f/1.8.

Easy hack: Keep your camera settings like you usually do, just change the lens setting from auto focus to manual focus and make everything blurry and out of focus.

The bokeh works best with small pin-point light source, hence fairy lights work best!

Step 6: Try Other Shapes Too!

You can use the same technique to get other shapes too!

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