Sunday, 30 January 2011

DIY: Bokeh filter

Bokeh, pronounced with a silent ‘h’ comes from the Japanese term ぼけ (bokeaji), meaning ‘out of focus’..

In this first DIY post, we will combine handicrafts with one of our interests: photography. We’d like to share an idea that allows you to achieve creative and original effects in your photos quickly and easily.

This technique involves deliberately blurring the photo’s background, either to focus attention on the subject in the foreground, or in this case, to create beautiful compositions, making the background the protagonist, in combination with lights and shapes. There are also a lot of groups on Flickr that can provide you with inspiration.

To create your home-made bokeh, all you need is:

-        A bright lens (ours is a Canon 50 mm, 1.8)
-        A piece of black card
-        Some scissors or a cutter
-        Black electrical tape or sellotape

1. Cut out a circle of card to the same diameter as your lens. In the centre of the circle, draw and cut out a shape you like (I tested it out with a star and a heart) measuring around 10-15 mm.

2. Make a kind of cover for the lens with another strip of card. You can even make it easier by leaving a set of tabs on the edge of the circle to attach it to the lens. Let your imagination run wild and just remember you can’t let too much light into the lens.

3. Place your “filter” on the lens and after setting the camera to the maximum aperture in order to work with the least depth of field, get snapping! The possibilities are endless and the more twinkling lights in the background, the better.

The lazier amongst you can buy ready-prepared kits here that contain filters featuring different shapes.

We’ll leave you with some home-made bokeh examples. Fancy giving it a shot? 


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