Make Your Own Bokeh

In photography, bokeh is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh has been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”.

– Here is a easy diy for creating stunning photographs
– Supplies you’ll need: Black poster board, pair of scissors, tape, x-acto knife, pencil
– This project should take about 30 minutes to complete

Step 1: First use your camera lens to cut a strip that fits snug around it. Make the strip wide enough to cover the end of the lens to create a tight seal without covering the entire lens.



Step 2: With your first strip cut out, take the lens and wrap the strip around the end and tape it in place. Make certain the strip is snug, but not taped to the lens. You want it to be able to gently slide on and off when we need to.


Step 3: Slide the base off the end of the lens and set it to the side. Place the lens face down on a piece of the poster board and use the circumference, on the outside, of the lens to draw a slightly larger circle around the lens onto the paper. This is going to form the end of your cap. When you cut the circle out there should be a little space overlapping the lens. You will need this extra space for the next step.


Step 4: After your end cap is cut out, beginning from the outside of the circle, use your scissors to carefully cut notches up to, but not past the inner circle.


Step 5: After cutting all the way around the end cap, you will want to begin folding in the tabs inwards. It is important to do this carefully as you do not want to tear off any tabs. If you do make a mistake, go back and redo the end cap or again (a weak end cap could introduce light-leaks; that will affect the final image).


Step 6: Next, cut out a slight rectangle from the center of your end cap. Leave room around the edges and on the top and bottom, you will tape retaining tabs on later to hold the slides.


Step 7: With the end cap complete, the center trimmed, and the tabs folded, it’s time to pick up the base you made in the beginning and place the end cap over the base. Begin taping the end cap over the base. Go ahead and tear off several small pieces as you will be holding the cap and base with one hand and taping with the other.


Step 8: Cut two small rectangular strips then tape them to the top and bottom of the rectangle you cut earlier. These strips will hold the slides in place while shooting. Tape these along the top edges only so you’ll be able to slide the templates under them to change the shape of the bokeh.


Step 9: Cut out a few strips of paper that just fit under the tabs you taped to the end cap. They should slide easily, but also should be snug. Your slide can then be drawn, custom shapes or something more traditional. Most of mine came from a Google search and the others were freehand. I created a few long strips to make a reel of sorts. I figure I’ll have about 5 per line.


Step 10: Once everything is in place, add a bit more tape to secure the end cap. I would even chose a cute duct tape pattern for security and to add my own style.


Most important: keep the slide clean, removing any stray pieces

Step 11: Finally slide the desired template onto the end-cap and place the end-cap over the lens…

Ready to shoot? Bokeh is best shot with pin-point lighting in the back ground, for beginners wanting to give it a try, a string of cheap Christmas lights behind the subject works very well. Use a very low f/stop, it will help blur the BG and bring out the bokeh.

If your camera is capable of “live-view” shooting, use it! You can preview the bokeh on the screen (YES, It actually works!). By previewing the shot, you can make adjustments before downloading the images and being disappointed.

Cheers to amazing photos!!


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