Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bokeh what?

It's the Christmas thing to do - capture that perfect Christmas tree blur. So I had to try it!

This lens creativity is called bokeh.

To Achieve Christmas Tree Bokeh Photos (blurry, out of focus lights) ...

1.  Set your camera to manual mode.

Set your camera on manual and also set your lens to manual focus too. (normally via a switch on the side of the lens.)

2.  Put your camera on a tripod.

In order to do proper Christmas tree bokeh you will need to use your camera on a tripod as otherwise due to a slow shutter speed, you will get motion blur.

3.  Put your aperture wide open (i.e the lowest number your lens will go down too.)

For the purposes of Christmas tree bokeh, you want to shoot wide open, or put simply the lowest f stop number your lens will go down too.  My lens (a 50mm) will go down to f/1.8 but you may find if you have a kit lens on your camera, it won't go lower than around f/3.5. 

4.  Raise your ISO.

You want to raise your ISO enough to compensate for the lack of light, however not too high that it makes it too bright in your room.  This might cause your photo to have some grain, but it is better to have a bit of a grainy image than an under exposed one. 

5.  Set your lens to manual focus and have a play!

Depending on how you focus your lens when it is on manual focus (by turning the focus ring on the front of the lens) you will see a real difference in what kind of blur you get.  For the purposes of Christmas tree Bokeh you want to turn your focus ring so it's actually out of focus, the blurrier the focal point, the bigger the bokeh.

In this photo I used a heart-shaped cut out over my lens. 
f 1.8, 400 ISO, 50mm lens, manual mode, 1/25

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