51/52 Christmassy Bokeh

I’m fast approaching the end of my Project 52, and I have to say I have loved doing it and hope that you’ve enjoyed some of the photos I’ve posted over the past year. I’m quite conscious that I have not been brilliant at trying out new photography techniques, instead just taking what took my fancy or caught my eye. So, with that in mind, for this post I have been working on a technique I have never tried before.

These photos were all about achieving an effect known as bokeh, which can be a nice thing to use when taking portraits or for creating a blurry background when you are focussing on one object. Christmas is a great time for bokeh, as fairy lights provide an easy subject for practising this technique. Now, these photos are not by any means great compositions, but I have achieved what I set out to, which is a good bokeh background.

If you’re interested in how to achieve this, you need a fast shutter speed, a low f-stop (wide aperture) and crucially you need to put a little distance between the object in the foreground and the background that you want to blur.

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Glass bauble with fairy lights. Copyright Fiona Michie.
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Christmas present and fairy lights. Copyright Fiona Michie.

Finally, I tried a technique that seems to crop up a lot on Pinterest, namely creating shaped bokeh by covering your camera lens with a piece of card (in my case a post-it note) with a shape cut out of it. This sort of worked, but the shape was a star and that isn’t quite what came out! More work needed on that front, I feel.

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Glass bauble and not quite star-shaped bokeh. Copyright Fiona Michie.

 

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