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.

Glass bauble with fairy lights. Copyright Fiona Michie.
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.

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



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