ALL ABOUT BOKEH
Let’s all do the bokeh-dokey
That, by the way, is how you say it. Simply put, bokeh is not just about the out-of-focus areas of your image, but exactly what those out of focus areas look like. Bokeh might present as circles or hexagons, depending on your lens, and the edges of those shapes might be particularly sharp or ill-defined, depending on your lens, but also on your camera settings and your exact composition.
If you’re shooting an image with deliberately shallow depth of field, attractive looking bokeh can provide the perfect finishing touch.
Kit is important…
Getting interesting, aesthetically-pleasing bokeh requires decent kit. Minimising depth of field is the first step – you can either use a fast lens (think at least f/4 and preferably faster), or a telephoto lens to keep things tight.
You’ll also often find that higher-quality lenses offer better looking bokeh, so think of lenses such as the amazing OLYMPUS M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm 1:1.8 – an incredible portrait lens that offers beautiful bokeh.
But technique is everything…
As ever, simply buying expensive kit and hoping for the best isn’t enough. A bit of technique will affect the kind of bokeh you can get. For example, you can simply open your lens’ aperture as wide as it goes – this will produce one kind of bokeh.
Or, you could zoom your lens in as far as it goes, which will produce a different style when it comes to depth of field. You could try situational techniques, such as positioning your subject a long way from its background, or bringing your subject as close as possible to the end of the lens.
and #protips are better
Bokeh is a function of the aperture in your lens, which is why bokeh sometimes looks hexagonal. A lens with six blades in its aperture mechanism creates hexagonal bokeh.
However, shooting at different apertures will yield different-looking, more defined bokeh, so stopping down is not necessarily the enemy of good bokeh.
Here’s one we made earlier
Never underestimate the ability of cardboard and sticky tape to revolutionise your photography. Your aperture definitely affects the shape of light in your final image, but you can shape and modify light at lots of stages along the way.
Made the perfect bokeh filter and snapped a few images you’re proud of? Head to out Flickr Group and show us what you’ve got. Or sign in to Instagram and tag us with #OlympusUK to be in with a chance of being featured in our feed.