Photos with Bokeh effects are beautiful, focused and it will get you more likes on Instagram and Facebook. The term ‘bokeh’ has its origins in the Japanese word ‘boke’ which means blur or haze, and it is defined as “the effect of a soft out-of-focus background that you get when shooting a subject, using a fast lens, at the widest aperture, such as f/2.8 or wider”, according to a blog post by Nikon.
Technically speaking, the bokeh effect is affected by the shape of diaphragm blades or the aperture of the lens. A lens with more circular shaped blades will have rounder and softer out-of-focus highlights, while a lens with a more hexagonal aperture will have similar shape in the highlights. Here is how to take photos with bokeh.
Use a Fast Lens
One simple rule of thumb when it comes to taking pictures with bokeh is the faster the lens is the better the bokeh will be. Lens speed refers to the maximum aperture of a lens, which is denoted by smallest f – number. You have to use a lens with at least an f/2.8 aperture and for better results use apertures of f/2. f/1.8 or f/1.4.
The larger the aperture and faster the lens is, the more light you can let in decreasing the depth of filed creating a bokeh effect.
Use Wider Aperture
As we mentioned above, a large aperture decrease depth of field and this isolation focus on a narrow part of your subject with everything surrounding the focal point blurred.
One of the ways to control the bokeh effect of your shots is to shoot with lens wide open and you want to use a Manual mode for this. Unlike Automatic mode, the Manual mode will let you choose the shutter speed and aperture.
If you don’t have a fast lens, increasing the distance between the background and subject is clever way to accomplish bokeh. Additionally, the closer you get to the subject, the blurrier the background will be. With a lot of distance between the subject and background and lesser space between camera and the subject, this is a simple way to create bokeh and it works even on smartphones.