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How to use Bokeh Creatively


Want those creamy backgrounds in your photos? Here are 3 tips to use bokeh creatively in your photography

A lot of photographers spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to create bokeh and how to use bokeh creatively in their photography.But what IS Bokeh?

Bokeh comes from the Japanese word boke  which means “blur” or “haze”. Simply put, Bokeh is the blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus part of a photograph.

how to use bokeh creatively

Taken with Canon 6D and Canon 100mm 2.8 lens

Settings: Aperture f/3.2 Shutter Speed: 1/500 ISO 3200

But how do you GET bokeh in your photographs? How do you do it on purpose? To use bokeh creatively( and on purpose) in your photos,  I have 3 tips for you…

tips for using bokeh creatively

Settings: Aperture f/2.8 , Shutter Speed 1/500 ISO3200

1. Select a wide open/low aperture.

Wide open apertures such as the f/2.8 I used in the photo above, will decrease your depth of field and give you the creamy background you want.  Usually f/2.8, f/ 1.8 or f/1.4 are best is you go this route. But keep in mind that the wider your aperture, the smaller your slice of focus will be.

using bokeh creatively

Settings: aperture f/3.2 Shutter Speed 1/500 ISO 3200

2. Focus on the area you want to be in focus.

In the photo above, I knew I wanted to focus only on the tulip. So I set my focal point to be on the tulip and used a lower aperture of f/3.2. Now my subject is truly the subject and the bokeh is a beautiful bonus.

tips for using bokeh creatively

Settings:f 5.6 Shutter Speed 1/125 ISO 3200

3. Put your subject far away from the background you want to be out of focus.

In the photo above, my aperture was f 5.6. The trick here was that I moved the tulips to a taller vase, taking them further away from the table that is being used as my background.  Therefore achieving bokeh at a smaller aperture.

Those are my tips to use bokeh creatively!

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Chantale Austin

Friday 25th of August 2017

Love how simple you make it. Very encouraging for someone who is scared of her camera !!!

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Friday 8th of April 2016

These are just stunning! I am always so in love with your photos of flowers! :)

Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories

Friday 1st of May 2015

These are great tips and beautiful photos. I love photography and really want a DSLR camera!