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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

••◊ Fun with Bokeh!

I noticed a cool technique a while back and scratched my head for a few moments on how they were getting these bokeh (the blurred stuff in the background) shaped images without post processing.  The answer was by using a cut out shape close to the lens.  Commercially they sell a Bokeh Master's Kit, but it's simple enough to create a close approximation using a sheet of paper and a printer.  In fact, I made the template shown below with Visio in a few minutes and printed it out.  I know it's difficult to see, but the four patterns are a radioactive symbol (upper left), camera (upper right), heart (lower left), and star (lower right).

The process involves cutting out the center pattern and placing the circle next to the front of the lens.  You need a large aperture (I used f/2.8) and longer lenses work better.  In the three pictures below you see city lights, city lights with the star pattern in front of the lens, city lights with the heart pattern, and city lights with the radioactive symbol.  Note that I had to focus much closer to throw the background out of focus to get the last three pictures.  I did the first picture with the longer focus just to show what was there to begin with.

Here's a creative example of it's use by the Vimeo user "Daniels" in a video called "BOKEH ART ("Who Do You Love" by Sue Scrofa)."

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