Friday, December 11, 2009

How to make fun-shaped bokeh!

Ever looked at a photo like the one above and thought "how did they do that?". No, it's not photoshop or any special effects. Believe it or not, the only materials you need to create this fun-shaped bokeh are construction paper of your choice and some tape.

This "filter" works best with large aperture lenses (I used a Canon 50mm F1.8)

1) Cut out a fake lens hood from the paper. Make sure it fits nice and tight around the lens.

2) Punch out or cut out the shape of your choice (ex. Heart) into the center of the filter.


You can try this (it's a bit complicated but it's a little something I created):

Instead of cutting or punching out a shape, cut out a circle that is about an inch in diameter in the center of the filter. Then cut out two thin strips of paper about an inch and a half long each. Tape these two pieces on either side of the hole. It looks like this:

Then, cut out thicker strips of paper that are about 3 inches long, but make the ends not as thick so that they will be able to fit through the strips you just taped to the filter. In the center of the strips, cut out or punch out shapes of your choice. This way, you can have interchangeable shapes for your lens filter! The strips should look like this (I've cut out a heart and a snowflake):

You would attach the shape strips by sliding the ends under the taped strips on your filter. Make sure that the box containing the shape covers the entire circle cut out on your filter as to not let excess light in and possibly distort your shape. It should look like this when attached:

3) Then set your camera to the lowest aperture value...and shoot!


Here are a few more images I've taken using this technique: