06 Shoot seasonal bokeh
Bokeh is a term used to describe the quality of blurred areas in a picture. Lenses that offer the best bokeh render points of light that are beyond the point of focus as attractive circles. By focusing in front of or beyond a light, you can fill the frame with abstract patterns and colours.
Opening up the aperture to its widest setting to produce a shallow depth of field emphasises the effect. The more aperture blades a lens has, the smoother the bokeh will appear too.
The effect looks particularly good if you can include an element of sharpness in the picture. Try focusing on a person, pet or Christmas decoration in the foreground, close to the camera.
As long as there’s plenty of distance between the subject and the lights, the effect will be pronounced.
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* Fast lenses with wide maximum apertures work best – such as a 50mm f/1.4 or 85mm f/1.8.
* Zoom in with longer lenses to increase the size of the bokeh circles in the frame.
* The effect works with out-of-focus lights positioned in front of a sharp subject too. Try hanging fairy lights close to the camera to create a ‘bokeh sandwich’ around a sharp subject.
* Lock the camera on a tripod for the sharpest blur (it sounds counter-intuitive, we know!).
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PAGE 5: Shoot frost-covered flowers
PAGE 6: Shoot seasonal bokeh
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