Christmas Pictures : How to Bokeh

So I’ve been way out of the loop this week. Busy with Christmas as I’m sure we all have! I’ve been wrapping, stuffing, baking, cooking, cleaning, sorting presents, and the list continues! So today, I thought I would share with you our Christmas photos! Every month the local photographers (pro and amateur) get together for a “photo walk”. Unfortunately, I rarely get out to participate (two kids and a husband that works 60-70 hours a week will do that to you!), but the topic this month was “bokeh”. So I studied a bit at home and did some experiments myself…and I’m pretty proud of the way they turned out, so take a look!

Here’s a definition of “bokeh” from wikipedia, in case you’re not sure of what it is. In photographybokeh (Originally /ˈbkɛ/,[1] /ˈbk/ boh-kay —is the blur,[3][4] or the aesthetic quality of the blur,[5][6][7] in out-of-focus areas of an image.

Translation: Basically its when the background (or sometimes foreground) is blurry in a photo while leaving your main subject in focus. Like this!

Jax(WM)

JWXmas2(WM)

JWXmas(WM)

To achieve this look you will need a camera that you can either put in manual mode, or into AV. I own a Canon Rebel T3 SLR camera. You will want to set your Aperture (or f stop) to a low setting. Mine was set at 5.6 because that’s the lowest that my lens will allow. Actually with a smaller lens you can achieve a more dramatic bokeh, so my Valentine’s Day present to myself is going to be a 50 mm lens, these work the best. You also don’t want your Shutter speed to be too high, or it will focus the whole image. With wiggle bug kids its hard to get it too low, but these were taken with 1/12 to 1/15. I had to play around with it a little bit to get the affect I wanted. Make sure to create some distance between your subject and the background (in this case the Christmas tree, I think I took each picture about 20 times with different settings, so DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING NEW!) If you use the AV setting, the shutter speed will be set for you.

So, take a few pictures and try this one out yourself! Sometimes it can be intimidating to try new things with your camera, but it’s really all about experimenting, and taking a TON of the same picture in hopes that just ONE will turn out! (Especially with kids!) lol

Feel free to post your experiments here, I’d LOVE to see them! You can also ask questions in the comments section if you need some help! I’m always here! Good luck.

PS. I entered the last photo in a photo contest here. Voters can vote everyday until the 1st, so if you wouldn’t mind popping by and giving us a vote that would be AMAZING!

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2 thoughts on “Christmas Pictures : How to Bokeh

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