The Digital Room's How to Shoot Great Photos Series - Bokeh Photography

Bokeh Photography

Bokeh photography is the art of keeping the subject matter in sharp focus whilst allowing the background and sometimes foreground become soft focussed.

The word Bokeh stems from the Japanese word boke (ボケ), meaning ‘blur’, to pronounce it correctly, its sound is Boh-Kay.


Example of Bokeh Photography, Spring Blossom.

So how do you achieve great bokeh photography?

One way to achieve this is to use a fast prime lens with a large aperture, f/1.4, f/1.8 are good examples and result in a narrower depth of field.

But what if you don’t have access to super expensive prime lenses?

You can achieve great results using your phones camera, by keeping the below method in mind and being selective with your subject and how to place it against the background.

The best way to do this is to shoot either very close up or macro, this is ideal for flower photography, where you can get in really close to the subject but keep some distance from the background. By focussing into the subject, the background will become blurred or soft focus.

You should try to find a background with similar exposure to your chosen subject.


Example of Bokeh Photography - Rape Seed coming into flower


Finding a subject that is a different colour to the background also works well and can produce great results.


Example of Bokeh Photography - Red Tulips against green background


Shooting at night you can achieve great bokeh by placing your subject in front of distant lights, small lights like traffic signals or street lighting work well for this as does fairy lights if shooting indoors.


Example Of Bokeh Photography - Leaves on a bench


Playing around with different colour lights can produce some really visually pleasing results, as does shooting on a rainy night where the street lighting is reflected in puddles.


Example of Bokeh Photography - Traffic lights reflecting in puddle.

Try to keep your subject lit with different colours from your background.


Example of Bokeh Photography - Candle against fairy lights.


We hope you've enjoyed this post and gained some inspiration.

Don't forget you can order prints of your Fabulous Bokeh Photographs on any of our products.


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