How to shoot Bokeh like a pro

to take your photography to the next level in 2021!

If you haven’t heard of Bokeh, never fear! Lauren Bath is here to teach you how to shoot Bokeh like a pro, whatever level you’re at. 

 

Bokeh (pronounced Bok-uh) is a Japanese word that translates to ‘smooth and pleasing’ – if you haven’t heard of Bokeh, we can at least guarantee that you’ve seen the technique in a range of professional shots. 

 

Essentially, Bokeh is the part of your image that is out of focus – and no, it’s no accident. Bokeh is a deliberate technique that requires the photographer to create a beautiful out-of-focus area for creative effect. Bokeh images look a little something like this 👇 and this 👇

 

show bokeh in the foreground

Pretty cool, huh? 

 

Lauren Bath, photographer extraordinaire and Insta’ whiz, is here to give her top four tips on shooting Bokeh to take your photography to the next level. 

1. The Subject. 

Funnily enough, we are going to talk about the in-focus element before we get down to the out-of-focus Bokeh.

 

The part that is in focus can be something as simple as leaves, or complex as a field and can be either in the foreground or the background of an image. It’s really important that you have something for the camera to focus on, in order to allow the lens to lose focus on the Bokeh element. In the images above, Lauren has used the shells as the subject and has blurred both the foreground and the background on the respective images. 

2. Light. 

The trick to Bokeh is understanding light. 

 

The best shots are created when the light is behind you. This allows you to use the light in your shot, as the area that is out of focus. This has the potential to create lovely, soft, round circles of light in your image. Alternatively, when shooting inside, you can also opt to use artificial light to create the same effect. Lauren suggests  trialling a shoot with fairy lights, or even with a candle. 

 

Soft circles of light

Bokeh with fairy lights

3. Location. 

Lauren prefers to shoot on the water when she is shooting Bokeh, this is because the reflection of the light on the water creates an epic Bokeh effect. 

 

You can also, of course, shoot Bokeh in other places (duh!), for example using trees and leaves to create the effect. Lauren recommends trying to implement water in some way, as it has a great ability to bend the light and make your photograph top notch. Try shooting in morning mist, or morning dew or even in the rain (puddles work magic ✨). 

 

Bokeh with leaves in the foreground

Bokeh in a flower field.

4. Technical Specifics.

Bokeh is created using a shallow depth of field, through a wide aperture (so, a small f number). Lauren often uses F4 and gets down low, in order to get close to the in-focus subject. 

 

There you have it!

A super simple lesson on shooting Bokeh, with our photography expert Lauren Bath. 

Go forth and implement these steps and you’ll soon be shooting Bokeh like a pro in no time. Make sure you tag us #thetravelbootcamp in your posts to let us know how you go. 

Ta ta! 

Team Bootcamp 

xx

 

Pssst! All pics in this post were captured by Lauren Bath herself! 📷✨