Making Dreamy Bokeh

posted in: Photography | 7

Many times it's the bokeh that makes a really good image. Today in my series of photography tutorials you'll discover that there really is a recipe for achieving creamy, dreamy bokeh images. There are two items that you really need to get right for creating great dreamy bokeh.

Space and Light

  • The space is needed between your main subject and the background that you want to create the bokeh from.
  • Dull weather makes my images have a very plain blurred background. However capturing a little sunlight makes the bokeh just bounce around the frame.

Furthermore there's also the experimenting with different apertures, focal lengths and different lens.

My Dreamy Bokeh Set Up

In my photograph below there were at least 3 metres between the grass and the trees. Dappled sunlight filtered through the leaves which made the orbs of light appear in the background.

If You Want Light Orbs...

The wider your lens aperture the more rounder the light orbs will be. While the smaller your aperture the more blades and edges will show on those orbs. They'll be more like hexagons rather than circles.

 

I used my prime EF50mm f/1.4 USM at f1.8 for this shot as I wanted very round and circular orbs. Plus I didn't want to risk the grass being too soft if I shot at f1.4.  If I had shot at f2.8 I would have had more of an outline of the tree trunks. But orbs were my intention with this shot and isolating the grass from the rest of the landscape.

 

If I had used a telescopic lens like my 90mm or 200mm at f2.8  then the background would have been much more compressed and the orbs of light would have been even larger.

 

Sometimes even the shallow depth of field from f1.8 is too soft for my bokeh shots. As a result I try to remember take a few safe shots as well of between f2 and f2.8. Furthermore I move with my feet around the subject.

this is an image of green orbs of dreamy bokeh and grass flowers
I couldn’t bare to edit this image as I loved the natural hues of green orbs bouncing about the frame

Bokehliciousness

If I'm shooting a person then I'll move them either a little further away or closer to the background. Or else I'll move in a little closer towards them.

 

The most important thing to remember is that you need to keep the light in the frame as that's what will make that dreamy bokeh bokelicious!

Rosie Nixon
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Rosie is a passionate wildlife gardener in Scotland, a Perthshire / Tayside flower and garden photographer and writer. She enjoys soaking up nature in her own garden and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that buzzes, creeps, crawls or flutters. She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography.

Rosie Nixon
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7 Responses

  1. Beautiful bokeh and colors!

  2. Love all the green and the beautiful bokeh in your shot! Thanks for the mention of my post. I had forgotten about that. Looks like I need to get out that 200mm more often!

  3. oh my goodnesss! that is simply gorgeous! wow!

  4. Due to all of our rain, our world is as green as your delightful photograph.

  5. What a beautiful bokehliscious image!! Thanks for providing all that info on getting the perfect bokeh shot. I am going to have to put into practice your suggestions. Sometimes mine are simply by accident, and sometimes I get lucky and aim for it. But knowing the info about the aperature is really helpful!! Thanks!!

  6. This is absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for the information! I love me some bokeh. 🙂

  7. 1. You already know exactly how I feel about this image. 🙂

    GASP! BEAUTIFUL!

    🙂

    2. Thanks for the recipe. 🙂
    3. Thanks even more for the links — so stinking helpful and am devouring the info!!

    xoxo

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