So after a bit of poking around the intertubes, I grabbed this idea from the guys over at diyphotography.net about how to change the shape of the bokeh your lens produces. Neither myself or Mel have the fantastic (and expensive) lenses mentioned here, but I think with a bit of finessing we can manage something workable with what we have. This opens a lot of creative doors!
Bokeh is an adaptation from a a Japanese word meaning blur. In photography this term is used to describe the quality of the areas in the picture which are not in focus.
When referring to Bokeh, we can distinguish some of it characteristics:
- Is the light/dark gradient smooth or sharp?
- What shape will a small dot of light take what it is in the Bokeh area? (mirror lenses for example, create a bagel like Bokeh)
You will need:
- One large aperture lens (a Canon 50mm 1.8 is used here, but Nikon 50mm 1.8 will also do, and the superb Nikon 50mm 1.4 will work even better)
- One sheet of black paperboard
- Cut and shape the sheet to make a fake lens hood. The Diameter is made so that it snugly fits on the lens.
- In the middle of the filter the wanted bokeh shape is cut out - in out example a heart is used. I’m not sure how big a hole the shape can be. But you can check it right away by just looking through the viewfinder. On the 50mm lens @ F1.8 a 15mm heart gives a metering value equal to F3.2, so it can probably be a little bigger (you can use a puncher or cut it by hand).
- Set your camera to its lowest aperture value (completely open).
With coloured lighting: