At some point in my adventures as a beginning photographer, I got completely obsessed with bokeh. Defined as “the aesthetic quality of the blur in out-of-focus areas of an image,” the Japanese term basically means . . . little circles of light. And when you look for them, they’re everywhere.
I manage to capture bokeh — all the time, and pretty much everywhere — by changing my lens to manual focus, then twisting until everything in my shot is blurry and out-of-focus. (This is all very scientific, I know — bear with me and my technical prowess, please.) When I see little circles everywhere, I press the shutter. What translates in the image is often what I see through the viewfinder — but occasionally not, too. And that’s what I like about it.
Christmas is an awesome time of year to experiment with bokeh photography. Strands of multicolored lights, sparkly presents, light reflecting off wine glasses, Christmas trees themselves — all excellent things and moments to capture in bokeh. I take my camera out at night and shoot pictures of the house. I document everyone’s Christmas trees, then prowl around the office snapping holiday decorations.
Bokeh comes out best when it’s dark — nighttime, or just really dark in a room — so look for the contrast of your tiny lights against a black space. I’m no expert, so I refer you to a good tutorial and information on bokeh — and some stunning examples of the technique.
If you’re tired of your run-of-the-mill holiday shots this year, trying experimenting with something new! I guarantee you’ll impress your friends and get some interesting photos to show for it.
Who knew blurry shots could be a good thing?