The term “bokeh” comes from the Japanese word boke, which means “blur” or “haze”. Then this photography term and style got popularized in 1997 by Mike Johnston, introducing the world to this blurry background effect. Getting a bokeh effect on a photo might be tricky and requires more than simply changing one camera setting, beginners frequently fail to achieve beautiful bokeh effects. Instead, five elements have an impact on the bokeh quality of your pictures:
– Aperture dimension (aka the size of the hole in the lens that lets the light in)
– Lens selection
– The space between your model and the camera
– The distance between the foreground and backdrop
– Background’s quality
Let’s examine each aspect in turn, beginning with:
1. Aperture Dimension
Aperture is the opening in a lens through which light passes to enter the camera. Using a small f-number will give a wide aperture, and a high number will give you a more narrow aperture. To achieve a better bokeh result, use a wide aperture because the wider the aperture, the lens you’re using will produce more blur in the background. A sharper background will be produced if you use a narrow aperture, it also gives more focus to the photo result. Keep in mind that not all lenses give you the ability to shoot with ultra-wide apertures.
2. Lens Selection
Some lenses give you an eye-catching, perfectly blurred bokeh. While other lenses give you a not-so-up-to-par result. The factors contributing to this might be because of the lens’ aperture. As mentioned before, if your lens’ aperture can open widely, the bokeh you’ll get is going to look great. On the contrary, a lens with a smaller aperture opening will produce low-quality, fake-looking bokeh that doesn’t make the picture look any better. Another reason is the longer the lens, the more it blurs the background, which means better bokeh quality. Also remember that the aperture shape of the lens determines the shape of the bokeh, the more circular it is the better the bokeh effect.
3. The Space Between Your Model and the Camera
The more closer the photographer to the object, the bokeh will become more prominent so in order to get that beautiful-looking bokeh, you need to be closer to the object when you do a photoshoot. To be closer to the object you’re shooting, you can literally move closer to the object, or use a telephoto lens with a suitable focal length since this kind of lens can give you the ability to zoom closer to the object so you don’t have to move anywhere. It is nice to move around physically to be closer to the object but there are times when you need to use the telephoto lens.
4. The Distance Between the Foreground and Backdrop
Let’s say you’re taking photos of your object directly in front of your background with no distance between the two, both the background and the object will be in focus, making the bokeh effect very minimalistic. But if you bring the object away from the background, the blur will become more visible and the bokeh effect will be more prominent.
If your background is too close to the object, the background will become less blurry, giving you a weaker bokeh appearance. The easiest step to increase the bokeh effect in your photo is to position your object far away from the background, especially when you don’t have a wide-aperture lens. The golden rule is to put your object farther from the background to produce a more beautiful bokeh result.
5. Background’s Quality
Some backgrounds are easier to blur, some are more difficult to work with. Backgrounds with one-tone colors are easier to be blurred because of the less variation contained in them, while backgrounds with lots of objects in it create a distracting bokeh. Make sure you’re working with a suitable background on your photo shoot, especially if your goal is to sell the object, you might want to use a softer background.
Read also: How to Blur Part of a Photo
That’s how you can achieve the soft, beautiful bokeh in your photo. But if you have tried all of the tips above but don’t get the result that you want, we recommend you consider using a photo retouching service by Dropicts. With this service, we will enhance your photo and make it look more presentable and eye-catching.