A little bit of handicraft and your Christmas card is ready (25.11.2016)


Text and photos: Aivar Pihelgas 

Photographers sometimes tend to use complicated terms. One of the most interesting of those is ‘bokeh’. In simple words, this term needs a bit longer explanation. Bokeh effect marks the blurriness formed in the soft area of the image. Bokeh effect becomes especially obvious when shooting with macro and telescopic lens. With those, it is possible to shoot against the light and get interesting light circles on top of the reflections or light sources in the soft areas of the image.

I would like to present an exciting idea on how to create a fun effect on your photos by using simple tricks. There are no photo processing tricks involved. The most important thing is to choose the right lens. Bright NIKKOR 50mm F1.4G AF-S lens is perfect for photographing such an effect. This lens is currently available for a good campaign price and since this lens is very bright, it is  perfect for shooting indoors. I used this lens for taking this example photo.

Now, let’s talk about this simple photography trick. Take a piece of strong cardboard (black is recommended) and cut a circle out of it that would fit perfectly in front of your lens. You can find the diameter of the circle by looking at the inside of the front lens cap. There, you can find the diameter of the filter in millimeters. After you have cut out the perfect circle, draw an image in the middle of it (heart, star, or snowflake) ja cut the image out. Now, you have created a unique ‘filter’ that you can place in front of the lens.

While shooting, you should use as open aperture as possible. Since most of the lens is covered up, you need to consider that the lens is able to let through a lot less light and it is worth using higher sensor sensitivity (higher ISO number). When shooting in a dim room, be sure to use the tripod.

Try to leave a lot of small light sources in the background. The electrical candles of the Christmas tree are perfect for that. Focus your lens on an object close by and make sure that the light sources are captured and shoot. A Christmas miracle is about to be born. All the light sources on the background are captured as the image that you cut out from the circle! Isn’t it cool?

All you have to do now is to create an original Christmas card with a text and send it out. Post your photos on our social media website so that other people would get inspired of your cool bokeh effect design ideas as well.



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