Bokeh Filters, bringing back ’09.



Bokeh filters were a popular photography trend in 2009, they aren’t as commonly seen in every day photography use and so the effect has kind of fallen to the side.  Those who remembered it forgot about it and with the members of team photography growing; so grows the amount of people who know nothing about it.

So I’m bringing it back and I want to share with you how to enjoy them cost efficiently.  Though picking up a set of bokeh fitlers or a bokeh filter kit is always a plus.

DIY Bokeh Filters

First let me start out by saying that the cardboard option depicted above is much more difficult to perfect than the thick black paper method.

  • Trace your 50mm filter ring or end of lens onto thick black paper or cardboard.
  • Cut circle out.
  • Draw a shape onto the cut out circle, preferably in the center.  Free hand is awesome if you can achieve it, I wanted a more reliable shape so I used a stencil I printed off the internet.  If you use a stencil I suggest taping it down to the cut out circle so it doesn’t slide on you as you cut your shape out.
  • Use an exacto blade to remove the shape from your circle.
  • fit circle paper at the end of your lens.  With the paper it should fit inside the filter ring with a little trimming.  If you used cardboard use scotch tape to fit the filter to the end of your lens.  Make sure there is no light leaking to the lens from the edges of the filter.

Shooting Tips

Find a far away light source.  The farther away the more break off shapes you will have from one light source.  Bring light source out of focus, making your focal point closest to the end of your lens.  Find large light sources or large clusters of light sources.

If you tried this out because of this blog or on your own accord please reply with links to your own creative images using bokeh filters!  I would love to see them.

The bokeh image featured in this blog was my first shot, hand held from my car.  I suggest a tri-pod for ultimate results.  Thank you for your time, please stay tuned.


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