St. Augustine Family Photographer | Danielle Brooks Photography
St. Augustine Family Photographer and Family Portrait Photography Studio. Specializing in Family Photography, Senior Portraits, and Head Shot Photography.


St. Augustine photographer specializing in families, children, and seniors.

Bokeh Tutorial

I was recently asked how to create bokeh. The holidays are a great time to get some awesome shots with this technique. So here is a quick tutorial on how to achieve that look. 

One of the keys to getting bokeh is to make sure there is plenty of space between your subject and the light you want to get blurry. Creating the distance between your subject and background will help you maintain a narrow Depth of Field to keep your subject in focus while leaving your background creamy and out of focus. For those that are wondering, Depth of Field (DOF) is the distance between the nearest and farthest portions of a photo that appear sharp and in focus. Here is a photo of Rich (always a great model for me) in front of the Christmas tree. If you notice both the tree and Rich are in focus and you don't get that much bokeh. That is because the DOF is shallow enough to include the tree, we will need move the subject farther away from the tree. I shot all of these with my 50mm 1.2. 

F/ 2.8   1/100  ISO 2000

In the next photo I had Rich move closer to the camera and further away from the tree. I did not move. Notice that we are starting to see some of that bokeh.

F/2.8   1/100   ISO 2000

This is the final photo and Rich is about a foot and a half away from the tree. My settings are all the same. Notice how much more pronounced the Bokeh is. 

F/2.8   1/100   ISO 2000

Isn't he such a stud? Hopefully this tutorial was helpful on how to achieve bokeh! I'd love to see some of the photos you all are taking this holiday season.

Remember, it will be important that you choose a lens that has the lowest possible F-stop rating. This will help you narrow your DOF by having your lens wide open. The lens used in this case is capable of an F-stop of 1.2 (one of the lowest possible), but you don't need this kind of lens to achieve a similar result. Just pick up your camera and start practicing!