Christmas Card Showdown
It’s Christmas time: The time for the magic of Santa. The giving of gifts. The acts of charity and love to all. And it’s the time of the Christmas Card Showdown!
The Christmas Card Showdown is the unspoken competition of who has the best Christmas Card. Who is the most creative? Who has the best composition? Who has the best family photo? Remember the Jones’s card last year with their 50s theme and the pipe smoking dad? Who has time to set up such an elaborate set? And what about the Patrick’s card with the pretty circle of lights in the background of their family photo? What is that? Well that is Bokeh.
What is bokeh?
The definition from Wikipedia states Bokeh, in photography, is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. The term comes from the Japanese word boke which means blur or haze.
My definition, those pretty light shapes coming off a light source in a blurred background.
How do I get Bokeh?
Achieving Bokeh will depend on your lens and your aperture setting. You’ll also need a light source: example - Christmas Tree / Christmas Lights
Aperture Setting: To obtain those pretty light shapes in the background of your photo, you need to use your widest aperture (lowest number) possible and have your focal point on your subject. Adjust your aperture according to how much you want your subject in focus. But remember the wider the better.
Lens: The lens and how many blades it has will most likely determine the shape of your Bokeh. A 50 mm lens will have 5 blades and may make your Bokeh look more octagon. A 85 mm will have 7 - 9 blades and may give you a more rounded, circle Bokeh.
Light Source: Your subject should be place in front of your light source (Christmas Tree / Christmas Lights). But get creative and play with the position of your light source.
Now that you are armed with a little more arsenal than before, you can jump into the corral with your shooting lens. And have fun with the Christmas Card Showdown.