Bokeh fun.

Christmas <span class=
Christmas Hearts

Hi hi. Kurt and I just bought a new lens for our camera. Hooray for that! We attempted to experiment with bokeh by rigging up a little DIY lens hood fashioned out of black card stock and masking tape. That's all it took to turn our twinkling Christmas lights into those tiny hearts dancing around my head. Cute, you think?

This photo was our first attempt before the camera batteries called it quits. Fuzzy, I know, but I kinda like it like that. We'll try again soon, you'll see.

A DIY bokeh lens hood.

From Wikipedia: In photography, bokeh is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image, or "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light."

How to do it:
You will need a digital SLR camera with a lens with a large aperture. We used a Canon 10D with a 50 mm 1.8 lens. Also, you'll need a sheet of heavy black paper or card stock, scissors or a craft punch and tape (preferably clear or black).

  1. Trace the diameter of your lens onto black paper. Cut around the edge of the circle, ensuring enough room to allow the hood to fit snugly over your lens.
  2. In the center of the black circle, carefully cut out a small shape, about 15 mm wide. You could also use a fancy craft punch.
  3. Cut a 1" wide rectangular strip of black paper long enough to wrap around the outside of the circle. Form the lip of the lens hood by taping the strip around the outside edge of the circle, like pictured above.
  4. Take your picture at the lowest aperture setting.

Learn more about it, here.


  1. that picture is awesome!! I love it!! I have totallyed starred this in my google reader.

  2. I bet you and Kev could come up with something totally awesome. You should do it!

  3. this is amazing! i've been meaning to try it..

  4. ahhh! ok so i've tried this like 5 times tonight to no avail. do you have any tips? what aperture did you shoot yours at?

  5. Celeste. The aperture needs to be as low as possible. We had it at 1.8. Our old lens only went down to 4 and it wouldn't work for us.

  6. I think that is considered low. High? You get it right?

  7. Celeste, I read that it works at 1.8 or 2.8, depending on your lens but 1.8 will work better. You want a long focal length. Also, it might now work if the hole in your lens hood is too big, so if your aperture is 2.8, maybe make your hole smaller and see how that works. There is some good trouble shooting in the comments section here: http://www.diyphotography.net/diy_create_your_own_bokeh. let us know if you get it! I wanna see your pictures.

  8. oh wow thanks so much for your responses! unfortunately my aperture only goes as low as 4 so i think i need to get another lens to try this :( but i'm planning on getting a new lens soon so once i do i'll be sure to show you the photos- and i hope you take more soon! yours are so lovely :)

  9. this is absolutely amazing! i'm in love with this idea and i'll definitely be trying it out! :)
    new following !!!

  10. Can this be done with a regular camera, like a canon powershot?



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