How to Create Stunning BOKEH Effects

If you clicked on this article, I’m assuming that you already know what bokeh is, but if not, here’s a quick explanation:

Bokeh is the out of focus area of a photo. Simple, right?

There are many facets to bokeh, however.

On the one hand, there is such a thing as good and bad bokeh.

On the other hand, several factors influence how bokeh looks, including the aperture and the focal length of the lens and the distance between you and your subject.

What’s more, bokeh can be used as a creative tool to add dimension to your shots while also helping you mask unwanted features in the background.

See how bokeh is much more than the blurry part of the photo?

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create incredible bokeh effects that will enhance the portraits you take.

Editor’s Tip:¬†You can create bokeh with any lens, but for the best quality bokeh, consider a prime lens – something like a 50mm or 85mm – with a large aperture like f/1.2 or f/1.4. Either of these lenses are ideal for portraits anyway, and with beautiful bokeh, the portraits you take will be that much more impressive. You can find great deals on pre-owned lenses at¬†

Getting the right lens is the first step in creating gorgeous bokeh in your portraits.

When shopping for a lens, there are a couple of things you need to bear in mind, both of which I outline in detail below.

One of the primary factors that influence bokeh is the depth of field. And one of the principal factors that determine the depth of field is the aperture that’s used.

The larger the aperture, the shallower the depth of field. So, when shooting at f/2, you have a shallower depth of field than if you shoot from the very same spot using an aperture of f/22.

That makes lenses with wide maximum apertures advantageous for creating bokeh-filled backgrounds.

An f/1.2 lens would create the shallowest depth of field, and therefore the best bokeh, as seen in the image above. However, those lenses can be pricey.

For something that’s a little easier on the pocketbook, try finding a lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.4, f/1.8, or f/2.