DIY Bokeh or “how to make pretty stars”

Everyone has seen pictures like this with points of light in the background. The technique where shallow depth of field allows you to throw everything but the subject out of focus is known as Bokeh.  What I’ve always noticed is the way points of light look in the out of focus area.   I also learned that you can shape them, and when I finally got around to it I made my own:


For more info on how it works and all the nerdly stuff, hit the jump.

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  • Aperture: ƒ/1.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT
  • Focal length: 50mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 6s

Gorilla Points The Way

Gorilla Points The Way

This year, all the presents were photo-based. When I talked to my sister, she wanted something to decorate the baby nook. I was thinking animals and simple for the baby and artsy and somewhat interesting for them. This is what I came up with. The second of the two is after the jump and there are a few more that I think would make an even nicer set if I had time to match the background colors. I took the Gorilla about 3 hours earlier than the Elephant and the sun going down really changed the colors. To make them go together I color-matched the background on the Elephant. Seemed to work pretty well on a plain blue sky.

Here’s the other one I sent along with the Gorilla. I think they make a nice set together with both arrows pointed out. As I said there are two more, but I don’t know what to do with the arrow pattern after two, so I figured I’d quit while I was ahead.

  • ApertureValue: f/7.1
  • DateTimeOriginal: 2008:12:16 13:41:47
  • ExposureTime: 1/500 sec
  • Flash: No Flash
  • FocalLength: 100 mm
  • ISOSpeedRatings: 200
  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT
  • Focal length: 100mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/8s