Bokeh is the Japanese word for “blur”. A bokeh in the picture denotes to its blur area. Here are few examples:
Here, the leaf focused on the foreground rendering the light sources (gap between the brances and leaves) blurred. Because the shot was taken with a small aperture lens ( f/2.8 ), we get a shallow Depth of Field (DoF) which means only the leaf will be in focus. Also notice the shape of the blur. (Somewhat octagon in shape)
The interesting thing about this shape is it can be changed as per our need. The blur shape of the photo is due to the octagon opening of the diaphragm of the lens. If we can override this opening with some shapes of our desire, we can get create the bokeh of that shape. Here is an example:
I shot this picture of Banepa lights by overriding the aperture of a lens with large diaphragm opening ( 50mm f/1.8 ). And how do we do this? We cannot open up the lens and replace the diaphragm with something that is heart shaped. Here is the idea:
- Take an opaque paper and cut it in a circle such that it fits at the place where the lens cap goes.
- At the center of the circle (make it as much aligned to the center as you can), cut out the shape with which you would like to override the diaphragm with.
- Now insert the paper at the front of your lens; that is, at the place where the lens cap would go.
- Fix the lens on your camera body, and start taking pictures such that distant light sources are not in focus; deliberately blur them.
And yes bokeh can be used to shoot videos and get amazing results:
and its making-of: