I wanted to make some fun holiday photos this year and decided that I’d try making some shaped bokeh. I’ve tried out some plan bokeh shapes previously, and figured stars could be a bit of fun this time around. This is also pretty easy to achieve as well.
To get this effect, you need to make a filter for the camera lens. I used black cardboard, traced around the lens filter and cut it out, then used a star shaped punch to punch the shape in the middle. You could also hand cut a small shape as well. Smaller is better though, so I’d go for less than a centimeter. Any shape should work, I’ve seen hearts and snowflakes and even words! Then I just used a touch of washi tape to stick it to the lens.
To take the photo, you need to use the widest aperture possible (I used f1.4 on my 50mm lens). The lower the f-stop, the better the blur! You need some distance between the subject and the light source to take the photo, so I stood about 6 metres from my tree for the photos, and then focused on my hand about a metre in front of the camera, pulling my hand away just before snapping the picture. I’ve also tried this with my point and shoot, and although it doesn’t work as well, I could still get the effect. This works with lights on or off, as well!
And I found a way to cheat and not have to focus on my hand…. I just set the lens to manual focus, and put it out of focus for the tree!