What is the Bokeh Effect and How to Capture it Right

Bokeh photography. A very famous type of photography that is usually done using the ‘DSLR’ cameras, which capture the bokeh effect excellently. I have a friend who is a photographer and she loves taking pictures with her DSLR, and has clicked a number of Bokeh pictures. The first time I saw those, I was so fascinated and always wanted to try it, but I did not own a DSLR. Let’s learn what exactly Bokeh is and how you could become a bokeh photographer (practice makes anyone perfect in my opinion).

What is Bokeh Photography

Bokeh almost sounds like the word bouquet, but obviously does not mean anything similar to this word. The word Bokeh has its roots attached to the Japanese word ‘boke’, which stands for ‘blur’. As you might have seen a number of Bokeh pictures, where the object which is in focus is the only thing clear in the picture, while the things in the surrounding are blur. This effect mostly depends on the kind of camera that you are using, or the kind of phone you are using.

Bokeh Photography looks amazing.

Do You Need a DSLR to do Bokeh Photography

Not necessarily. You can use a smart phone to click some really cool bokeh pictures. Yes, you can capture an amazing bokeh with your smart phone as well, but depends which phone you are using. Other than that, many of the new phones that are being launched these days have really good quality cameras, which can be used for Bokeh photography.

However, yes, the quality of no matter how good your smart phones camera is, can never be matched to the quality of a shot taken by a very good DSLR. I have seen the difference myself and I love how the DSLR works. I have also seen a few bokeh shots taken from the phone, which are not pretty bad as well. But then, it all depends on what exactly is the purpose of the picture that you are clicking. If it is for personal use, you probably won’t be too finicky about the quality of the bokeh as long as it is clear and looking great.

The Blur effect in the background and the leaves staying in focus is the bokeh effect.This makes the leaves in the front of the picture look focused and clear.

But if the bokeh photography is being done for professional use, then you have to be very sure and picky about which camera you would use, whether you would be using a smart phone or a DSLR.

How to Click a Bokeh

While the name sounds all fancy, it is not as difficult as it sounds. It is just like math, only much easier than math (your shot is going to be very calculative). Follow the steps as mentioned below to make your ‘BOKEH’ life easier:

  1. Set the objects in different levels. By different levels, I mean, do not keep the objects perfectly aligned. At least that is how I like my bokeh photography. When things around the main subject are placed somewhere  around it in different levels, it makes the bokeh a bit more interesting.
  2. Now, use your DSLR or your smart phones camera, and focus your camera to the subject, that is being promoted in the image, or is the main idea that you want to highlight in the image.
  3. You will notice the background, or the objects around the subject becoming blurry as you focus on the subject in this photography.
  4. Now without moving even an inch, click a picture. You must be very still when taking such photography, because as you move even a tiny bit, the focus point shifts, making your bokeh image into an entirely blurry or disturbed image.

Habiba Rehman


Major love for reading, but writing is what keeps me going. Dream to publish my own novels someday.
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