I have seen pictures with shaped bokeh in the out of focus background on Flickr and thought it was interesting. The weather outside has been extremely cold this time of year and the Christmas lights are all around. I thought I would finally give this “Do it Yourself” project a try as the conditions are perfect.
The results are the above image and some of the images I have included below. Total time it took me to make the necessary lens hood was about 15 minutes.
From my research on the internet you need to use a “fast” lens. So, I used my 50mm 1.8 lens for this project.
All I used was one sheet of black poster board ($1.49), some black construction paper ($3.49 for 50 sheets) and a whole lot of scotch tape. I needed scissors and an exacto knife.
It's not the prettiest as you can see but it works pretty well.
If you want to try this simple but fun project just Google “custom shaped bokeh.”. I found a useful YouTube video to help me with the making of the hood. The only items I couldn't find was how to make some of the shapes for the bokeh. That was pretty much trial and error with scissors and the exacto knife.
The final step is playing with the shapes and lighting. The shots shown here are all from my first day of shooting.
You need to have your camera set to Aperture Priority and use your fastest f- stop. (mine being 1.8) I found that using my external flash with a soft box mounted on it gave me the best results when shooting indoor shots. The shot below with the cat and candy cane shapes was with no flash.
If you decide to try this have fun!