How to Get a Bokeh Effect on your Photos

Do you know what bokeh is? Bokeh is actually those eye catching soft circular patterns of light within the out-of-focus area of a photo.A small girl is standing outdoors. Lights on the backgound are blurred

Wondering how to achieve the soft bokeh effect? In this how-to we’re going to explain how you can get great bokeh shots yourself.

  • First of all, you are more likely to produce nice bokeh if you use a DSLR camera rather than an automated point-and-shoot camera.
  • Larger aperture works best, so set your camera to aperture priority mode (usually denoted as ‘A’ or ‘Av’ mode on your camera) and use a low f-number. Depending on the capabilities of your camera and the lens you are using, it can be anything from f1.4 up to f4 or even f5.6, but the lower the better.  Large aperture will ensure that you have a shallow depth of field.

  • It is best to use a fixed focal length lens like the 50mm f1.8 or the 35mm f1.4 for this project. If you’re using a zoom lens, extend it to the longest focal length.

  • Have the subject you are focusing on as close to the lens as possible. And, vice versa, get as much distance as possible between your foreground subject and the lights in the background (that will make the bokeh effect). Ensure that the background is well lit.

  • If you don’t have a subject you will be focusing on, you can create the bokeh effect with the lights only. In this case, you will need to manually focus your camera. Glowing lights like street lamps at night or Christmas lights would work best.

Once you’ve mastered all the technical stuff, you can start using bokeh in your everyday photographic work. So now it’s your turn! Get inspired by the photos on the Internet and create your own bokeh shots!

PS BTW, there is another alternative for those who wish to add bokeh effect to their photos easily without using a DSLR camera. Shhh!… Don’t tell anybody, but we have a few bokeh effects at that can be added to your pictures in the flicker of a second! To easily add bokeh effect to your photo:

1.  Go to and scroll down to find a section with Background Effects:

2. Choose an effect with bokeh: or

3. Upload your photo and… voila! Get a stylish bokeh shot that looks both natural and professional!

Here is the source photo that we used (no bokeh at all):

And here are the results. Wonderful bokeh effect!


6 thoughts on “How to Get a Bokeh Effect on your Photos”

Comments are closed.