I haven’t tried this, so I hope I’m not being hoodwinked. This article on DIYPhotography shows how to cut out a sort of lens gobo to shape high contrast parts of an out-of-focus photograph.
Bonus points for the first person to build a “MAKE:” bokeh one letter at a time and post the results on the MAKE Flickr pool!
Speaking of which, this example came from the MAKE Flickr pool:


via Digg

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works at Disney Research and writes for Make and Boing Boing. He is training for American Ninja Warrior. You can find him at and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.

  • Stephen Gentle

    A long time ago I tried this, and while I could never get it to work well with my lens (massive vignetting) you could definitely see the effect – it’s pretty nifty.

  • anachrocomputer

    The effect will depend on a number of factors, such as lens focal length, max f-stop, taking f-stop and distance from lens to mask. So, results will vary, but worth experimenting with!

  • Lee

    If you use Cokin filters, then you can just make one out of a piece of thin card – I’ve had some great results with a 50mm prime.