“Bokeh” comes from the Japanese word “boke” (暈け or ボケ) which means blur or haze. The English word “bokeh” has to do with the aesthetics of out-of-focus points of light. Different types of lenses may render different qualities of bokeh, so if you own an SLR or DSLR, experiment! With this project, you can create an effect where the out-of-focus point-source lights in your pictures appear any shape you want.

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Project Steps

You need for this:

A ruler, knife, compass, scissors, and a camera with a 50mm lens.

Measure the diameter of the front of the lens where you’ll be able to place the circle of paper. Set your compass to draw circles of this size. If the diameter of the front of the lens is 50mm, set the compass to a 25mm radius.

Take a piece of black thick paper and make a circle.

Cut out the circle using scissors, but leave a tab hanging off of it that you can use as a handle.

Use your knife to cut out any shape you want in the paper. Try to make it fairly small and centered.

I chose an S, but you can do anything you desire. You could even do more complicated things.

Now put your circle on the lens, where the cover goes.

Set your camera to the lowest aperture setting, and start shooting.

Practice until you are happy with the results! :)