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Bokeh is the aesthetic quality of the blur, in the out-of-focus areas of an image. You can easily get this spectacular background blur in your photos using a fast prime or macro lens (basically ones with an aperture of f/2.8 or greater), and a technique involving what Laya Gerlock called: the El Bokeh Wall (originally appeared on DIY Photography here).
In my opinion, the El Bokeh wall is very effective at creating eye-popping bokeh, which can help make your picture more interesting and unique in its own right. However, keeping in mind the potential it has, it doesn’t seem to be used often enough. It is very simple though, you can do it without any special equipment, using things you will probably be able to find lying around at home.
(NOTE: Several demonstrations of this technique use a speed-light. For those without such equipment, don’t worry, there IS a very good alternative which this tutorial will tell you about!)
You’ll be surprised at how simple it really is:
Step one: Get enough aluminium foil to sufficiently cover your background. NOTE: using a wide roll will give you the advantage of having more background area to work with when framing your shot.
Step two: Crumple the aluminium foil into a loose ball (as shown below).
Step three: Open up the ball, without smoothing out the crinkles too much (these irregularities in the surface will reflect the light, which will create the bokeh) – be careful not to tear the foil in this step.
Step four: Attach the foil to a piece of foam or cardboard to create the background (you may use some transparent tape or spray glue to do this).
Without the use of a speedlight!
You should now have a great picture with marvellous bokeh like this:
Give it a try and please leave your comments below.