Seven Ways to Get That Sweet, Buttery Bokeh in Your Photos

Let's be really honest for a second here: almost all of us love a shot with some really good bokeh in it. This quick and helpful video will tell you everything you need to know about getting those buttery smooth backgrounds.

Coming to you from David Flores with B&H Photo and Video, this helpful video will show you everything you need to know to get shots with those creamy out-of-focus backgrounds that so many photographers love. While it's true that top-shelf wide aperture lenses can cost quite a pretty penny, one of the best lenses every beginner should invest in, a nifty fifty, is both cheap and has that nice f/1.8 aperture that will allow you to experiment with shallow depth of field and the different ways you can create it and use it to your compositional advantage. On the other hand, however, it's easy to become a bit too reliant on just blasting every background into oblivion with a shallow depth of field (and a lot of photographers do); try to make sure that it doesn't become your only method of taking portraits, but rather use it to your advantage when it suits your creative vision. 

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6 Comments

Mark Holtze's picture

Actually, vintage lenses....$50 gets you a 50 1.4, you can get a whole set of fast primes for less than the cost of one modern prime. Love me my modern options, but adapted legacy lenses is HUGE value for money. Especially on the Instagram front where many new up and comers aren't heavily invested in gear, but want lots of options in terms of their compositions.

PS: Love how he used the set of FD primes as a visual nod to this :)

Joe Van Wyk's picture

Such a good point. I have been testing out some vintage primes on my a7RII and vlogging about them. Please have a look if you get a chance, Mark. :-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtQchAWSyXQ

Mark Holtze's picture

I'm in! Ya I've been covering them pretty heavily as well on my channel as a means to give more cost effective options for those starting out or those who simply don't want to drop $1500 on a prime lens.

Mirrorless has really brought them back to the forefront, now with Nikon and Canon their native Nikkor and Canon FD lenses should be working without a glass element getting in the way.

Tested out a FD Canon 50mm 1.2 L series that took my breath away at a vintage camera event.

I'll read this as soon as I get back from the bakery. You had me at "sweet, buttery..."

By buying very wide aperture, very expensive lenses. 😏

Przemek Lodej's picture

Just get a Helios 40-2 85mm f/1.5 and you'll be happy not only with the bokeh but with the price as well.