Three Ways to Get Bokeh in Camera

In the realm of photography, bokeh (shallow depth of field) is extremely popular amongst many. Creating a creamy out-of-focus background behind your subject helps forces the viewer to focus their attention on a particular area. So how do you get that creamy bokeh in camera?

In this video, Matti Haapoja of TravelFeels along with his brother Teppo demonstrate three different ways you can achieve that "creamy, creamy bokeh" (forewarning, Matti says that quite a bit in this video).

If you ask most people, they will tell you to get a fast lens to capture amazing bokeh in camera, but that's not the only way. This is, however, the first method the Haapoja brothers demonstrate, while the other two rely less on the aperture capability of your lens. Yes, it can be done in post but honestly it never really looks real as everything in the frame behind the subject is usually blurred with the same amount. The further away the object is, the blurrier it will be if captured in camera. Doing that manually in Photoshop will take an arbitrary amount of time. 

If you don't already have a fast lens, you can grab the nifty fifty for a relatively cheap price. I started off with the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens, which for the price, is an amazing lens and still carry it around with me as a backup.

Are there any other tips you have to help capture that "sweet, sweet bokeh"?

Log in or register to post comments


Michael Holst's picture

I had suspicions before watching.... to see if there was more than one thing that causes bokeh but nope. They're essentially just doing the same thing at different focal lengths.

For anyone who's interested in this topic you'd be better off learning about how aperture and focal length work together to find focus. It's just lens physics. Though bokeh for the sake of bokeh seems silly to me.

Aperture, focal length, distance - that's what they repeat (didn't watch the video after your comment).

Aleksey Eltsov's picture

Nothing mystical. Close to subject and far from background.

Leo Lesage's picture

Some people say that you get better bokeh with a lens larger than 50 mm, say 85 or 100 mm.

Better bokeh is quite subjective, shallow depth of field is objective.

Ansel Spear's picture

1 minute and 43 seconds of an 'aren't I wonderful' intro, leaving 2 minutes and 17 seconds for content. I didn't bother.

16mm Camera's picture

Does anyone on here really not know this? I felt this was fairly ummm entry level (no offence) but just curious if readers of these blogs don't know this already. This is photography 101 no?

Mark Holtze's picture

Pick up some vintage primes M42 lenses and you'll pay even less than that nifty fifty and get much better build quality ;). My Pentax Takumar 50 1.4 is sharp and's become one of my favourite lenses. ONE of them. (i have many favourite lenses)