Bokeh, the beautiful discs of color and light in the background
of a photo really adds SPARKLE to a portrait.
To learn how to create bokeh using your aperture
When shooting portraits, I often use a wide aperture
between f/1.4 and f/3.2 to create lovely bokeh.
The depth of field (How deep the range of focus in front and back of my focus point.),
is so narrow in the photo above, even her shirt is blurred.
In other words, the depth-of-field was so narrow...her shirt
which is within inches of the same plane as her face is not in focus.
I shot this next photo with my aperture wide open at f/1.4 on my 50mm lens.
This creates a pretty, dreamy look.
The sliver of focus with an f/1.4 aperture works
because the subject's face is straight at the camera...
thus the facial features are on the same plane of focus.
I also shot at f/1.4 in this next photo, but the subject's face is at
a slight angle. This meant the eye on the left is a bit further from the
focus point and with the very narrow depth-of-field, that eye is slightly
out of focus.
So, if you're shooting at such a wide aperture, make sure your
subject's face is straight at the camera or you will get facial blur.
Or, close down the aperture a bit to f/2.8 or f/3.5 to get a deeper depth
of field and thus a focused face when it's at an angle.
When taking portraits, look for light sources in the background.
That's why I love to backlight!
In this next case, the light source is the water with
lots of glittery light reflections.
Distance from the camera to the subject also determines depth of field.
The further away the subject, the more depth of field and thus less bokeh.
If you are shooting wide and not seeing much bokeh,
move your subject further away from the background.
Even winter, with no leaves on the tree, can be a wonderful time
for bokeh. Just make sure there is light in the background!
The glints of light off snow also creates bokeh!
Create some DAZZLE in your portraits by capturing BOKEH!