Bokeh: How to get shallow depth of field, no matter what kind of camera you have

Bokeh is easy!

Most people think you need fast glass and full frame sensor cameras to get bokeh. But they’re wrong. You can create bokeh with practically any camera if you know the basics of what controls depth of field.

What is bokeh?

Bokeh is Japanese for blur. But we tend to think of bokeh more as those coloured soft blobs of light like you see in the above photo.

How to create bokeh in your photos

If you understand how to control depth of field, creating bokeh in your photos is super easy.

You can easily get good bokeh from APS C  and smaller sensors and the lenses that you find on the entry level dSLR cameras and also mirrorless cameras like the Panasonic Lumix GH3.

Bokeh is controlled by three different optical factors.

Watch the video for examples and learn how aperture, focal length and proximity to your subject affect the bokeh in your photos.

bokeh is easy


Choose a wide open aperture like f2.8 to get shallow depth of field

Focal length

Choose a long focal length like 100mm or more to get shallow depth of field

Proximity to your foreground subject

Get close and focus on your subject to make the background go out of focus.

Last tip

Try changing your focus point so that you can have both foreground and background bokeh, like in the vertical photo here.

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