How to Create Bokeh Effects with a DSLR Camera

Want to master that trendy bokeh look in your photos? Check out this DSLR trick!

Bokeh is a great way to experiment with the aesthetic quality of a blur in your photos. You'll need an aperture lens set to aperture priority, and then to the lowest aperture possible. Cover your lens with the desired shape, and play with the focus to create the desired effect.

For more fun photo illusions, check out the Skillshare class Photo Illusions: Creating Mind-Bending Photographs with New York-based photographer Kevin Lu.


Materials Needed

  • Wide aperture lens
  • Black construction paper
  • Craft knife
  • DSLR camera


1. Trace your lens on black construction paper (0:07-0:10)
2. Trim the paper to fit the lens (0:11-0:15)
3. Draw any shape (heart, circle, star, you name it!)  you want your bokeh design to be and cut it out (0:16-0:25)
4. Fit the paper in your lens (0:26-0:29)
5. Change the settings on your DSLR to Aperture Priority and set to maximum aperture (0:30-0:35)
6. Start shooting!