I love my Google calendar, but there is something about having a calendar hanging on the wall that I can’t give up. I have been putting together a photo calendar, but instead of pictures of Annie I’m using some of my still life shots. While I was flipping through my photos I remembered that a bajillion of you wanted to know how to make shaped bokeh after seeing my heart tree (bokeh refresher postΒ here). DIY Shaped Bokeh just for you, awwww.

tree heart bokeh

What you need:
A camera that has manual focus
Dark-colored card stock
Shaped Hole Punch
Rubber Band

trace the outline of your lens

On a sheet of card stock, trace the outline of your lens. Dark-colored card stock is best because it blocks the light, but white will work at night time.

Cut it out, with "wings"

Draw three “wings” that are approximately 1 inch long, then cut the whole thing out.

draw your desired shape

Draw whatever shape you want your bokeh to have. I went with a heart, because it’s easy and I am drawing challenged. OR you can use your shaped hole punch here. That’s 10,000,000% easier. I should get one. Anyway, make sure your shape is centered and small – no bigger than a dime. (Edit to add: the number one reason this tutorial doesn’t work for people is because the cut-out is too big.)

cut it out

If you don’t have the hole punch, cut out your shape. I used nail scissors because they were small and precise.

attach with rubber band

Place the paper over your lens, using the rubber band to hold the wings in place.

I put my camera on a tripod, then switched my lens to manual focus. I shot in Aperture Priority mode and set my f-stop to 1.8. The more out of focus the picture is, the bigger the shapes will be. The paper with the shape cut into it literally shapes how the light hits the sensor of your camera. It’s like magic.

Heart Bokeh

Ta da!

I am going to use the heart picture for my February photo.

paw bokeh

This one is for the dog days of summer, of course!

Any questions? Let me know!