Have you ever wondered how some images create an almost magical dreamy like background of softness? Well, us photographers call that bokeh – posh word for background blur. You’ll notice this in portraits where the subject is sharp but the background is blurred. It helps create depth to images and adds a little je ne sais quoi to the final finished image. But it can apply to nature shots, street photography, product shots – there really is an application in most situations. Typically, you need a lens which will go to a wide aperture like 2.8 and most kit lenses on camera’s do not. However, one of the best and cheapest lenses around is the trusty nifty fifty, the 50mm fixed lens which if you opt for the base model is 1.8 aperture at it’s widest. This will help you achieve the bokeh look and not break the bank.

The TMK ladies are sharing their favourite images this week featuring the use of bokeh and we’d love for you to join in by sharing yours. So without further ado, here we go.


This was shot in a food market at night. I loved the glowing charcoal which came for our food to be cooked on and focussed on the coals to achieve the bokeh to the background.

charcoal bbq fire


Make sure your subject is as far away from the background as possible and then switch your camera to macro (the flower picture) if you have a point and shoot camera and you may get a similar effect!



This is my lovely friend, Thea. I think people think you need to take bokeh shots at night with lights. You can easily use natural light as well. The light streamed through the trees, but as I had my lense on 81mm with an f stop of 4, I managed to get her gorgeous face with the bokeh behind her.
bokeh shot, how to take booked


Bubbles and children are normally a combination that cannot go wrong, if the sun is out then that certainly helps!



I love taking pictures of the kids just messing around. I tend to shoot ‘wide open’ (on a very low aperture – usually around 2.8) more than I should, but it’s a great way of picking the subject out from the background and getting that lovely background bokeh. But this shot is a little different. I focused on Grace in the background to make sure her sparkler had the pretty bokeh instead. Focusing behind your subject is really effective when you want to bring out the sparkle!

Sparkle (41 of 8)


This IOTW combines two of my very favourite things bokeh and wine. Shot at  a wedding breakfast this week the delicate hue of the wine is complimented by the softness of the background. The shallow depth of field creates gentle circles of light on all the background highlights and adds “feel” to the image. Shot at 1/160, f 3.2 ISO 1250 at 70 mm on the wedding workhorse Canon 24 – 70 mm lens. The wine? Simply because it’s Friday! Slainte!

Bokeh, photography tips, wine

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