Last year, I came across this amazing bokeh tutorial by Amanda of kevinandamanda.com. I'd always wondered how photographers created this incredible effect...but at the time, I didn't have 1) a 50mm f/1.8 lens 2) a DSLR camera. This year, I'm lucky enough to have both, so I decided to have a go at creating my own custom bokeh before my Christmas tree came down.
I almost exactly followed Amanda's instructions to create this effect. I would, however, recommend using the 'manual focus' setting on your lens if you have one...focusing on a particular object and then moving it at the last minute was pretty challenging (and I had a lot of botched photos). If you do alter the setting, just make sure that you very gently push your custom hood over the lens after you have manually adjusted the focus...I found that even the lightest touch could reset it and lose the overall effect.
Of the four punches I used, I think the stars were my favourite. I'm looking forward to trying this again next year with some different punches (maybe some more Martha Stewart ones?) and perhaps even my Slice (although that might be a bit ambitious). I loved how pretty the multi-coloured fairy lights looked, but I'm excited to try it with white lights next year...I think they look so very romantic. And a little less '80s disco.
Amanda also suggested using a tripod or resting your camera on a flat surface for this kind of photography, but I snapped away by hand without too much camera shake. And the best part of this tutorial? As a scrapbooker, you can pretty much use everything that you already have in your supplies!
Let me know if you're a bokeh fan, too...
Have a wonderful start to the week :)