Day 46.365 – How to do Heart Shaped bokehs

Love Bokehs

I had never tried custom bokeh before. My house in front of my apartment is newly built and they had a house warming ceremony on 15th. I took this opportunity to experiment with these heart shaped bokehs. And they are super easy to do. I have been so hooked on to this, that I took several shots over next couple of days using the same bokeh paper.

Here’s how to do them

Also check out this resource, explained very well – here

You will need
A dark colored thick paper (like chart paper or any craft paper, need not be thick, use even a flimsy paper to give it a skewed focus and being creative)

Outline the lens using a pen or use lens filter as a guide. Cut out the paper into a circle. Now cut out a heart shape, fairly large in the centre of the paper. Loosely lay the paper over the lens filter (or directly on the lens) so that it doesn’t fall off. I noticed if the paper curves at the corners, it gives a lensbaby effect. You can see that in the pics below.

In the picture above, I focused on a string of lights with heart shaped bokeh paper on and manually focused so that the bokehs appeared blurry and the shaped were large enough. This was shot at 1.4F aperture on a 50mm lens.

In this picture below I manually blurred the bokeh till I got these slightly curved shapes at the edges. I guess the curve was because the paper was uneven and didn’t hug the lens. They were more like coming off the edge.

@ 1.4F – 50 MM


Experimenting with a cup of tea. I focused on the glass, using auto focus while the string lights were blurred in the background. These are the same lights as above but shot before sunset rather than at night.

@ 1.4F – 50 MM


Both the shots below were during sunrise. I slightly created a lensbaby effect by bulging out the bokeh paper on corner, so that the paper was rather convex to the lens. Use your own creativity. I suppose different kinds of paper will give different effects.

Notice the curving on the edges

@ 1.6F – 50 MM

@ 4F – 50 MM


An early morning shot, notice the heart shaped bokeh on the fence

@ 1.4F – 50 MM


This is also great to be creative in a food shot

Though it is hardly noticeable, the bokeh gave a subtle effect here

@ 2.8F – 50 MM


@ 2.8F – 50 MM


@ 1.8F – 50 MM


@ 1.6F – 50 MM


A complete creative shot, where I again blurred the whole image. The bokeh in foreground was nearly 5 feet away from the bokeh in the background

@ 1.4F – 50 MM


@ 1.4F – 50 MM


As you can see different apertures created different bokeh effects. The true heart shapes will be at largest aperture but feel free to experiment. I hope this post inspires you to try out these heart shaped bokehs.

Some of the shots from same day without bokeh cut outs

Day 46.365 - Bokehland










One thought on “Day 46.365 – How to do Heart Shaped bokehs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s