christmas tree bokeh

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is spending some time with loved ones celebrating this special time of year (and eating some delicious food).

Since it’s Christmas Eve I thought I’d show you an incredibly simple way to get a fun, blurred (“bokeh”) photograph of your Christmas tree. You’ll need a dSLR or other camera that has a manual focus option, but that’s about it. Turn off all the lights in the room except your Christmas tree lights (if your room has a large window, you’ll want to wait until the sun is down). Next, figure out how to switch your camera from auto focus to manual focus – it will most likely be a small switch that’s actually on your lens which can toggle between AF (auto focus) and M (manual). Leave your camera on auto mode, but flip the switch to manual focus. Find the focus ring on your lens (it’s usually just a little further down the lens than the ring that allows you to zoom in and out) and start turning the focus ring one way and then the other, looking through the viewfinder to see what happens to your photo. Start taking pictures, turning the focus ring a little farther with each shot, to get a range of out of focus photos, like these ones:

As you get more out of focus, the lights on the tree will become larger and more blurry, creating a cool dotted effect. The first photo above is only a little out of focus, so you can still see some of the details in the background of the photo, while the third photo is very out of focus, making the lights the only thing you can still see.

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