Bokeh The Conflict Between Light and Dark


The word Bokeh comes from the Japanese word Boke and it simply means blur. The images below were produced by photographing fairy lights and ensuring that they were deliberately out of focus. The images below are a mixture of actual photographs and digital manipulation.

Using a GoBo Stencil

A black gobo style heart-shaped stencil was placed over a 50mm f1.8 prime lens. Some coloured gel/acetate was place in front of a set of fairy lights and a photograph taken. Amazingly the fairy lights turn into hearts. The image was then taken into Adobe Photoshop and copied multiple times and then layered one on top of the other.

Heart Shaped Lights

A Golden Glow

The image below was taken by photographing some plain coloured fairy lights and then photomanipulated to fragment the image. A cracked effect filter was also added.

Golden Orbs

Orbs and Layers

The image below was created by mixing layers in Photoshop and varying the opacity of each layer. The original image was formed using parts of the image above.

Working with Layers

Tiny Hearts

This image was made from a number of layers in Photoshop, the little lights are heart-shaped due to the stencil placed over the lens.


Layers and Inverts

An inverted image can sometimes yield interesting colours and patterns. The image below was a combination of inverted layers.

Layers and Inverts

A Gentle Light Leak

The layered image below has the addition of a light leak effect filter. The original image consisted of hear-shaped lights, created with a stencil.

Gentle Light Leaks

A Stronger Light Leak Effect

A strong Light Leak filter helped to create the image below. The heart shaped lights were as a result of the heart shaped gobo placed over the lens. A wider aperture helps to produce even better light orbs from the fairy lights.

Light Leaks

The Liquify Tool

Photoshop has an amazing tool called ‘Liquify’. The image below was a Bokeh style photograph of fairy lights. The image was then manipulated with the Photoshop ‘Liquify’ tool, to reveal a play of lights and darks.

Lights and Liquify

Vibrant Colours

A collage of six of the Bokeh images

Video and Digital Manipulation

Now that the images are created the 'sky's the limit' it's possible to try out a variety of different creative techniques. Below is a short video, showing how the creative process can be refined, changed, reused and recycled into different media.

All Images by Karyn Easton of Secret Shutter Photography

Website: www.secretshutter.co.uk

Email: smile@secretshutter.co.uk

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Created By
Karyn Easton www.secretshutter.co.uk

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