DIY: Create cool effects by making a free Bokeh lens cover


Today we are going to be making a custom Bokeh effect that pretty much costs nothing. Bokeh is a Japanese word which basically means blurred – so the term has a very broad meaning in photography. It could mean having only one focal point in focus or the entire image out of focus.

To make the effect cool we can make different shapes in the blurred area of the picture rather than just having flat blurriness.  This is done by making a custom lens hood.

To make we need:

  1. A lens with a large aperture . (anything F2.8 or below should be OK.)
  2. Some dark coloured paper
  3. Tape
  4. Scissors

Ok, the first thing that we need to do is cut out a sleeve which will hold the cover onto the lens:

DIY Bokeh effect lens cover

Now we need to cut a circle out that will fit. Next you need to decide what shape you want to create, mine is not perfect as i made it on the fly but, you can go to town on the shape ( Some people use a laser cutter to get really intricate shapes). Just remember to not to go much wider than 1.5 cm at any point( recommendation with a 50mm F.18 len).

Cut out for Bokeh effect


Here it what you get once everything is taped together: Costs nothing and it looks like it cost nothing too! The effects that you can create are rather surprising though.

Finished DIY Bokeh lens hood made from card


Here is a test shot that i took with the above to give you an idea of what it does:



A good way to get it to work as desired is to get a lot of ambient light pointing toward the lens. The lens should be completely out of focus too unless you have an object that you want to put in the foreground of course.

Any questions? ask below.



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