I love me some Christmas light bokeh! Here’s a little tutorial for you all!
To achieve the best bokeh you will need a prime lens (lens that doesn’t zoom in and out) and you’ll need to shoot on manual. I chose to take my pictures at a time of day where I get some natural light, but not a whole lot. I didn’t want to use flash or have our overhead lights on, but still wanted the Christmas lights to shine bright.
You will need to shoot as wide open as your lens allows (smallest f stop). I shot these images at F 1.2 and on a fairly low shutter speed. With wiggly kids you’ll need to take several shots to ensure you get one in focus.
The other key to getting bokeh is that you need to separate your subject from the background. In the first image Brayden was right next to the tree. You can see I don’t get much bokeh.
*** All images shot with Canon 5D Mark II, 50 1.2
F 1.2, 1/80, ISO 1000
Please excuse that there are no presents under the tree. Little Kennedy would just tear them all open if she had the chance.
When I moved him about 4 feet closer to me you start to get a little more bokeh.
And at about 8 feet in front of the tree I really get that bokeh!
Merry Christmas Eve!