Photography Cheat Sheet: Bokeh Tips for Festive Holiday Photos

With bokeh-licious snaps being a staple of the holiday season, today’s featured photography cheat sheet will especially come in handy!

With the holiday season afoot and Christmas just a few weeks away, we’re sure you’re looking forward to shooting some festive snaps. Bokeh-licious is the name of the game for the most wonderful time of the year. So, to add some to your festive snaps, we’re sharing a quick photography cheat sheet and some useful tips to up your bokeh game.

The quick guide below, by Digital Camera World, is a fitting addition to the cheat sheets you’ll find useful for the holidays. With all the bright and colorful lights adorning homes and streets this season, you’ll never run out of opportunities to shoot some fun and festive bokeh.

First, the camera settings. Choose the widest aperture setting of your lens – f1.8 or f1.4 would be best. This will let you achieve a shallow depth of field, which will render the points of lights in the out of focus area into gorgeous bokeh circles. By shooting in Aperture Priority mode, you’ll be able to shoot faster and better since the camera will set the shutter speed based on the aperture and ISO selected. Since you’ll definitely be shooting at night, ISO 800 will be just right to keep your shots bright.

Now, some additional tips. It’s best to have a subject or point of interest for these bokeh snaps. Whether it’s the quintessential cup of steaming hot cocoa, a family member in Christmas sweater, or your pet in front of the Christmas tree, make sure to position your subject further away from the lights in the background. You can also include fairy lights or candles in the background to add more bokeh to your shots. Lastly, for best results, turn off any harsh overhead lights.

You can even create some shaped bokeh to make things more creative and fitting for the season!

What if you simply want the bokeh and nothing in the foreground? Well, you can always switch the focus mode to Manual Focus and manually adjust the lens to get the bokeh you want.

Canon Asia also has a detailed guide for capturing bokeh that you might want to check out.

Want more photography tips and tricks like this? Don’t forget to check our collection of fun and useful photography cheat sheets!