Adding bokeh to the background is one of the sure-fire ways to make portraits extra interesting. It may not be easily available in your shooting locations. But there’s actually an easy way to create the effect right in your backyard! All you need is a couple of flashes, an old pop-up background and a hosepipe.
In the video above by Adorama, Gavin Hoey shares his DIY setup for a portrait session with a gorgeous bokeh background. He begins with a rundown of the gear and tools he prepared for the shoot. A black or dark background is essential for this technique. But if your backyard doesn’t have one, maybe you have a good sized backdrop like the one Hoey used. Then, he shows the nifty compression effect that a long, telephoto lens produces to make the background appear much bigger. With that all set, next is setting up the flashes and making sure they’re protected from water splashes and sprinkles later.
Once you’re ready with the exposure settings on your camera and flashes, it’s time to turn on the tap and spray some water in the air behind your model. The water droplets will catch the light in the background and transform into beautiful bokeh!
This simple yet very effective setup works great for shooting whatever time of the day. Try experimenting with different props or even colored lights to create extra interesting bokeh!
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