You’ve heard people throw the term around in a blasé way, chances are you’ve even delved into the ongoing debate about how to pronounce it, but have you ever thought about how to master these elusive little discs of photography wizardry? Learn how to slay bokeh with us in this step by step guide using the new Neptune Convertible Art Lens System.
Step 1 — Shoot with a Large Aperture
The Neptune Convertible Art Lens System is made up of three front lens components and each lens has its optimal maximum aperture — f/3.5 for Thalassa, f/2.8 for Despina and f/4.0 for Proteus. To get the perfect hazy hues you need to select a wide aperture (small f/number) to decrease the depth of field (the area that appears sharp relative to the background) and increase out of focus drop-off from your in-focus subject.
Step 2 — Check Your Distance
The closer you stand to your subject, the blurrier the background will become. Each of the three handcrafted lenses in the Neptune System have closest focusing distances of 0.25m/9.8” (35mm), 0.4m/15.7” (50mm), and 0.8m/31.5” (80mm) meaning that you can melt away the background. Decreasing the distance between your DSLR and your subject and you’re one step closer to getting beautiful beads of bokeh.
Step 3 — Beautify Your Backdrop
If you’re shooting in the daytime, create silky soft focus backdrops out of busy backgrounds, look for floral, mosaic, leafy or urban scenes. And remember, the more going on in your background, the trippier the bokeh texture will be! Look for highly reflective light sources or large expanses of sunlight glowing on water. If you’re shooting at nighttime, point straight into the light and watch your frame transform with pepperings of intricate neon orbs.
Step 4 — Fashion Your Foreground
It’s not all about the background, foregrounds can be just as stunning. Place your subject further back and experiment with blurred pastelly details right up close.
Step 5 — Pick the Perfect Plate
Neptune comes with special drop-in aperture plates meaning that not only will your frame be exceptionally sharp with strong, saturated colors, but it will also be scattered with all sorts unique bokeh shapes.