Capturing Great Autumn Bokeh

One especially excellent way to capture fall in all of its splendor is by looking to incorporate bokehinto some of your images. Bokeh is a Japanese word that translates into “blur,” and among photographers, it refers to the way the lens renders out-of-focus areas in the background or foreground as orb-shaped spheres of light. Looking to incorporate bokeh into your compositions can make for some striking images, especially during the fall, when the world is awash in color. If you’re hoping to capture the vibrant colors of autumn, consider heading out to a place where the changing foliage is in full swing. The sunlight filtering through the leaves makes a great opportunity for capturing bokeh, allowing you to create some classic autumn bokeh images. Heading out just after the rain can make for some striking images. Since the leaves will be damp they’ll be more vibrant and the colors more saturated than they would otherwise be.

In most images, bokeh features in the background, but you can capture beautiful foreground bokeh as well. Both foreground and background bokeh are similar in that if you focus on the subject, and there’s a distant element in the background, that element will be out of focus. Similarly, if you have an element that’s close to your lens, and it’s out of focus, you can capture some great foreground bokeh as well. For great foreground bokeh, you’ll want to pay attention to the light and look for elements of light. Autumn light filtering through some leaves, translucent flowers or stalks of grass, or drops of dew clinging to a spider web can present great opportunities for beautiful foreground bokeh.

If you have a fast lens, by all means use it, but if you don’t have one – don’t worry. You can still capture some great bokeh. Just increase the distance between your subject and the background, or zoom in closer to your subject to separate them from the background, resulting in more blur – and better bokeh. Keep in mind that the farther your subject is from the background, the more creamy and blurred the background will be. Bokeh can enhance almost any type of imagery. While the most common shots of autumn bokeh feature leaves or foliage, you can capture bokeh in a range of different situations. Consider photographing city lights after dark, or heading to a farmers’ market to capture the good that are on display. Aim to capture bokeh in the background of your autumn portraits, or get up close to an insect, an acorn, or seeds for some beautiful macro shots. There’s no shortage of opportunities for bokeh in the fall, so keep your eyes open! Any time you see some beautiful light reflecting off of something in the background or foreground, you know you have a great chance to capture bokeh.