Our Christmas Tree: Bokeh Style

I’ve been playing around with my camera that I’ve had now for 2.5 years and am finally learning it! And boy am I excited. I first learned of “bokeh” last year shortly after Christmas, once all of our lights were down. Bummer. So I’ve been anxiously waiting for our tree to be up to play around trying to achieve this awesome blurred look.

*I do not have a DSLR camera. I have a Canon PowerShot SX10IS which is technically point and shoot, but really hyped up.

Here’s what I shot last night. I boosted the saturation a bit because it helped showcase all of the different shades.

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This one is by far the best. The clarity is great…I need to keep practicing!

How I did it:

Auto Mode – I set it to Macro, held my one hand close to the lens and slightly pressed the shutter button so it would focus on my hand (the tree was in the background). Without releasing pressure on the shutter button I moved my hand away and was left with the blurred lights in the distance. Snap! So easy!

*You may have to focus and then refocus on your hand several times in order to get the bokeh effect. Also try moving around the room to get the best light as well (turn off all of the other lights in the room and do not use your flash)

Custom Mode – I did the same thing that I did in the Auto Mode except I selected Super Macro instead of Macro. To be honest I’m not sure that I noticed a difference but that is probably because I don’t know which photos were taken on which setting (opps!)

Av Mode – Select the smallest aperture (on my camera it was f2.8) then follow the same steps as in Auto Mode. (Use this mode if you have a DSLR)

This shot below was done in Av Mode, I’m thinking that this mode allows me to get the blur with less fuzz.

This is straight out of the camera.

Here’s the same photo with the saturation boosted a bit. See how you can see more shades of the colors? (I just use the regular (very very basic and limiting) iPhoto editing software that came with my MacBook Pro).

Other Tips – I did use a tripod for some of my shots to insure extra stability.

Depending on where my camera focused I did not always get the bokeh effect. Instead I got this a lot…

Super bright! Although it’s not what I was going for I really like the way this looks too! (excuse the missing crown molding, missing outlet covers, messed up tree skirt and lots of taken down ornaments. We are still working on the living room and Laughing Coyote is having a field day with practically destroying the tree!…but hey! how about that board and batten?!?!? Up close you’d see every.single.piece.of.wood routered and cut by us as well as a built in/on shelf!)

Have you played around with bokeh? What can you teach me?!?



  1. Oooh, lookin’ good. Well worth the year-long wait. 🙂

    1. Thanks Terry! Have you tried out bokeh yet? If so, what are some of your thoughts?

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