How to Get a Bokeh Effect After Scanning Photos

Posted by Julie Morris on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 @ 06:00 AM

How to Get a Bokeh Effect After Scanning PhotosOne of the best things about photography is the versatility it offers. Today, with the myriad of lenses and effects available, you can take a picture from average to beautiful in a matter of minutes. If you ever find yourself wishing you could add new effects to your old pictures, scanning photos allows you to import your old pictures into photo editing programs. You can then add the effects you desire and play around with different ones until your heart’s content.

Although vintage photos have been very popular in the last few years, one of the most popular effects recently is the bokeh effect. It may sound like something foregin but it’s actually a great effect that can turn a simple photo into a piece of art.

What is the Bokeh Effect?

The word “bokeh” is a Japanese term meaning blur or haze - you can tell that the bokeh effect has been applied to an image when a focused subject is against a blurry backdrop. For example, you’ll often see subjects portrayed within a bustling city, against a backdrop of blurry colored lights.

How to Get the Bokeh Effect

One of the best parts of photography is experimenting with different lenses and techniques to achieve a desired effect. Some of the steps to achieving the bokeh effect are: 

  1. Get very close to the main subject. You want to make sure that the subject is in focus as much as possible. Using a macro lens or a long zoom lens may help you achieve a balance.

  2. Make sure the background is as far away as possible. Keep the light behind your subject, leaving the background out of focus. Try shooting during evening hours.

  3. Pay attention to aperture. You want a large aperture to allow for the blurred effect. Try setting your shutter speed to 1/50, which will create the balls of light. A slower shutter speed will allow the background to remain out of focus, but you won’t achieve the light balls crucial to the bokeh effect.

Adding the Bokeh Effect After Scanning Photos

You can add the bokeh effect to digitized photos, but be mindful that it isn't ideal for every one. If you’re scanning family photos where there are many subjects, the bokeh effect might not work. You want to look for a photo that has a single subject.

Using a photo editing program like Photoshop, you can use layers to manipulate the background. This is where you’ll add the desired effect. The subject of the photo will remain in focus.

Examples of the Bokeh Effect

How to Get a Bokeh Effect After Scanning Photos

Source: Jeff Laitila 

How to Get a Bokeh Effect After Scanning Photos

Source: The Pho.to Blog

What are your favorite effects used in photography? Share them in a comment and we might feature it in an upcoming blog! 

Convert photos to digital at FotoBridge

Top Photo Credit: Flickr

Topics: scanning photos, Photography, Photography Effects

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