Holiday photography tips from Olympus: Christmas-themed bokeh and making the most of holiday lights


posted Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at 11:30 AM EDT


Christmas is just around the corner and Olympus has fun tips for capturing holiday images. Ted Colegrove, Olympus Designer and professional photographer, has created a tutorial showing off how to create Christmas tree bokeh.

You’ll need only a few items: a heavy piece of paper, a sharp knife (something like an Exacto knife or box cutter) and a writing utensil. You’ll also need a lens, of course, preferably one with a fast aperture like f/1.8 or so. Take your lens hood and trace around it on your piece of paper. Next, draw a small Christmas tree shape, as seen below, in the middle of your circle. Using your box cutter, cut out the tree and then using the same tool or scissors, cut out your circle. Place it over the front of your lens and you’re good to go. Get creative with it.

Image credit: Ted Colegrove
Image credit: Ted Colegrove

Bokeh is a fun element to work with any time of the year, but there is something about the holidays and the accompanying lights that are particularly fun to shoot with a shallow depth of field. There are different ways to create pleasing bokeh, including shooting with a fast lens and changing your relative distance from subject. You can learn more about how to create and utilize bokeh in this Olympus article from John Sterling Ruth and Peter Baumgarten, a pair of Olympus Visionaries.

Image credit: Peter Baumgarten

Readers, do you have any tips and tricks for Christmas-themed photography? Let us know in the comments below.