Unicorn Trails & Magic Dust; christmas bokeh
For taking a photo like this you need a lot of magic dust and the skill to capture the shot as the stars explode..... Ok I hope you didn't believe that. Actually it is called bokeh and is pronounced Bo-Ke (Bo as in bow and arrows bow, and Ke as in kettle.) I have always liked the normal bokeh effect and have posted lots of photos of it in the past but that was normal bokeh. This is christmasy (and apparently christmasy is not a word but that is not stopping me from using it!)
Bokeh can be any shape at all, everything... the shape depends on what shape you cut. I have made three shapes a star, a heart and a Christmas tree. All you need is a piece of cardboard which can be white or black but I would recommend black.... as every other person I have heard of does.... and I just had to go make a white one to find out why not use a white one.... I found out. White cardboard works but it also gives the whole photo a slightly whiter look... a more over exposed or speckledy white... but without it actually being overexposed.... So it turns our that black cardboard is better.
As to why it does that, well it just does and here is Google's definition;
"All you need to know is that bokeh is the aesthetic quality of out-of-focus blur in a photograph. If you'd like a more technical definition, Nikon described bokeh as "the effect of a soft out-of-focus background that you get when shooting a subject, using a fast lens, at the widest aperture, such as f/2.8 or wider"."
If you can't understand that then an even more technical definition would be even more impossible to understand.... especially since I would be explaining something that I don't exactly understand. It shall just have to be enough that bokeh does happen.
As to how do I change it from circles to stars or whatever. I cut a circle of cardboard the same size as the end of my lens and then cut the desired shape inside it. While taking these photos I had the cardboard held onto the end of my lens, simple as really.
But not all cameras can do it... only one of my lenses can... the one that can get the really big aperture f/1.8.
I took all these photos early in the morning after it had rained so there were lots of "highlights" in the background and foreground. All the bright spots that are not in focus turn into the stars or whatever shape. So water drops with the early morning sun glinting off them are perfect to give a lovely bokeh effect. Or of course if you can catch a trail of a unicorn as it gallops past, because everyone knows they leave stars in glints of magic light in their path.
The bokeh in this photo really changes it from a pretty ordinary shot into something a lot more interesting. So keep your magic dust handy and watch out for unicorn trails.