This article shows you the simplest way to get a nice bokeh effect as the background of your subject. Having this type of photography using a mobile phone is not possible as long as you know and understand the concept. This short article shows you exactly about that concept. Hopefully, you can the same good bokeh effect using only your Xiaomi device.
The bokeh effect, a technique that by its execution makes for wonderful photos, because a sharply focused subject stands out beautifully against a blurred background. Well, sometimes it’s not a full bokeh but just a blurry background but yes it is beautiful.
When we talk about Bokeh, we are actually describing the way a camera lens blurs parts of a photo in a pleasing manner to the eye. Therefore it is safe to say, the shallower the depth of field, the better the Bokeh. Many newcomers to photography tend to mistake a large aperture for a large f-number. It’s reciprocal, so it’s actually the opposite. See the aperture chart below.
Now, what about the aperture of a mobile camera? On a smartphone, with apertures barely bigger than a pinhole. Even at the biggest aperture, the smartphone’s aperture is barely bigger than a DSLR at f/16. So how do we make those Bokeh shots with a smartphone?
There are a few ways actually. however, I’ll touch upon one way that does not need much set-up and allows you the quickest possible way to nail that Bokeh shot using your smartphone camera.
Based on the illustration, we can see that less (depth of field) DOF = less area in focus. To achieve that Bokeh shot, we want to keep as small a section in focus (less DOF) and as large a section in front and behind the subject out of focus (OOF). To achieve that without an app (fake looking) or a DSLR (large aperture, easy to achieve), we try to do a couple of things.
- What is white balance and how to use it.
- What is ISO value and how to use it.
- 15 basic tips for manual photography on phone.
This is how a bokeh effect can be achieved with a real camera:
Bokeh on Phone Camera
These tips help you to get similar effects using your phone camera app:
1. Close in on the subject.
Take a step (maybe a few) towards your subject. Bring the smartphone in as close as you can. If you are taking a macro shot, switch to manual focus (if it is available on your phone’s camera app) and set focus to be at the nearest focus and simply move the smartphone forward and back to get your focus. Do not worry about composition. You can crop and edit later. Concentrate on getting the focus tack sharp.
2. Ensure that there’s nothing in the photo that is next to your subject that will also be in focus.
Move around, shift things, make sure there’s no distraction in the photo. Most of all, use a background that’s a distance from the subject and since it is far away from your focus point, it will be OOF and thus give you acceptable Bokeh. It is a little hard to achieve a Bokeh shot if the outdoor lights are bright. This is because the camera will choose a small aperture, to prevent overexposure. A way to get around this problem is to manually choose an ISO on your smartphone that is the lowest. Again, this option may not be available on your smartphone.
Go out there now and shoot shoot shoot! Remember, “film” is free. You can always delete what you don’t want, to free up space on your smartphone.
This one is a good example:
Source and credits: MIUI Photography Classroom.
Submitted by Mimin.