How to Get Bokeh Lighting Effects with iPhone Camera Guide

This guide is about How to Get Bokeh Lighting Effects with the iPhone Camera. I will do my best so that you understand this guide very well. I hope you all enjoy this guide How to Get Bokeh Light Effects with the iPhone Camera.

Bokeh is a photographic effect that creates strong blurs of any out-of-focus light, often reproduced as blurry round elements when a point of light appears in the image. Often seen in professional and more abstract art-oriented photography, it can help create depth of field and add unique character to your photos. But bokeh isn’t just for professionals with expensive lenses and DSLR cameras, you get the same effect shooting on the iPhone too. We cover two easy ways to do it, one aside from the iPhone, and the other uses an excellent third-party lens attachment, called the Olloclip.

To that end, we focus on producing a strong abstract bokeh effect on all images shot on the iPhone, and not just on the background elements, such as macro photography and portraits.

For those who are not sure what the bokeh effect looks like, this image shows the bokeh camera effect captured on the iPhone. Note that the elements that define an image are blurred because the image is blurry and instead it is difficult to capture any light or focus in the image as narrow circular elements, which is essentially a “bokeh” effect.

iPhone book

Suffice it to say, we’ll show you how you can easily take photos with the bokeh effect on your iPhone camera!

Create Bokeh on iPhone with Focus Lock

The simplest way to create a bokeh effect on all the lit elements in an image is to use the focus lock feature in the iPhone’s camera software. Keep in mind that a focus lock is also an exposure lock – however, you can’t tell the difference between the two with a standard iOS camera – but you want to focus on locking something that has the same exposure around it, especially when you shoot in broad daylight. When taking night shots, green exposure is less important, although depth of field is still crucial.

Bokeh shot in daylight

Shooting bokeh in daylight can take some trial and error, but it’s not terribly difficult once you try a few times. Its core is locked in something very close as if you were taking a macro picture, but then turn to set the camera to shoot the subject instead, creating bokeh:

  • Launch the Camera application
  • Find a nearby subject whose exposure (brightness) is about the same as the subject you want to shoot with bokeh
  • Place the iPhone about 3 to 8 inches from the subject and tap and hold the screen to lock the subject. You know it’s active when “AE / AF Lock” appears on the screen
  • With focus lock on, focus on the subject and take a picture to capture the bokeh effect

When the focus lock trick is in daylight, enabling HDR photos works best because an HDR photo is often not a standard photo that reproduces the most accurate colors while maintaining the desired bokeh blur.

The sample images below show this trick when shooting a tree in direct light. You’ll find that the original exposure isn’t that great, it’s an HDR photo that captures the full bokeh impression we’re aiming for here, with better color reproduction.

Original exposure with bokeh but overexposed:

Daylight bokeh shot on the iPhone

Better HDR photo with strong bokeh:

Daylight bokeh on iPhone

It might take a few times to get it down, but it’s very easy once you find the right exposure for your subject. I am not a great photographer, but be creative and I will definitely create better images than the examples presented here.

Bokeh capture at night and in dark lighting

It’s much easier to shoot Bokeh on an iPhone at night or in dark lighting, and it’s great for capturing city lights or night scenes in an abstract way. The basics are similar to getting bokeh in daylight, although the HDR perspective is less impressive:

  • Open the Camera app and tap and hold the focus lock on any subject other than the subject you want to shoot
  • With focus lock on, focus on the subject and take a picture while keeping it relatively steady – note that bokeh compensates for lens shake​​​​

We’re checking out some user-submitted photos for this photo (thanks Elizabeth!), which show a bokeh effect at night when taking a picture of a distant street from a rooftop. Here’s the original reveal, note the screen is blurry because the iPhone isn’t that good at taking night shots – but we’ll use it to this advantage – the focus lock is set to a random dark area of ​​the screen:

Night bokeh iPhone

Here is the last instant shot with good bokeh blur:

Night bokeh photography on iPhone

I take advantage of the iPhone’s inability to capture great photos at night, and instead you get a nice bokeh impression. Focus lock technology usually works best in low light, especially at night.

Thanks to Elizabeth for submitting a tip idea and a night photo

Capture powerful Bokeh effects with iPhone and Olloclip

If the bokeh-trick focus lock isn’t enough for you and you want more professional images, you’ve got a third-party lens for the iPhone. The lens we have chosen for this purpose is the Olloclip, it includes three lenses: a macro lens, a wide-angle lens and a fisheye lens. You should use a macro lens to create a very strong bokeh image.

If you are interested, you can purchase a removable Olloclip lens from Amazon at a fairly large discount.

  • Attach the Olloclip to the iPhone with a macro lens
  • Point at any distant, well-lit object and you’ll immediately see a very powerful bokeh and take a picture

With Olloclip tricks, you don’t even need to focus or anything because the macro lens and its focal length blur everything in the distance.

Here is a shot of a tree with an Olloclip macro lens attached, strong bokeh is very clear:

Bokeh shot with the iPhone and Olloclip

I’m not much of a photographer, but the Instagram blog shows us this bokeh photo taken with Olloclip, which shows the shooting of the Christmas lights before and after to fit:

iPhone bokeh by Olloclip from Instagram

Do you have any other tips for shooting bokeh on an iPhone? Let us know in the comments. Have fun, try it out and enjoy iPhone photos!

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FAQ: How to Get Bokeh Lighting Effects with the iPhone Camera

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