Looking for an original effect to add to your photography? (The best apps for bokeh effect)

Looking for an original effect to add to your photography? (The best apps for bokeh effect)

What's does "Bokeh" mean? 

First of all, to understand a photography effect, we need to have a great definition. What does bokeh mean?  “Bokeh” originated from Japan, and is defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light.” The word boke (暈け) means “haze” or “blur, so to understand the Bokeh effect, you have to keep in mind: it is the aesthetic quality of the blur of the elements present outside the zone of sharpness on a photograph taken with a low depth of field. 

“She walks like all things shining on glass, like all things that make a difference. 
She walks away.”  Charles Bukowski. Indeed, to make a difference with your bokeh effect is to make the background shine.

It can be compared to what we see when the light is passing through a glass of water. It’s the visual perception of when you watch a movie at the cinema without using 3D glasses. 

How to create a bokeh effect?

Here at Pops, we will share our top 3 tips on how to create a bokeh effect. Our focus is on smartphone pictures. It’s completely possible to create a bokeh photo without a professional camera. Let’s begin on how to create a bokeh effect with your smartphones and discover bokeh mobile apps. But first, you’ll need to understand the rules.

With smartphones you can also make a bokeh photo!

It is best to use the portrait mode on your smartphone, most cameras have this option  (iPhone, Samsung, Google Pixel, Huawei, Xiaomi). The closer you are to your subject the better because it will create more depth effect.

Here are 3 tips that can be useful to keep in mind:

  • Great blur appears with background and artificial or natural lights. Choose the right background that makes sense. For example, urban locations when there is smoke in the air, a particular texture or a humid atmosphere after it rains. 
  • Remember not to forget the foreground! As we mentioned, you can use the portrait mode of your phone which nowadays is really precise with its stereo camera.
  • Play with the colors. We recommend looking for spots with different sources of light. This allows you to experiment and play with colors and patterns for your bokeh. An example is shopping areas at night or during golden hour.

Best app for Bokeh effect.

Even without the latest smartphone and its multiple cameras, there are solutions to get great bokeh images by using cool apps. First, we will talk about Focos which is available on Iphone, and then Blur, available on Android. Finally, we’ll talk about LightRoom CC, the new app for mobile devices. As we explained above, some tips are essential to create a great bokeh effect. Now, let’s see how to do so in post-production.

  • Focos – iOS
    Focos adds computational photography and light-field to your iPhone camera.  
    With the 3D Lighting option, you can play with the 3D camera on the app. You can choose to place a bokeh effect on the background or the foreground of your photograph, or you can create the blur effect directly with a pencil. It is practical because the tiny loop offers you the intuitive experience.

  • Auto BLUR Background – Android
    Auto BLUR works nearly the same as Focos. There is a smart focus which enables you to choose the size of the pen to blur zones and decide on how strong it will be. You can emphasize the light spot in the background using Bokeh effect and overlay effects like snow, feathers and more.  

  • LightRoom CC - iOS and Android
    Available on Android and iOS, the mobile version of Lightroom is very helpful for editing photography with just a few touches! With Lightroom mobile App, set up the Brush Tool to create a Background Mask, then paint the background of the Image to Create the Mask. Finally, adjust the Blur Effect with the Clarity and Sharpness Filters. And there you have it! Your Bokeh Effect on your pictures!


How far can the bokeh effect go?

You now have your amazing photograph with your bokeh effect. 
Below, let’s discover how this awesome effect can inspire artists, and imagine what could be the result to print these photos in 3D.

An astonishing interpretation of “bokeh effect” which we explained above is seen in the South African artist @Philip Barlow’s oil painting. By playing with colors and night lights the result seems to be surreal. 
Alexis Saab and his re-edit of the Nike Air Force gives us a perspective on how far bokeh effect can go. By melting colors and perception of forms, the 3D Blurry effect can be seen in various ways.

The best way to see and amplify the result of your bokeh effect is to print it. 
You can transform your photography into a 3D photo with Pops lenticular print technologies. Upload your Bokeh effect photography on the Pops App, available on Android and IOS, as well as on our website!

Now it’s time to put this into practice! Have fun testing our tips and creating your own photos with bokeh effect.