How to get the Bokeh effect on all smartphones

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Emphasize your artistic side with this attractive photographic effect. Bokeh photography is popular among DSLRs and film cameras, but it is now possible to imitate the effect on a smartphone camera. As shown in the photo above, bokeh is the quality of the blurred areas of an image, namely the white circles in the background, which in digital photography are caused by the shape of the camera lens.

How to get the Bokeh effect on all smartphones

It is a technique that adds cunning to portraits, close-ups and other shots in which the background should not be focused. Once recognized, you will begin to see the bokeh everywhere.

What is bokeh?

Bokeh, pronounced BOH-kay, comes from the Japanese word boke, which means blur or haze or boke-aji, which means blur quality. The effect is caused by a shallow depth of field, which is the distance between the nearest object and the farthest object in a photo.

When using a DSLR or a film camera, a combination of aperture, focal length, and distance between the photographer and the subject creates this effect. The diaphragm controls how much light is let in, while the focal length determines the amount of scene captured by a camera and is expressed in millimeters (or 35 mm).

A shallow depth of field produces a photo in which the foreground is in focus, while the background is blurred. An example of bokeh is in a portrait, like the first photo above, where the subject is in focus and the background is blurred. The bokeh, the white spheres in the background, is caused by the camera lens, usually when it is wide open, which lets in more light.

Bokeh effect on smartphone

On a smartphone, the depth of field and the bokeh work differently. The necessary elements are the processing power and the right software. The smartphone camera must recognize the foreground and background of a photo, then blur the background, keeping the foreground in focus.

Therefore, instead of occurring when the photo is taken, the bokeh with the smartphone is created after the photo is taken.

How to get the Bokeh effect on all smartphones

In the photo above, taken with a digital camera, the photographer enjoyed blending the bubbles, where much of the scene is blurred. A smartphone with a dual-lens camera takes two photos at once and then combines them to get that effect of depth of field and bokeh effect.

While the latest smartphones have dual-lens cameras, you can get the bokeh with just one lens by downloading a third-party app that will provide you with the tools to create the effect. Options include AfterFocus (AndroidiOS), Bokeh Lens (iOS only) and DOF Simulator (Android and PC).

There are also many others available, so download some apps, try them and choose your favorite.

Double-lens cameras

If you have a flagship phone from Apple, Google, Samsung or other brands, your camera probably has a dual-lens and you can get the bokeh without an app. When you take a picture, you should be able to choose what to focus on and what to blur and, in some cases, refocus after taking a picture.

Some smartphones also have a dual-lens front camera for artistic selfies.

Take test shots to perfect your technique and you'll become an expert in no time.

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