The word “bokeh” comes from the Japanese word “boke” (pronounced bo-keh) which literally means fuzziness or dizziness.
What is bokeh? You have seen it. I know you have. You just may not have known the name. In photography, bokeh defines the quality of the blurred image presented in a photo. I am not referring to a badly taken photo that’s all out of focus, but rather the aesthetically pleasing background blur. Usually, this type of blur highlights the focused subject even more. To produce a bokeh you must utilize a shallow depth of field.
I shoot my macro images with my Sony 100mm 2.8 lens. A larger aperture works best, so use a low f-stop number like f1.4, f1.8 or f2.8.
Bokeh usually works best when taking an up close picture of your subject. Try finding a subject with nice clear lighting that you are able to get a good close up of. That is not to say that one can not get great bokeh using lenses with a smaller maximum aperture like the kit lens sold with most entry level DSLRs. The trick is to make sure you are using the largest aperture possible (smallest f number).
Set your camera to aperture priority and select the lowest number. Remember in aperture priority your camera will set the shutter speed. Sometimes this gets a bit tricky if you are shooting flowers on a windy day or a bug that is on the move. You might need to switch to shutter priority and shoot at least 1/250 to stop the movement. At 1/250 you will more than likely have a larger aperture – just be mindful of your aperture when shooting in shutter priority. Most photographers can handhold their camera with their shutter set at 1/60th of a second. For anything below, a tripod is recommended because of camera shake.