CityLights: The Bokeh Effect

Where a blurred image is a good image

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Photographers everywhere take pride in the crystal clear pictures while an out-of-focus picture makes them swear.

Unless, of course, their name is Nilashmi Rahule and they are using The Bokeh Effect. According to Wikipedia, The Bokeh Effect is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens. Bokeh has been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”.

Nilashmi Rahule, of Jai Hind College expresses her childhood fascination for Bokeh through this photo series titled ‘Shaped Bokeh’. She used a variety of shapes and accordingly assigned them to a scene to put forth a story.

“I always felt it made the images so much more beautiful,” says Nilashmi.

She started with cutting out the perfectly-sized shapes and made a lens case to place the cut-outs on. Then, she set off to crafting a scene and consequently, adding an element or prop which ensured that the bokeh fits in perfectly. For example, a popcorn-shaped cut-out on a popcorn tub, musical note-shaped cut-out on a trumpet, and bird-shaped cut-out with a cage and so on. At last, after setting an ideal milieu, she used fairy lights to top it off.

Nilashmi had to make sure the lighting was just right. “I experimented by keeping the room dark and have a little light fall upon the subject and it helped perfectly to create the mood,” she says.


1. Hearts

001 hearts


2. Stick Figures

002 stick figures


3. Birds

003 birds


4. Musical Notes

004 musical notes


5. Popcorn

005 popcorn


6. Leaves

006 leaves


7. Rings

007 ring


8. Bullets

008 bullet


9. Stars

009 stars


10. Ants

010 ants


11. Coffee

011 coffee


12. Butterfly

012 butterfly


13. Buildings

013 buildings


14. Coffee Beans

014 coffee beans


15. Boats

015 boats