Heart Bokeh Lens Filter – Fail!

I have seen so many of those DIY heart Bokeh lens filter pictures and thought I would give it a go. Ha!

Bokeh (bow-kay) is the Japanese word for blur. The trick is to have one part of your picture blurry and the other sharp. I was trying to have my subject sharp and background blurry. That would be the lights. A bunch of floating tiny hearts to be exact.

I guess knowing the basics of the proper camera settings for regular Bokeh would have helped. So much for thinking: Yes, I can do this! Who needs to read all that mumbo jumbo, right? Wrong!

What went wrong with my first attempt? I cut the heart with a blade and did not realize that every flaw will show. Every jagged little edge.

clean cut

So I used a stamp my mother had. Look at that nice clean cut:
heart stamp

The problem was after making this fancy hood:

heart hood

It was too big! Apparently, the cut-out should be about 5mm in size. This is what happened:

magnesium oil

So, off I go and cut out another heart. I will call it a heart. Art is not my strong suit and this little cut-out was not that easy.


I knew it would work this time around. How could it not? Ha! <—– Repeat several times.

Set up the light, the subject and shoot away. I’m a superstar! This happened:


The problem was, that dusty headed angel was inside a heart shape and the lights are not in any shape.

That did not stop me from experimenting again. Still not doing the right thing by taking the time to read up on anything.


At least the lights were shapes. Buddha is not in focus, he is blurred. The whole point was to have the subject be the sharp image.

One thing I realized was that I need more of the tiny lights. The few I have are just not enough.


I did get one okay picture except for the light strings showing. I read that people just edit them out. Is that true? If anyone knows the answer please drop me a comment.

bokeh heart

Now I am off to read all about those silly things like lighting, ISO, f stops, aperture, white balance and numbers like this: 1/2500.

When I do, I will be sure to put up a tutorial.


  1. I think that generally bokeh is going to be a factor of how close you are zoomed into your subject and how far the background is. Also a wider aperture reduces the width of the focus plane and helps a bit as well.

    In this duck picture, I had a 200mm lens wide open at f/2.8 and zoomed in on the duck, and the background is nicely bokeh’d, I think.

    Bus the farther away from the duck or the less zoom and the more of the background is in focus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the tip. I am starting to understand this now. I looked at my lens, one came with it (55mm), my macro is 100mm, but my husbands zoom lens goes to 300mm. Does that mean I should try it on his?
      That is a great shot of the duck. I really appreciate the help. I have had my camera for several years and only used auto focus. Once I saw other people getting bugs with a macro and stunning nature shots, I figure it is about time I learn how to use it properly.


      1. I don’t think it has to be any particular lens. The 100mm lens will be fine, I think. I think the key is to get to where your subject is filling as much of the frame as possible and have a wide aperture (lower f number). With a 100mm prime lens you will have to use foot zoom to get in on your subject.

        I usually choose to shoot in aperture priority mode so I can control the aperture manually, and the shutter speed will not have any effect on bokeh anyway. In an auto mode, there isn’t much telling what you’ll get for settings.

        Liked by 1 person

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