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Holiday Bokeh Party

Welcome to the first ever Holiday Bokeh Party here at Life with my 3 Boybarians. I hope you have as much fun creating your bokeh images I did!


If you’ve not read the How to: Holiday Lights Bokeh Tutorial I encourage you to start there. But here are some answers to more questions from comments and email.

Did you use glass or a shiny white countertop to stage your lights?
Nope. Just cheap foam core. Like $3 at any craft store.

Did you use regular lights? If so how did you get them so white? When I do it with regular lights it comes out almost a yellow color.
It’s a regular ol’ strand of lights. Custom white balance prior to shooting means the whites stay white. But if you didn’t get it right in camera, you can fix it in a program like Lightroom or Photoshop.

Could I do this with LED lights?
I have no idea. But I don’t see why not!

Do you use your flash?
No way. I never use the flash on my camera, although I do have an external flash if needed. There are two ways to allow so much light in: bring in external lights, like a soft box and reflector or shoot really slow. In this case, I did both.

Do you use a tripod?
Yes. If you need to shoot slowly, it’s the only way to go. I can only handhold tack sharp around 1/125 or faster. You might be more stable, or not. Test yourself.

How do the pictures come out so clean and crisp being so close to a subject? Do you think a nice camera plays part in this?
As long as the subject is in focus, it will be sharp. Focus on the subject – not the lights. I think having a camera that can shoot manually makes this infinitely easier yes, but it can be done on a point and shoot camera. Make sure there is adequate distance between the subject and the lights and try portrait mode, or the mode that creates the most shallow depth of field.

I absolutely love the lights of this holiday – both the festival of lights and Christmas lights. Let’s see the pretty images you made!


  1. Thanks for hosting such a fun meme! It was surely a challenge for me, but one that I enjoyed clicking over and over and over and finally saw the “light”…hehe!

  2. This was fun. I for sure need to work on white balance though.

  3. I’ve got to get a Christmas tree so I can hurry and join in. There’s no Christmas around here until I have a tree. Darn that grad school clogging up my husband’s schedule!

  4. Loved playing with this challenge. I need to play a little more to get the right white balance.

    Your bokeh images are amazing!

    I’ll be back this evening after work to look at all of the linked up bokeh ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. We don’t have any lights up yet – can practice on this one yet. Your photo is gorgeous!

    Thanks for sharing so I can enjoy everyone elses lights!

    Blessings to you!

  6. how fun to look at everyone’s bokehs! will try next week to do this — after I go through three days of substitute authorization formalities. I did a couple test shots when I first saw your tweet — great effect for really cheap.

  7. Darcy, I’m newly fascinated with bokeh! ๐Ÿ™‚ No surprise there. Having fun playing around with it to see what I can get. I really want to get better and better with my camera and all you girls who take fantastic shots encourage me all the time.

  8. Love your holiday bokeh! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I just found your blog and am in love! Especially the 31 day photography series… You make some typically dry material fun to read.

  10. I’m loving the idea and seeing all the submissions! xx

  11. I’ll be participating in this and am so excited!
    Tree is going up tonight and then the Bokeh possibilities are endless!
    Such fun!

  12. New to your blog and I love it!

  13. Hi there Darcy,

    just letting you know that I LOVE this link up!

    Also, I did email you on Tues re the Krome thing. If you didn’t get it, you can get me through my contact page on my blog or via nzcate at hotmail.com

    Thanks again – am most excited!

  14. Thanks for doing this! I’ve been to so many of the blogs now. I actually plan on visiting and commenting on each one that is posted for this party because I love seeing the holiday bokeh photos!

  15. It’s so great I found your sweet party!!! YAY! Thanks for hosting! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Thanks for your kind comment Darcey, I love your blog and have learned so much. I am off to shoot more Holiday Bokeh! (it is addicting) lol

  17. Thank you so much. I’ve always wanted to capture an indoor lights bokeh and your tutorial was so helpful.

  18. Thank you so much for doing this party – I am learning so much ๐Ÿ™‚ So excited I learned Bokeh. Oh p.s. I got to play around today w/a 70-200. Oh.My.Stars. That is sooooo my next lens – you are so right – it is dreamy!

  19. Oh my! Looking at all of those submissions up there is pure magic!

    Darcy, I hope that you and yours are having a wonderful holiday season. :o)

  20. Made it with some time to spare. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for hosting this little link up party. I love that I don’t have to go out to be a part of this party. So much fun seeing everyone’s creativity.

  21. i can’t believe it’s closed!!! oh well, that’s what I get for being too busy!! but here is my link if you want to see my little bokeh pic. By the way your page looks lovely with all the christmas lights! hope I can participate on a future one. ๐Ÿ™‚ Merry Christmas to you and your family!!


  22. Awwwwwwww, I missed it! LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh well, I had fun trying to get the right look anyway! Thanks for the challenging challenge!

  23. Awwwwwwww, I missed it! LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh well, I had fun trying to get the right look anyway! Thanks for the challenging challenge!

  24. Awwwwwwww, I missed it! LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh well, I had fun trying to get the right look anyway! Thanks for the challenging challenge!

  25. Sorry, having computerissues, I didn’t mean to triple post that comment. LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Darcy, this is so creative and fabulous! I have been wanting to so this. I may just try this evening!


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