40 Beautiful Examples of Bokeh Photography

Bokeh is an optical effect in which the background of a photo is blurred. The blur is produced by taking photos with a shallow depth of field. Bokeh occurs in the areas of the photo that are out-of-focus. As a result, the background looks softer and the subject sharper and more vivid. If there are highlights in the background, they will take on the shape of the lens’s aperture. Most often these “specular highlights” are circles, sometimes hexagonals. If you wish, however, you could use bokeh filters to create all sorts of shapes. Some photographers go as far as blurring the entire photo, leaving only the highlights.

As with any technique, using bokeh does not guarantee your photos will be amazing. Not every subject lends itself to bokeh. If you’re focusing on one single thing, bokeh could be a good choice. But when you’re photographing a landscape, you probably don’t want to use a shallow depth of field. Similarly, not every photo improves with a blurry background. Bokeh should, in other words, be used thoughtfully.

Examples of Bokeh Photography

Here are some beautiful bokeh photos selected from our Flickr group.

If you’d like to use bokeh in your photography, check out our Bokeh: Using Blur To Your Advantage post. More resources are listed at the end of this article.

Bryon Lippincott — Petal Perfect
bokeh flower

Troy Hood — a little fence and bokeh
bokeh fence

Amine Fassi — Syrphe – Lost
bokeh fly

Manuel Buetti — Bokeh
bokeh

LifeisPixels — The Eye of the Believer
bokeh praying monks

Greig Reid — Ziggy 24 weeks old
bokeh dog

Manuel Buetti — Bokeh
bokeh

Alex Greenshpun — “Climb a tree” they said
bokeh cat in tree

jordan parks — Untitled
bokeh camera

<kephoto> — Graciebokeh1KE
bokeh cat

Scott Anderson — Water Drop and Bokeh
bokeh leaf and water drop

ruben alexander — O
bokeh lens

Elizme — ~ soft rains ~
bokeh leaves

jordan parks – Untitled
bokeh traffic

{Flixelpix} David — Camera
bokeh camera

LifeisPixels — Watercolours
bokeh flowers

Ron Lee — the final crabbie
bokeh apple

unaisa momoitio — 60#365/2014……………:)
bokeh bicycle

Engeline Tan — A Paradise on moss
bokeh moss

Wicaksono Trian Islami — Flowers II
bokeh flowers

jordan parks — the old post office
bokeh fence

unaisa momoitio — 231#2013/365………..:).
bokeh bench

Laurens Kaldeway — Mushroom
bokeh mushroom

Alex Greenshpun — Voyage to Lilliput Continues
bokeh leaf

jordan parks — saucer magnolia
bokeh flower

Pablo Reinsch — To the light…
bokeh flowers

✓ Елена Пејчинова — Pink Petals
bokeh flowers

Greig Reid — Coloured Pencils
bokeh colored pencils

Roelof de Hoog — Field of colors
bokeh flowers

jordan parks — sunday morning
bokeh blossom

Raymond’s Glass Eye — Poised
bokeh hummingbird

<kephoto> — “Silent Seclusion”
bokeh flowers

Oscar Quintanilla — Perritos
bokeh wash pins

RICOW.de — Dumbo bokeh
bokeh new york city

Dave Fowler — Coffee Bokeh
bokeh coffee cup

jordan parks — friday
bokeh fence

Troy Hood — Luminary Mantra
bokeh street portrait

Troy Hood — before the credits roll
bokeh portrait

Alex Greenshpun — One of a Kind
bokeh flower

Elizme — Flexibility
bokeh grass

Resources for Bokeh Photography

Here are some more articles to help you get a nice bokeh effect in your photography.

Photography Life — How to Obtain Maximum Bokeh
This article lists 6 tips to create a bokeh effect. It discusses the lenses and shooting methods that will result in the best bokeh effects.

Tuts+ — Quick Tip: Creating Artificial Bokeh in Your Own Home
A simple tutorial for creating bokeh photos at home using christmas lights.

500px — How To Create Beautiful Bokeh Images
This post goes through the post-processing steps for enhancing the bokeh in a photo.