Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Adventures In Bokeh - The Lens Hood Tutorial You've All Been Waiting For!

I finally, finally got around to it after feeling ill over the weekend and not feeling up to it. It took me at least an hour to complete this, shorter if I didn't photograph all the steps! I'm going to show you how to make a bokeh lens hood all your own today:


For this make you need:

  • Two sheets of black card
  • A pair of scissors
  • A glue stick (Pritt is the best)
  • A ruler
  • A white colouring pencil
  • The lens you're making the lens hood for
  • A small pair of nail scissors
  • Black masking tape

It has to be black card for this lens hood. Black blocks out the light and makes the bokeh shape trace better onto the lens.


Wrap sheet one of the black card around the lens.


Mark with the pencil where it overlaps on the widest part of the lens and add at least a few centimetres (two to three) extra.


Measure out a rectangle on the card using the ruler and the pencil - ignore my measurements, they're wrong. For the height, make it so that it fits just over the whole lens, but not quite. Leave a few centimeters off. 4.5cm will just about cover it for a 50mm lens.


Draw out a two centimetre rectangle on the end of the original rectangle. Shade it in. Cut the entire long rectangle out including the shaded in part.


Get the glue stick out. Twist it up. Get ready to glue.

Cover the shaded rectangle in glue and then turn the rectangle into a circle, using the glued shaded rectangle as your marker to stick it together. Don't roll it. Just turn it around once and glue.


It will be wide enough to fit over your lens but let's not try that yet. Hold the tabs with your fingers to help it stick into place. As I was busy doing the next stage I got some mini card clips to do the holding for me. I found these on my epic room rejuve and the last time I saw these one of my crazy friends clipped the majority of their face with them including up the nostril. So there's a likelihood these might have excess bogies on them (jokes).


Once the tube is set, we'll continue to the next part. Find sheet two of the black card and draw around it with the pencil.

Measure out several 1cm lines from the top of the circle in frequent intervals all the way around the circle. So that it looks like a sun. Then draw another circle around the lines so that it looks like the photo above.


Cut each 1cm line so that it makes tabs. Then fold the tabs, so that it looks like this:


It looks like a big black sequin. Make sure to fold the tabs inwards.


Very gently fold the circle in half - when I say gentle, just pinch it slightly in the centre.


Whilst holding the fold gently cut a slight line. Unfold gently and then you can cut a heart (or whatever shape you like) into it. If you have a craft knife this will be loads easier. But for the rest of us scissors will do.

You need nail scissors for this job as it's smaller and will be lots neater:


Make the heart small but not too small - about 0.5mm wide (half a centimetre wide) if you can.


Glue the tabs.

This part I forgot to take pics of because I got very messy and you will too. Fold the tabs inwards, and push them into the tube. Turn the tube over and press the tabs so that they stick to the tube. It will look like this:


Babababababababbaabbbaaaaaaaa! That was meant to be a fanfare. Sorry. I got glue everywhere, hence the sandy effect on the front.

Now, the last part to come:


Use black masking tape to seal the outside and the outside seam. Cut little tabs along the perimetre of the top piece in order to get it to stick down seamlessly. Press down lightly to seal. I have no masking tape so used leopard print tape instead.


It all went belly up from here. It was too small. D'oh. Lesson here to be learned - instead of marking the shaded rectangle inwards - mark it outwards instead and it will fit proper. Oh well. There's always next time.

I love you, 50mm.


Tips for shooting bokeh:
  • Set your camera to manual focus (the little switch on the lens itself)
  • Set it to an aperture between F/3.2 and F/5.0
  • Put the bokeh hood on upside down (trust me on this)
  • Shoot at something sparkly or at something which refracts light.
  • Marvel at the results. You did it!

Like this:

Heart Bokeh


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