This Weeks Lesson In Photography With Lenise Zika!

Learn how to achieve that beautiful background blur called Bokeh in your photos!  It’s as easy as turning a dial with today’s dslr cameras.

Bokeh (pronounced BOH-Kə) is that dreamy, out of focus blur in the background of a photo. It is a beautiful background for portraits, animals, flowers and other objects in nature.


Shooting photos with bokeh is particularly useful when you are at Disney to blur the other Disney  guests that are behind your subject.If you don’t have bokeh in your photos, you are probably going home with someone else’s Uncle Bob in your family photo, or worse yet – someone’s back side – in your photos!  Think about it – we are all in the background of someone else’s Disney vacation photos – and probably not in the most flattering way either.  Lol…let’s hope bokeh shots rule the day soon in Disney vacation photos.


I shot all of the photos in this article using one of scene modes on our FUN PACKAGE camera, a Canon SL1 with an 18-135 zoom lens! Typically photographers achieve bokeh by using a fast lens (f/2.8- f/1.2) and shooting with the lens aperture wide open. Today I’ll show you how you can get your own photos with beautiful bokeh easily – with the turn of a dial on your camera!

Pluto Fountain

Unless you have a very high end DSLR, most digital cameras these days come with several shooting modes to choose from. These shooting modes are designed to help you quickly tell your camera what type of shot you are taking to give the camera a hint at what type of effect you want.  The camera does all the work in determining what settings to use and the results are usually excellent. The shooting modes make it simple and easy for you to get great vacation photos!

Brer Hare

Here’s The Beginners Way to Get Bokeh:

Turn the Mode Dial to the Portrait mode. Focus on your subject and take the shot!

It’s really that easy!  The icon on the mode dial usually looks like a lady’s head. The portrait mode automatically sets a lens aperture that’s wider than normal to blur backgrounds, and adjusts the image processing for a softer, more flattering result.

The more color and light you have in your background, the better your bokeh will look. Higher end lenses will produce better bokeh, but we aren’t entering photo contests here. We’re trying to get good vacation photos that we can enjoy for a lifetime!


Here’s a couple of tips to achieve better bokeh:

1)    Put as much distance as possible between your subject and the background.

The further the distance between the subject and background, the more blurred the background will look. The subject will also stand out better against the uncluttered background.

2)    Use a zoom lens. 

If you have a zoom lens, zoom in to fill the frame with the subject from the waist up. Move in closer if necessary.


Portrait Mode is an easy way to get a nice bokeh in your photos!

Practice shooting on Portrait Mode this week and share your photos with us on Facebook!  Let us know if you have any questions. We are here to help you capture those memory maker moments forever!


Lenise Zika

Lenise and her husband Ron own and run Kingdom Camera Rentals.  If you are in or coming to the Disney and interested in renting a camera from them, you can reach them at:


[email protected]


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