Foreground bokeh | I love finding small shining things like a convex lens or prism or whatever shining thing to create interesting foreground Bokeh in my portraits. I like to think that I’m always looking for ways to differentiate my work and I love the unpredictable colors and textures it creates pulling from the actual environment you’re shooting in.
Why use this technique? Personally, it enables me to make images that are nearly impossible to recreate and I love to show some results directly during the shooting.
Off course this technique is nothing new photographers have done it consciously or unconsciously over the time and me well I wore glasses for most of my life so putting things in front of my lens was some sort of logical step.
I remember having been harangued by a teacher for putting garbage in front of the lens… well…
I simply love the effect because it is a delicious blend of reflections and light with a bit of a freelens blended look.
Here some SOOC (Straight Out of the Camera) examples:
Once you start to incorporate foreground elements though, you will quickly see that bokeh in front of the subject can be just as important and impactful as having bokeh behind the subject.
The thing to keep in mind is that foreground bokeh acts very similar to background bokeh. If you focus on your subject and there is an element far off into the background, that element will be more out of focus than elements that are closer to your subject. Likewise, if you have an element really close to your lens, that element will be more out of focus than an element closer to your subject. The difference here is that the closer an element gets to your lens, the larger it appears; whereas the further an element gets to the background, the smaller it will appear. It’s because of this fact that we can use a small little Christmas light to create large bokeh that fills up a frame.
So far for this effect you can use used Christmas lights, trees, and grass. But there are an infinite amount of possibilities when looking for other objects. One of my favorite go-to things to look for though are objects that are shiny and sparkly. An example that is at every single wedding venue is a drinking glass.
Off course I try not to abuse of it and another reason is that it becomes quiet handy with only manual focus lenses. Here you can see some other test shots: