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Getting creative with hearts this February-Here's how!

It's always fun to infuse a little heart detail into February's photos. February is heart month, and infusing hearts into your images shows support for heart health and, of course, embraces all the love-filled themes surrounding Valentine's Day.  

I recently had several requests asking if I could share how I incorporate heart bokeh into my images. Today I'm sharing two different ways I infuse hearts into my February and Valentine's Day captures so that you can give these techniques a try too! 

1. Foreground heart bokeh

The first way I like to infuse hearts into my Valentine's day images is through foreground heart bokeh. Foreground heart bokeh requires that hearts are placed between your camera and your subject. It's also best if you choose a wider aperture to blur the foreground hearts. 

To create foreground heart bokeh images, here are the steps you can follow:

Step 1:

Gather up your materials. You'll need red and pink cardstock or another colour choice, scissors or a heart-shaped punch, scotch tape, fine string or thread, your camera and lens hood. 

Step 2:

Cut or punch hearts out of the cardstock. Try different sized hearts. I like the look of smaller hearts taped to the lens hood, while larger hearts work well if held or fall away from the lens.  

Step 3: 

Attach your lens hood to your lens.

Step 4:

Now you'll want to secure the hearts to your lens hood. You can do that by either taping the hearts onto the lens hood (this is best if you are photographing from any perspective other than the top-down or the bird's eye perspective). Or, if you are shooting down on your subject, you can attach the heart cutouts to different length strings and allow them to hang down off and away from the lens hood. You can also try and hold up a few hearts at the edges of your frame while you photograph images, which will create bokeh depth in your images. 

Step 5: 

Once the hearts are attached to your lens hood, t's now time to get creative and capture images filled with foreground heart bokeh.

ISO 1000, 35mm, f3.2, 1/500SS

2. Heart bokeh overlay

The second way I like to infuse hearts into my February and Valentine's Day themed images is through the use of heart bokeh. Creating heart bokeh overlays is really easy. Last year I wrote a tutorial on creating your own heart bokeh overlays, and you can read those detailed instructions here!

However, if you happen to have a few heart bokeh overlays hanging around, it's easy to infuse them into your images inside of Adobe Photoshop. Bokeh overlays often look something like this: 

Once you open an image into Photoshop, you can drag or pull an overlay on top of that image. If your overlays have a black background, you'll want to change the blend mode for the overlay layer and set it to "Screen." Underneath the "Layers" tab, you'll discover a drop-down menu. With the overlay layer selected, click on the blend mode layer, then choose the blend mode "Screen." This choice in blend mode will hide everything black and reveal only the red heart bokeh (or bokeh on the layer you've chosen), which you can move around and place or resize within your image to your liking. 


Super fun, right?! I think bokeh is such a cute way to infuse a little heart magic into your photographs during February. 

ISO1250, 35mm, f1.8, 1/200SS

Infusing heart bokeh into your images is a wonderful way you can get creative this month of February! Don't be afraid to experiment and try new techniques. I don't think there's ever a wrong way to try out a creative technique, so have fun and enjoy the process of creating! 


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