One of the things that looks really great at Christmas is the sort of photograph that has all the lights blurred in the background. The technical term for this is bokeh – go on, click the link to see what it’s like!
With the typical compact camera or camera phone it is quite difficult to achieve this. Here’s how to make the best of a smaller camera. The key is to put an object in the foreground. In this example I’ve used a candle. The candle was on a table about a couple of metres away from the Christmas Tree. I put the camera as close to the candle as it would still focus. This makes the background as much out of focus as it is possible to get. The closer you can get the camera to the foreground object, the more out of focus the background will be.
If you have mastered your camera controls set the aperture to the maximum (this is the smallest number, such as f4 or f2). This will give you the shallowest focus for the best effect.