Creative DIY Bokeh

Create New and Unexpected Images with Common Household Items
By Indigo Bolandrini

You would expect a 15 year old girl to be begging her mother to buy her nail polish so she can lighten up her nails with the snazziest new trend. However, in my case, I’m begging for nail polish for my underwater photography craze… yes, you read that right. So, how exactly does nail polish correlate to underwater photography? And what does this have to do with bokeh

My name is Indigo Bolandrini, I’m 15 years old and a underwater photography addict. I live in a small town on the coast of the Red Sea, and since I was 11, diving has always been my passion. I’m not your ordinary 21st century girl, I prefer to spend my free time diving, editing photos and making a mess in my mum’s kitchen with my DIY projects. My room is filled with posters ; of diving things, not Justin Bieber, and my closet has more wetsuits than dresses.



Well, let me explain. I love macro photography, it’s challenging, brings out even the smallest detail, and hey, it’s pretty awesome. I love to experiment with techniques to enhance my macro photography and make it glow, compared to standard macro photography. This ranges from my DIY snoots with carved out shapes to double exposure. However, my all time favorite DIY technique is my ‘nail polish slates’. For those who haven’t already kind of figured out what it is, It is a clear piece of plastic with nail polish and glitter combined. I hold this behind my subject, which with a wide aperture, creates a beautiful color frenzy bokeh. It’s easy, cheap and most of all, beautiful.



It is extremely easy to make, all you need is:

  • Nail polish (color of your choice )
  • Glitter
  • Super glue
  • Small plastic square
  • Sharp scissors 
  • Sand paper 



Just spread the base color of nail polish onto the plastic slate, go glitter crazy and then add a top coat of super glue to make sure the glitter stays on.You would need scissors and sand paper if you have to cut the plastic slate yourself – as I did in my case.

It might get a bit messy while making it, but it will for sure add shimmer to your photos!



What I like to do is make a few small square slates, each with a solo color, alongside have a bigger one with a mix of colors or a rainbow pattern ( which is in my dive club at the moment ) I then puncture a small hole in each corner and run string through it so it is easy to access underwater.


Sample Photos:



Further Reading:


Indigo Bolandrini is a 15 years old, and a passionate underwater photographer. She started diving when she was 11, and since then has been hooked on this magical hobby. At 12, Indigo became one of PADI’s youngest Junior Master Scuba Divers, and now has just over 700 logged dives, and an around 25 certifications from different agencies. Indigo has become extremely eager to save our deteriorating oceans and hopes to use her photos to make a positive impact on the marine life that inhabits this world. 


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