bokeh, a blurring effect that's especially interesting when it takes on a particular shape (at least that's how I understand it, though, specifically it might be more involved). I think this is a fun photography 101 sort of experiment--it's easy and very satisfying. I had seen some flickr images of the effect a while back but wasn't sure exactly how to achieve it. Andrew sent me a link this week with instructions on how to create this cool effect. You can read them here. It was so easy! Basically, you just create a filter with a shape in the center that covers your lens. Once you place it over the lens, you open the aperture all the way, as far as you can (setting it to the lowest f number), point your camera at some nice lights (Christmas lights are especially great), and that's about it! Well, I think it's important, too, to put your lens on manual focus so you can adjust the blurring effect as you look through the lens. I made 4 filters: one star, one heart, one angel, and one tree, which I cut out with an x-acto knife. I have some fun shape punches, but they wouldn't reach to the center. Cutting them out by hand just took a few minutes though. It was really fun. Here are a some of my favorites! And here again are the instructions. Wee!