how to capture blurry background photos.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


get a new DSLR for christmas? no clue how to use it? i'm gonna keep it simple.

blurry background photos (as i call them) are most often used for portraits or any occasion you want the foreground to stand out from the rest of the photo. it's controlled by a fancy term called aperture.

1. put your camera in AV mode, or aperture priority mode.
2. aperture numbers vary according to your lens.
3. for example, a 50mm f/1.4 lens will have the lowest aperture of 1.4. when you see f/random number on a lens, that random number is the lowest aperture your lens can go.
4. the lower the aperture number on your camera, the blurrier the background. 
5. start with the lowest aperture number your lens will allow. work up from there.
6. experiment. see what you like. for whatever reason, i hang out in the 2.8-3.5 range.

a low aperture number is also helpful when shooting in low light.

of course, just flipping your camera to AV mode doesn't deem you perfect pics every time. for maximum control of your photos, you'll need to shoot in manual. but i promised to keep it simple.

i dropped the ball on keeping up with photography tutorials. forgive me.

ps: how to capture motion blur pics.

16 comments:

Briana said...

Way to keep it simple. All this f-stop and aperture talks always confuses the hell out of me.

I just move nobs and click buttons until I get the shot I want. I'll apply your tutorial and see if it helps.

Thanks! :)

Allison said...

THANK YOU. I just learned something without feeling like an idiot! The only bad part is now I have to wait until I get home to try it out. If it's okay with you, I'd like to feature it in a post next Monday.


You have such a fantastic blog!

rebecca said...

allison-
thanks! you are certainly welcome to use the post next monday. :)

Kim said...

Thanks for this! I can always use a good, simple photography lesson.

Arielle said...

Thanks for sharing! I have a folder saved on my computer called "Blurry Pics" and I always want to master the perfect "blur". Thanks again :)

-Arielle
www.humblepievintage.com

The Egg said...

thank you this is helpful. i just use my "eye" and really have no idea how to use my camera. bring back the tutorials!

Rebecca - A Daily Something said...

Keep the tutorials coming, lady!!! This one's helpful :)

Erin said...

The technical, nerdy term is "shallow focus." I paid for a degree in Photojournalism to learn that.

la domestique said...

Love these tutorials. I was a good girl this year so Santa upgraded me from my old Nikon coolpix to a fancy new Canon rebel T3i. Exciting stuff.

Ashley said...

Thanks for the advice. Looking forward to experimenting and possibly taking a class because I need some help!

la petite coquine said...

You make me want to get a camera. I was just telling John that I don't share photos because I am ashamed of my iPhone shots. First world problems right here...

Susan said...

I just got a new 50mm lens for Christmas and am having so much fun learning to shoot "blurry background" shots. ;)

Gaby [The Vault Files] said...

Excellent! Bookmarking it for future reference (aka whenever I get my camera!)

jennifer blair said...

Great tips! I love to have a great bokeh! It just adds so much to a photo!

Abigail Smith said...

Keep the tips coming love! =)

Life Happens said...

I just got the 50mm lens for christmas and LOVE it!

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