Blurred background....?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Natural_Disaster, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. Natural_Disaster

    Natural_Disaster TPF Noob!

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    Trying to get the "blurred background-main subject in focus" effect...
    Using a Nikon D500 and ive tried adjusting the settings according to what ive read on here, in the manual, as well as from other web searches and i just cant get it to work for me. (at all)
    Was wondering if i can get some more suggestions so i can keep trying....before i get so frustrated i just give up!
    (yes im very new to this)
     
  2. robertwsimpson

    robertwsimpson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    what lens?
     
  3. redonyx

    redonyx TPF Noob!

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    What kind of lens are you using?
    What you're trying to do is play with Depth of Field. This is made up of a combination of aperture and focal length.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The effect you want is achieved with a shallow DOF.
    To control the DOF, you use the lens aperture. A larger aperture (smaller F number) will give you a more shallow DOF, which is what you want.

    Also, to be considered, is the focal length of the lens and the distances involved.
    The closer you are to your subject (your focus point) the shallower your DOF will be. The farther away you are, the deeper the DOF will be.

    Also, the farther away the background is, the more out of focus it will be.

    So to maximize this effect, get close to your subject and have your subject as far away from the background as you can.

    Also, keep in mind that many of the photos you see, that have a shallow DOF, might have been shot with a 'fast' lens. That is a lens with a large maximum aperture. (low F number). These lenses can give you a much more shallow DOF than a standard 'kit' lens.
     
  5. Natural_Disaster

    Natural_Disaster TPF Noob!

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    Ive been using the standard 18-55mm lens.
    Ive got the 55-200mm but havent even put it on the camara yet...
     
  6. robertwsimpson

    robertwsimpson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    like mike said, crank the fstop all the way down (low fstop = wide aperture) and minimize the distance from lens to subject, then maximize the distance from lens to background. That should just about do it.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Both of those lenses would be considered 'slow'...so they aren't idea for getting a shallow DOF.
    However, you can get a shallower DOF with a longer focal length, so try the 55-200mm lens and experiment with it at longer focal lengths.
    Remember that getting close will also help, so it's a balance between how close you can get and how wide/tight you need to zoom the lens.
     
  8. robertwsimpson

    robertwsimpson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think I am going to do some experimenting this weekend. Everyone is always talking about how longer focal lengths give you a shallower dof, but I'm not completely convinced. Especially on the lenses with variable apertures. I'll do some experimenting this weekend and post the results.
     
  9. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Try it ... you will be surprised. :)



    Example: Taken with my telephoto zoom lens. And this has a shadow DoF.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  10. Natural_Disaster

    Natural_Disaster TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone!
    It snowed all night and then rained all day so i may wait until i can actually go out to work on it some more. The "in house" shooting is getting a bit boring and i dont have that much space to work with!
    Ill come post some results when i get them though!
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The widest aperture for the 18-55 can give you is f/3.5 but only at 18mm. At 55 mm the widest aperture you can get is f/5.6.

    That means your lens has a variable aperture. If you set it to f/3.5 with it zoomed to 18mm, as you zoom towards 55mm the aperture will automatically change until it is at f/5.6 when you get zoomed all the way out to 55mm.

    There are constant aperture lenses that don't change the aperture as you zoom. They cost more than variable aperture lenses and generally can open to wider apertures like f/1.4, f/1.8 or f/2.8.
     
  12. AliasPros

    AliasPros TPF Noob!

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    what lens I ask also because that really makes a difference, there is a lot that goes into it, focal length and f stops etc. Also its called Bokeh Effect

    Example
    [​IMG]

    In photography, bokeh is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image, or "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light." Differences in lens aberrations and aperture shape cause some lens designs to blur the image in a way that is pleasing to the eye, while others produce blurring that is unpleasant or distracting— "good" or "bad" bokeh, respectively. Bokeh occurs for parts of the scene that lie outside the depth of field. Photographers sometimes deliberately use a shallow focus technique to create images with prominent out-of-focus regions.

    Bokeh is often most visible around small background highlights, such as specular reflections and light sources, which is why it often associated with such areas.[1] However, bokeh is not limited to highlights, as blur occurs in all out-of-focus regions of the image. (flew wikipedia)
     

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