Blurring the background

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Joanne4, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. Joanne4

    Joanne4 TPF Noob!

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    Hi I was just wondering if anyone could please tell me how to make the background blury when taking a pic.
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    You can do it with a short Depth of Field (DOF). Ways to decrease the DOF are use a wide aperture (small f/#), increase focal length, and decrease camera to subject distance.

    This photo was taken with a 50mm lens (35mm film) at f/1.4 and focused as close as it was possible to do so.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    You are not going to get any better advice than that :)

    Nice pic Matt.
     
  4. skiboarder72

    skiboarder72 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    you can always do it in photoshop too :D
     
  5. Bob_McBob

    Bob_McBob TPF Noob!

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    Faking this kind of blur in Photoshop is pretty much impossible for anything but the simplest scene, and even then it usually looks pretty fake. A filter can't interpret the image from a 3D perspective.
     
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  6. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Excellent point!
     
  7. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Matt's explanation is perfect. There is also another way of blurring the background, but only when the subject is in motion and you 'pan' the camera maintaining the subject in the middle while taking the picture. In other words move with the subject and the background will become a blur (different from the DOF blur explained by Matt). Usually a speed of 1/60 will do the trick, even 1/30 if you're steady handed.
     
  8. Joanne4

    Joanne4 TPF Noob!

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    Should I have said that I am wanting to do this with my digital camera. I have an Olympus Camedia C-4000. Sorry I know nothing about photography.
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Does it have "portrait mode"? That should set it at a wide aperture. Then zoom out all the way (long focal length). And move your subject in close.
     
  10. Joanne4

    Joanne4 TPF Noob!

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    Thats what I have been trying to do but its not working. In the manual for the camera it even says that the background will blur, but its not working :grumpy:
     
  11. Big Mike

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

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    Cameras like that have many limitations. They cannot get a very shallow DOF like a nice prime lens on an SLR can.

    You can maximize your options by setting the aperture at it's biggest setting (lowest number), zooming to the max, getting close to your subject and setting up so that your subject is far away from the background.
     

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