Decreasing DOF for Portraits with P&S

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by marka87uk, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. marka87uk

    marka87uk TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I use a Fuji E900 P&S camera which allows the aperture to range from f/2.8 to f/8.

    When wanting to take portrait pictures and have a nice blurry background though, 2.8 isn't enough, so I've even discovered that using the macro mode can produce the wanted effect!

    Of course, that's not what the mode is really meant for, so is there a way I could achieve the same (or hopefully better) shots in Av mode?

    If not, how else should I do these types of shots?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    There are several factors involved. The first is using the largest aperture you can (F2.8)...the next is using the longest focal length you can (or close to it). Then, you will want to get as close to your subject as you can (a balance with the focal length)...this is why using the macro mode can help, because you can get closer.
    Lastly, if you want the background blurry...have the subject as far away from the background as possible.

    This is a limitation of your camera (or that type of camera)...because the sensor is so small. A camera with a larger sensor will make it much easier to get a shallow DOF.
     
  3. deanimator

    deanimator TPF Noob!

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    By setting your ISO as low as possible (80 in your case) you can get the widest apertures - hence shallowest DOF - for the given light level.

    If necessary..., just tricks but you could try blurring the background with Photoshop. Be careful not to overdo this (practice a lot, and look at lots of examples)
     
  4. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    Big Mike is exactly right in how to do that (no surprise there :))

    To continue on, the 2.8 on a P&S isn't going to produce nearly the same DOF as say a DSLR. I believe that the 2.8 on a P&S acts more like an 8 on a DSLR due primarily to the size of the sensor in the P&S. Thus, it will always be quite difficult to get much DOF difference. One relatively easy way would be to do it in post processing (not as clean, but can work if done right)...
     
  5. marka87uk

    marka87uk TPF Noob!

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    Thanks - I didn't realise how the sensor affected the aperture etc - I wrongly assumed f/2.8 was the same on any camera... oops!

    I'd prefer to not post edit the effect in as sometimes it can look fake, and I'd rather it were achieved from the camera (also, it would be quite time consuming if I took quite a few shots).

    I guess I'll stick with using what I've got and playing about more in macro mode (which seems wrong, but if it achieves what I want then why not?!) as I haven't played too much with it in any modes apart from Auto!

    Thanks for the help guys! :)
     
  6. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    yeah, it tends to look fake, although it really depends on how well you photoshop the photo. It would be much more time consuming, unless you only did it on one or two photos... the important part would be to mask everything properly making it look much more clean, and also choosing your lines that are going to be out of focus so it is more believable.
     

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