Focussing subject while blurring the background

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Cool G5, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Cool G5

    Cool G5 TPF Noob!

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    I have seen photographs having a blurred background while the subject is foccussed ultra sharp. No they are not macro shots, but normal shots in which the object is given preference over the background.

    I want to take such shots. Can you tell me how to setup the camera for the same. I don't know anything about photography.
     
  2. puyjapin

    puyjapin TPF Noob!

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    If you are using a dslr then you would need the bigger apertures either in manual mode or aperture priority. The larger the aperture (low f stops) the less focussed the background will be.
     
  3. vabikeguy

    vabikeguy TPF Noob!

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    Or if you have a DSLR, turn the knob to take an automatic closeup (the icon for this is usually a little flower), get as close to the subject as your lens recommends and take the shot. I would look for some sort of contrast between the subject and its background if possible.
     
  4. puyjapin

    puyjapin TPF Noob!

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    this of course can work the other way, sharp background, blurry foreground
     
  5. bjorkfiend

    bjorkfiend TPF Noob!

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    ...
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  6. chadsdphoto

    chadsdphoto TPF Noob!

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    Yep, that's called "shallow" or "low" depth of field. As has been said, that is mainly caused by the aperature.

    The effect can also be enhanced by having the subject much closer to the camera than it is to the background. A telephoto lens will increase this effect when combined with the large aperature.

    If you don't have ability to change the aperature on your camera, then I would experiment with using the telephoto end of your zoom lens, but move the subject as close to the camera as it will focus, while keeping the subject as far as possible from the background.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  7. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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  8. Cool G5

    Cool G5 TPF Noob!

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    @Bjorkfiend - I do not own a Canon G5 though my name indicates it.

    I own a Canon SX 100 IS. I think it has the lowest aperture of 2.8. So should I try clicking photographs on F 2.8?
     
  9. puyjapin

    puyjapin TPF Noob!

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    yes for blurry background shallow DOF use the 2.8 setting
     
  10. Tayfun

    Tayfun TPF Noob!

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    Everything about the Depth Of Field is written here except the affect of the sensor size. As you know PS cameras (like yours) have very little sensor when compared by the DSLR's. Generally you can not get very nice blurry area (aka bokeh) by PS cameras when compared by the DSLR's. Technically they give the same DOF but when the sensor gets bigger, it sees more angle and so the blurry area is bigger. So don't get surprised when you cannot get the same bokeh by the photos taken by DSLRs.

    And yes, you must use the wide open aperture (the smallest f number) setting to have shallow DOF but don't forget that lenses give their worst performance on the widest apertures (generally best performance at f5.6 to f8). Generally one stop higher gains a lot about sharpness and image quality.

    Best.
     
  11. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Once you drop your aperature down in the 2's, you're really going to start seeing the effect you want. This is called bokeh or other photographers call this a blown out background.
     
  12. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    The most important aspect is actually NOT aperture. I can create the blur at f8 easily by using a long lens and getting close to the subject! Magnification is everything.

    Unfortunately compact cameras have a very restricted ability to blur backgrounds due to the size of the very small sensor! However you maY BE ABLE TO DO IT.

    Set your lens to it's max aperture and also zoom to your lenses longest focal length.

    Now get as close to the subject as possible making sure that there is nothing in the background - or at least make sure you are a metres away from any background wall or such like......

    this will give you the maximum opportunity to create the blurry background you want - setting the camera to macro mode will help.
     

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