How do you get the blurry background effect?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by larry909, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. larry909

    larry909 TPF Noob!

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    What do you need in a digital camera to get that effect where you see the object in focus and the background is blurry?
    Is it manual aperture and shutter settings? So if a camera has manual aperture and shutter settings it would be able to do that?


     
  2. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum!
    You need to set the aperture. You can do that in aperture priority. How blurry it is going to get depends on a few factors like
    • Maximum aperture of your lens (the lower the number the better)
    • Focal length: the longer the better
    • Distance background - subject: the further the better
    • Distance camera - subject: the closer the better
    • Sensor size of your camera - the bigger the better
    If you are interested, I deal with some of the factors in my "effects of aperture" series:

     
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  3. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When you focus on something a certain area front and back is very much in focus while the rest starts to get blurred. This effect is more pronounced if you focus on something close and the background is farther away, it is even more pronounced with smaller aperture numbers (larger aperture).

    You'll often see portraits taken with an 85mm lens with an aperture of say f1.8 and a lot of background is oof.

    Google Depth of field for a more detailed explanation
     
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  4. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In short; no.

    The list in post #2 above is cumulative in nature. Only one of those things by itself might not achieve the blur that you want. Do all of those things to maximize the effect.

    Also, it's not just digital. Film can do it too (substitute "film" for sensor).

    Also, not every digital camera is capable of producing the desired amount of blur. In that list, you really have to maximize all or nearly all of the factors in order to get a blur. And most of the time the gear (lens, sensor size) doesn't come cheap.

    Also, there is nice smooth blur (sometimes called "bokeh") and then there is jittery, figured blur that is just not pleasant to look at. The smoothness of the blur is an inherent quality of the lens chosen, and cannot be "adjusted". It is what it is.
     
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  5. Tomasko

    Tomasko No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    @Designer , that "jittery, figured blur" is still called "bokeh".
     
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  6. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    No, that's the OPPOSITE of "Bokeh". Bokeh is creamy, dreamy, smooth blur with no figure at all.
     
  7. Tomasko

    Tomasko No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    @Designer.

    Let's start with wikipedia: Bokeh - Wikipedia
    In photography, bokeh (originally /ˈboʊkɛ/,[1] /ˈboʊkeɪ/ BOH-kay — also sometimes pronounced as /ˈboʊkə/ BOH-kə,[2] Japanese: [boke]) is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens.[3][4][5] Bokeh has been defined as "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light".

    photographylife.com
    : What is Bokeh?
    Basically, bokeh is the quality of out-of-focus or “blurry” parts of the image rendered by a camera lens – it is NOT the blur itself or the amount of blur in the foreground or the background of a subject.

    B&H: Understanding Bokeh
    “Bokeh” is an English word that is a translation of the Japanese word “暈け” or “ボケ” that means: blur—specifically out-of-focus blur. So, why not just use the already established word “blur?” Because the simple English word “blur” can be applied to motion blur as well. Also, the word bokeh also encompasses the Japanese word “ボケ味“ meaning “blur quality.” So, bokeh is more than the blur, it is a word used to describe the aesthetic quality of blur.

    Nikon: Bokeh for Beginners | Achieving Bokeh in Photographs | Bokeh Effect Tips & Tricks from Nikon from Nikon
    Simply put, bokeh is the pleasing or aesthetic quality of out-of-focus blur in a photograph.


    So yes, I believe you can talk about bokeh in context of a not really pleasing/jittery/whatever background blur. You wouldn't call it "a pleasing bokeh", but... ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One correction. The size of the sensor has nothing to do with depth of field. It is all about lens focal length and aperture as well as distance. Smaller sensor cameras tend to use shorter lenses so that is where this sensor size misconception arises.
     
  9. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No bokeh is nothing more than the appearance of out of focus areas in a photograph. Bokeh can be creamy or horrible and you can describe it any way you like since it is subjective.
     
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  10. photo1x1.com

    photo1x1.com TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I know what you are referring to, so yes and no. But using the same 85mm lens with the same aperture setting and the same crop of the subject with both full frame and crop sensor would result in a much more blurred background on the full frame image, because you are closer to the subject.
     
  11. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sheesh!

    Whatever.

    That would be like calling "rap" music.
     
  12. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Lens focal length and aperture. Subject distance. Nothing else. You can use the 85mm lens at any subject distance. The sensor has nothing to do with it. You are saying that subject distance affects depth of field and, indeed, it does.
     

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