How to blur Backgrounds?

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Farmergirl, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. I know you guys and girls can help me on this one. I love my SLR camera but can never get backgrounds blurred like everyone else. How do you all do it?? Please help a struggling newbie.

  2. 1. Zoom to the highest focal length
    2. Set your aperture to the widest value
    3. Get real close to your subject or have the background far away.

    Or you could get a lens with a wide aperture (less than f/2.8).

    blurry backgrounds are a result of the combination of focal length, distance from lens to subject (focus point), and aperture setting.
  3. O.k. i Tried that. But whenever i try to click my shutter I get a r07 reading what does this mean? I am using a 18-70mm nikon lens
  4. senna


    Jan 6, 2007
    San Jose Ca.
    What mode are you shooting in. A apurature mode will work best.
  5. Hey thanks,
    I was always shooting in full Manual or M. But I stil don't know what R07 means.

  6. davidzvi


    Apr 30, 2005
    Is that R07 in the lower right corner of the view finder? If so, that means the buffer has 7 shots remaining before it will make you pause as it writes to the card.

    As for blurring the background, remember depth of field is distance infront of and behind your focal point, and the depth is more behind then in front of the point of focus. So try and keep your subject a good distance from you back ground.
  7. senna


    Jan 6, 2007
    San Jose Ca.
    Sarah, r07 should be indicating number of shots capable before buffer is full. You are seing r07 when shutter is half pressed is this correct?
  8. jaymc

    jaymc Guest

  9. Thanks Everyone!!
    I now know what r07 means. I will keep practising with the blurred background.

  10. LisaR

    LisaR Guest

    Sarah ...... the "term" for this is bokeh. You can do a search both here and online to read more about it. Hope this helps.
  11. After reading this, I think you may not have the "green focus" dot going on, meaning you're probably too close to your subject?
  12. Sarah:
    I assume that you're talking about depth of field (DOF). The lower the f-stop on your lens, the shallower the DOF. The higher the f-stop, the greater the DOF. A shallower DOF means that there will be fewer things in focus in front of and behind your subject. A shallow DOF is desirable when you are trying to bring attention to a specific subject, such as is generally the case in portraiture. A deep DOF (high f-stop) would keep more things in focus and is usually desirable in things like landscape photos. Distance to your subject also plays a role in DOF. The closer you are to your subject, the shallower your DOF; the farther away you are the deeper the DOF.

    Below is an example of a shot I took last year of a baseball player. I was about 10 feet away from him and my f-stop was set to 3.5. It's not the best shot, but it illustrates the point.

    You can also apply a blur during post processing. In the first shot below you'll see that the background is kind of distracting. I used Photoshop CS2 in the second shot to apply a gaussian blur and then brush in the details on the animal. I also applied a slight color curves adjustment, but that's irrelevant to the example.

    Before blur was applied..

    After blur was applied...

    Hope that helps.
  13. Doug


    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    nice job on the cat Wes.
  14. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  15. Thankyouverymuch!
    (Elvis has left the building.)
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