How to blur Backgrounds?

Joined
Mar 26, 2007
Messages
520
Location
Ontario,Canada
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.

Thanks
Sarah
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
904
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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.
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2007
Messages
520
Location
Ontario,Canada
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
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
3,591
Location
Massachusetts
Real Name
David
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.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
3,003
Location
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?
 
L

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.
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
184
Location
United States
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.
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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..
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After blur was applied...
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Hope that helps.
 
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