How to take photos with a blurry background

If you wondered how to make the background in the photo blurry so that using the correct focus only the most important element in the photo is highlighted, then you will find useful information from this article :).

Blurred back and front background. My photo. F2.0, 50mm, ISO 200, 4000 ', Helios-81n, Nikon D40

Blurred background and foreground. My photo. F2.0, 50mm, ISO 200, 4000 ′, Helios-81n, Nikon D40


The blurred background in the photo can be in two main ways:

1. Using the camera settings
2. Using software

Blurred photo

Blurred photo


On the blurring power and creating bokeh is the strongest The following physical parameters affect:

  1. Geometric aperture lens, it’s the same aperture. The smaller the F number, the finer the depth of field (depth of sharply depicted space) and the more the background and background are blurred.
  2. The focal length of the lens. The larger the focal length of the lens, the more the background will be blurred.
  3. Focusing distance to the subject. The shorter the focus distance (the distance between the camera and what you shoot), the more blurred the background.
  4. The distance between the subject and the background. The farther the background from the subject, the more blurry it is.
  5. Optical design (more specifically affects the nature of the blur). The better the optical design, the more pleasant the bokeh :)
  6. Indirectly affects matrix size the camera. More than matrix size, the more viewing angle and the closer you need to get to the subject, which, in fact, rests on the 3rd point. Therefore, they argue that full-format cameras blur the background more strongly than cropped. Speaking rudely, the more crop factorthe harder it is to blur the background.
  7. Also, blurring is affected by special nozzles and filters on the lens. Here an example of a simple home-made Center Spot filter.

You can also blur the background using special graphic editors. But, of course, a more natural and natural blurring of the background occurs directly when shooting. In order to blur the background with the camera as much as possible, you need to configure it correctly.

What is the best way to set up your camera

1. Need to maximize aperture... F-number is usually responsible for the aperture. It is very convenient to take photos with a blurred background in the aperture priority mode, which is indicated on the camera mode dial by the letters'A' or 'Av'. Open - means to decrease the F number. For example, the F3.5 aperture value is greater than the F5.6 aperture value. If, for example, the camera is set to F8.0, then to open the aperture you need to lower it to the minimum allowable, usually F5.6, F3.5, F2.8. On fast lenses, even F1.8 and F1.4 can be set. For example, on a piece of paper I printed “This is the background” and to blur it I first shot at F / 1.4, and in order to develop it more, I shot at 16.0

The effect of the aperture on the depth of field and on the blurriness of the background

The effect of the aperture on the depth of field and on the blurriness of the background

2. You need the maximum focal length on your existing lens (that is, unscrew the zoom to maximum). Than more will be the focal length, the easier it will be to blur the background. To do this, you should make the maximum approximation on a digital camera, and on a SLR - simply transfer the lens to the focal length with the maximum number. For example, if you have a standard '18 -55mm 'class lens, then it will be best to blur the background at 55mm (at the maximum extreme position with the largest number of focal lengths). On a regular digital camera (aka 'soapbox'), sometimes you can simply turn on the macro mode, while the lens itself is set to the maximum focal length.

Sample photo with blurry background

Sample photo with blurry background

3. Finally, get as close as possible to the subject you are shooting. The closer the subject is to the lens, the stronger the blur. In this case, the lens will focus closer and closer. Just see that the frame is well-arranged, otherwise you can shoot something completely different from what was planned.

Sample photo with blurry background

Sample photo with blurry background


Boke

Of course, many have heard of bokeh. Bokeh is the nature of the background blur, including its intensity. If the lens blurs the background well, then the lens is said to have good bokeh. There is a lot of debate about the beauty of bokeh - which lens is better or worse. Bokeh has its own plasticity, distortions, twisting, etc., the feeling of beauty of bokeh comes with experience and each has its own.

Sample photo with blurry background. Soft bokeh

Sample photo with blurry background. Soft bokeh


Chasing bokeh

The pursuit of better bokeh is a comparison of a huge number of shots, all sorts of arguments in favor of a particular lens, which leads to the pursuit of fast and long-focus lenses, which cost a lot of money.

Sample photo with blurry background

Sample photo with blurry background


Which lens blurs the background the most

Coming from previous thoughts, the lens with a large focal length and large aperture... For example, 50mm lenses blur the background well - lenses with a XNUMXmm focal length and a large aperture F1.4, the short telephones of the 135mm F2.0 type blur the background even more strongly, the 200 mm F2.0 telephones are even stronger, and so on. But the longer the focal length and the larger aperture, the more expensive the lens. Therefore, usually amateurs stop at a fifty-kopeck piece of the 50mm F1.4 type, or on a dark, but long-focus telephoto lens of the 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 type. Which lens is best for you - it depends only on your personal considerations.

Sample photo with blurry background

Sample photo with blurry background


More thoughts about blurring

If you delve into the subtleties of what affects the bokeh more, then it is difficult to reach a consensus, but please note that sometimes the focal length affects more than aperture the lens. Also, the blur of the background is indirectly affected by the size of the sensor for the same lens. So on full-frame cameras they say that blur is stronger with the same lens. The depth of field of the lens does not change - it is a physical quantity. So what's the catch? And the catch is that the focusing distance of the lens changes to compose the same frame. And of course, the farther the background is from the subject, the more it will blur. By the way, short-focus lenses with large aperture it’s better to blur the background, which is close to the subject.

Background blur in a full-length portrait

Background blur in a full-length portrait


Photoshop will also help

If the picture is taken and you want to blur the background, then Photoshop or another program will come to the rescue. There are a lot of blur methods and I will not dwell on them.

What is blurring the front and back (far) plan in general?

What is blurring the front and back (far) plan in general?


Conclusions:

For maximum blur, shoot with the widest aperture and the maximum focal length of your lens. In this case, the further the distance between the background and the subject is and the closer the distance between the camera and the subject, the more the background will be blurred. If the camera cannot provide a normal blur, you can finish it in a special program, such as Photoshop.

↓↓↓ Like it :) ↓↓↓ Thank you for your attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 444, on the topic: How to take pictures with a blurred background

  • mouse

    just do not shower me with slippers now. yes, i'm blonde. and just learning (it's never too late to learn, as someone from the textbook said there while I skipped lessons). please tell me where to find the F value and decrease it. I hope you have a strong nervous system !! :) (I bought the D3100 on your advice, well, it caught fire in one place, what can I do ...) there is no one to ask for advice, so I will modestly destroy your nerve cells, because this is the first photo site that I caught in search of. a thousand apologies in advance. By the way, all the men who, after my message, will pull out the hair on their heads with obscene language, happy holiday! you are the best!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      On the wheel of the camera control modes, find the MSAP sequence, set the value A with the wheel. Then you can rotate the F value with a roller on the camera

      • Natalie's

        oh thanks, this is exactly what i need !!!

      • Christina

        Is it possible to do this kind of focus on the Nikon coolpix p 510

    • Dima

      Mouse) if you have any questions - let me know. I'll be glad to help. I have Nikon D7000

  • Dmitriy

    Arkady, thanks for the accessible presentation of information. But still, I did not understand one aspect: for a fixed distance of the subject to the background (portrait shooting, for example), how to more efficiently blur the background while maintaining the size of the subject, bringing the photographer closer to the subject or increasing the focal length. Perhaps there are rules for the optimal ratio of the focal length to the distance to the background object. Sorry if it is difficult to wrap up the question.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It's hard for me to say which affects more strongly - focusing distance or focal length.

  • Gennady

    Good time of the day, Arkady. I am interested in such a nuance - in the second photo (with a nail), the sharpness zone vertically passes through all the photos, as in the photo from the example about Photoshop. This is all the merit of the software or it can only be achieved with a camera. PS I came across (in my opinion, even on your site) photos including those with a horizontal zone. Thanks.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      This is all the work of the lens, just the photo is turned upside down 90 degrees.

  • Tata

    Hello Arkady! I have a Nikon D90 50mm 1 / 4D lens. Apparently, I bought a low-quality one, albeit a new one. with the sharpness of the problem - I do not get it, white (or faces in portraits) often comes out somehow glowing ((
    Tell me, on what portrait lens with a twisted bokeh and beautiful colors, replace it with Soviet or imported ones at a price of up to 3000 UAH. ?

  • Victoria

    tell me. Is the bokeh effect possible in principle on digital cameras? or to be more precise on Canon PowerShot G1 x for example ...

    • Anatoly

      It's all about the lens. And the apparatus itself on the drum). He (the matrix) is given a picture, he will print.

  • anonym

    Arkady, thank you for your advice! Tell me, please, but if with the maximum open aperture, not only the background, but also the front is also blurry. What is the reason for this? And how to make it clear?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      No, it's a physical relationship. Only a certain zone turns out to be sharp, in more detail about the depth of field - https://radojuva.com.ua/2012/11/hyperfocalnoe-dof-main/

      • Nargis

        Arkady, good day to you!

        Please tell me, which lens for maximum background blur can be purchased for the Canon 600D?

        • Arkady Shapoval

          The Canon EF 200mm f / 2.0L IS USM will be nice, as well as the Canon EF 70-200mm f / 2.8 USM L IS II not bad :)

  • Valya

    Please tell me which is the best lens to blur well and to do good portraits at weddings.

  • Valya

    I have a canon 60d. Please tell me what to shoot weddings which two lenses are needed. I blurred to be clear. I have 85-1.7. Can this one go for weddings? Please advise. Thanks

  • Leonid

    I want to buy a 70-300 lens, but the aperture is only 4 ... will you get a beautiful background blur?

  • Yuliya

    Tell me Arkady I want to buy a camera, but settled on two models NIKON D5100 18-105 or KENON D650 18-55, I can not decide, tell me please !!!

  • Max

    Guys, please open the question to the newcomer, please, why do I want to make the 18-105 Nikon D5100 lens blurry and the front side sharply asking things according to this scheme? Select the aperture priority mode (or portrait mode) on the device.
    2. Set the maximum aperture (ie, set the minimum aperture value).
    3. Set the lens at maximum magnification - at the far end of the focal length range.
    4. As far as possible, to remove the subject from the background (background), it doesn’t work. I’m doing something wrong bli (but if you can create a portrait in a car in portrait mode?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Send examples of what happens. Perhaps just the limitations of the lens.

  • prk

    which is better at blurring the background 50 1.8 or 85 1.8

    • Arkady Shapoval

      85 1.8

  • SANYA

    WELL S. POLTINIKOM THIS IS CLEAR .. FROM WHAT IT WILL BE BETTER TO WASH 85 MM 1.8 OR Tamron 18-270mm F / 3,5-6,3 Di II VC PZD Macro for Nikon

  • SANYA

    TOTORITY OR Tamron 28-300 f / 3.5-6.3 Di VC LD Aspherical (IF) Macro for Nikon

  • Dmitriy

    Arkady, for the cropped matrix there are concepts of real and equivalent focal length. When comparing different cameras by the factor of blurring the background, which focal point should I focus on? And the second question. As I understand it, for a camera with a sprinkled matrix, the specified aperture value is conditional for determining the depth of field (it can really be multiplied by the crop factor), so do digital soap dishes with 2.8 do not wash anything? Thanks.

  • Anna

    Thank you very much very helpful

  • Alain

    Hello. A year ago we purchased a Canon EOS 500D KIT for a baby photo. But I want more color, somewhere the sharpness of the photo and the blur of the background ...
    We are thinking either to buy a lens or another camera and the lens is already for it ... (up to $ 800) What do you advise?

  • Tatyana

    Thank you for the lesson! Everything worked out! It's a pity, you can't insert a photo ...

  • Nicholas

    I was going to buy a Nikon D3100. Which lens is better to use for better background blur? 18-55 or 18-105?
    Thank you.

  • Victoria

    how to blur the background on a Nikon d3100 camera

    • Arkady Shapoval

      So, as described in this article.

  • igor

    how to blur the background on a sony dsc-h100

    • Arkady Shapoval

      So, as described in this article.

  • Gregory

    Tell me how to achieve a blurry background on the Samsung wb100

    • Arkady Shapoval

      By setting up the camera according to the recommendations from this article.

  • anonym

    as soon as I haven’t tried it yet. A good effect is not obtained. If possible, please tell me exactly for this model

    • Arkady Shapoval

      At a distance of 10m this is not possible with your camera.

  • igor

    I can’t make a blurry background if the subject is approximately 10m away from me

    • Arkady Shapoval

      So your camera is not capable of this.

  • Gregory

    here are the specifications. is it possible to make a blurry background

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