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.

Add a comment: Leonid

 

 

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

  • anonym

    tell me which lens blurred the background more. nikon 50 1.8 or jupiter 37a? thanks

    • Gromozeka

      jupiter 37a

  • Whie

    Hello, I'm a newbie, I want to ask. I have a d 90 camera with a lens of 18-105. When I raise the objec tive by 90 degrees, then with a peephole I look at the ceiling and the body is down, and I will make it full zoom and remove my hand, then it will go back a bit. This is normal? Or it is broken thanks for the answer.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      This is normal.

      • Whie

        Thanks for the reply.

  • Nazar

    Hello, I'm a beginner, tell me, there was already such a question, but nevertheless, there is nikon d90 + 50 1.8d (sharp from 2,5) and still remains from the “Kiev” Jupiter 37a, which lens will more blur the background. Thank you very much!

    • Gromozeka

      Jupiter 37a

  • Victor

    How to increase shutter speed with an open flash. and aperture 2,2. on the lens 85-1,8 or 5o-1,4 .. But when the flash is closed, everything is fine. but with a flash greater than 250 shutter speed is not set.

  • Shohrat

    I can’t set up auto focus, please teach.

  • Shohrat

    I can’t set up auto focus. Please teach me on the Nikon D 7100 photoapp.

    • The Hedgehog

      read the instructions and learn the materiel

    • Artyom

      In your case, only go to paid courses. They teach what to do with a DSLR for 50 thousand)))

  • Victor

    Yes, this is the left page. here no one answers.

    • Gromozeka

      Zdes' otvechajut.

  • anonym

    Duzhe Tsіkava іnformatsіya dyakuyu

  • Rufat

    Hello. Tell me please. I have a Nikon D5300. I need to shoot the model from 5 m of the distance in full growth, but for the background to be completely blurred. Which lens is more suitable. Thank you

    • Gromozeka

      Nikon 85 1.8g

  • Marina

    Hello! Advise the lens please! Now I shoot on canon 24-105 and 85 1.2 but sometimes when shooting, for example, children in the kindergarten I want the view to be closer, but there is no way to approach because of restrictions. What kind of lens can I consider further? Thanks for the answer !!!

  • anonym

    Can you recommend a good and not expensive camera that blurs well?)

    • Dmitry

      It is not the camera that blurs, but the lens. Any inexpensive DSLR + 50mm prime lens - will meet your needs

  • Anna

    How to make a blurry background while driving on a carousel with a child? I have a Canon D550

    • anonym

      need to shoot with wiring using tracking autofocus

    • Jury

      Or take a picture of a child when the carousel is stopped and blurred in motion in Photoshop :)

    • Yarkiy

      You can capture motion with a blurry background in shutter priority mode, about 1/60 or even slower, depending on the speed of the subject. Focusing is manual, and it is necessary to focus in advance at the point of passage of the object. When an object appears, you need to catch it in the frame and lead it to the point of shooting, without stopping the movement, press the shutter and continuing to move the camera for some more time after the shutter closes.
      At first, everything seems complicated, but after practicing on passing cars, you can coolly fill your hand and shoot such stories for one or two. Good luck.

      • anonym

        focus trap, there is an article about this.

  • anonym

    Hi everyone, I'm a newbie, tell me a good lens for the Canon 1100D, so that the background can blur well at a far distance from the camera, so that you can take a full-length photograph of a person with strong blur. Thank you in advance!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Canon 50 1.4 usm or Canon 85 1.8 USM is the best option for the money.

      • Alexey

        Arkady is probably more in Nikon optics.
        Kenon doesn't have a good fifty dollars. or problems with AF or with HA or with mechanics or dark.
        or insanely expensive.
        Canon 50 1.4 usm is optically mediocre and mechanically very unreliable. many failures due to poor design.
        Canon 85 1.8 USM is good for everyone, overly popular. but huge HA and working from 2.0
        Alternatively, look at the Canon 100 2.0 USM - the XA is significantly smaller than the 85. minus - it is a little more expensive than 85 and you will have to move a little further.
        Canon 100 2.0 USM is very close in the picture to the masterpiece from the Canon - the famous 135 2.0 Elke.

        • Lynx

          You still figure out “there are no good ones” or “I won’t be able to buy, so it’s bad”)))

        • Oleg

          The questioner has 1100, not 1dx. The Council of Arcadia is quite appropriate. And I would add plastic fiction 50 / 1.8 and helius.
          Or if you summarize it with an aperture of 2 and focal length of 50 mm

    • Alexey

      alternatively, if the budget allows, see Kenon 24-70 2.8 first version.
      Suitable for growth on FF, and actually replaces 3 fixes.
      if it's very cheap there is a nice new Canon EF 50mm f / 1.8 STM. price - $ 125 he definitely works out this money.

  • Sergei

    How to blur the background with a JVS 515 camcorder? I manage to blur the background when I focus on small objects, but I would like to blur the background behind a person who is standing at full height. Thanks in advance for your reply!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It is impossible to accomplish this with this technique.

  • Sergei

    Here are the technical specifications of the camcorder: http://www.ixbt.com/divideo/jvc-gz-ex515.shtml

  • Yuliya

    Please tell me how to blur the background on a Nikon D5200 camera on a standard lens (Nikon DX AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm 1: 3.5-5.6G)

    • Lynx

      maximize the distance of the model from the background.

    • Dmitry

      Yes, and even a minimum zoom, aperture priority mode, aperture minimum (i.e. 3.5). The background from the model is far away. Then some blur will come out.

    • Alexey

      ok - no way. Try something better from optics, Nikon DX AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm 1: 3.5-5.6G is a plug for a hole in the carcass.
      what lens do you need? google something like “depth of field calculator”.

  • Eugene

    Hello, how can I blur the background behind a person on a nikon d7000 camera, lens 18-55?

    • Sergei

      1. Almost nothing. The only option: the background should be very far from the subject. Well, the focal length is 50-55 mm. To shoot a portrait at 18 mm, of course, you can, but it's ugly.
      2. Have you read the article and comments? Julia asked exactly the same question from 24.05.2015.

  • Alexander

    Thanks for the stuff! Everything is very affordable! I am making great progress thanks to this site.

  • anonym

    Is the Fujifilm FinePix S4300 Black a good camera?

    • Artyom

      Beat the one who got you right.

    • Lynx

      Not bad for its class

  • Victoria

    Hello. Please advise which lens is better to choose: 50mm f / 1.8 or f / 1.4 for Nikon3100? For indoor photography, portraiture and food. Thanks for the answer.

    • Alexey

      Nikon AF-S 50mm f / 1.8G - it has more accurate and faster AF. on 1.4 it’s still impossible to shoot normally.
      1.8 is significantly cheaper.
      carefully choose a lens, among 50mm there are a lot with back / front.

      • Artyom

        The girl does not understand the difference between 1.8 and 1.4, and you tell her about the back / front))) also implying that she knows and knows how to identify it! Lol
        You are HARD, Alexey))

    • Lynx

      For shooting indoors -35 mm for portraits - 85 mm, and out of two fifty dollars, 1,8 is enough for you

  • anonym

    HELLO ME'S PHOTO CAMERA
    Specifications Compact Camera Nikon Coolpix L340 Black
    Key Features All Features
    Common parameters
    Type compact camera
    Nikon Coolpix L340 Camera Model
    Primary color is black
    Matrix
    The total number of megapixels of the matrix is ​​20.48
    The number of effective pixels is 20.2 million
    Physical matrix size 6.16 x 4.62 mm
    Maximum photo resolution 5152 x 3864
    Type of matrix CCD
    Minimum Sensitivity (ISO) 80
    Maximum Sensitivity (ISO) 1600
    Auto ISO is
    Flash
    There is a flash
    Maximum flash range up to 4.7 m
    Flash functions TTL auto flash with test pre-flash, red-eye reduction
    Shoe for external flash no
    Modes and Functions
    White balance is automatic, from the list
    1 frame / sec.
    Image stabilizer (photography) optical
    Macro shooting is
    There is a timer
    Timer operation time, from 10 s
    Aspect ratio (still image) 16: 9,3: 2,4: 3
    Lens
    Focal length 4.0 - 112 mm
    Focal length (35 mm equivalent) 22.5 - 630 mm
    Aperture f / 3.1-5.9
    Optical Zoom 28x
    Digital Zoom 4x
    The number of optical elements 12
    The number of groups of optical elements 9
    Viewfinder and LCD screen
    Viewfinder no
    LCD screen diagonal 3 ″
    Touch screen no
    The number of pixels of the LCD screen 460000
    exposure
    Minimum shutter speed 1/1500 s
    Maximum shutter speed 4 s
    Manual adjustment of shutter speed and aperture no
    Exposure Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 steps
    Matrix, spot, center-weighted metering
    Focusing
    Manual focus no
    Minimum shooting distance 1 cm
    Focus modes automatic in contrast, automatic with object detection, face, center
    Videotape
    There is video recording
    H.264, MOV video formats and codecs
    Shooting HD video
    Maximum video resolution 1280 × 720
    Maximum movie frame rate 30 fps
    Maximum frame rate when shooting HD video 30 fps at 1280 × 720
    Video Recording Time 29 min
    Memory and communication
    No wifi
    No GPS
    NFC no
    Type of memory cards supported SD, SDHC, SDXC
    The amount of internal memory 43 MB
    JPEG image formats
    Interfaces micro USB, mini-jack 3.5 mm input, mini-jack 3.5 mm output
    Food
    Type and number of AA batteries (4 pcs)
    The number of photos on one charge 370 photos
    Housing
    Case Material Plastic
    No external protection
    Minimum operating temperature 0 ° C
    Additionally
    Battery, documentation, USB cable, lens cap with cord, strap
    Additional Information Tripod Mount
    Dimensions, weight
    111.1 width mm
    Height 83.3 mm
    Depth 76.3 mm
    Weight of the camera with batteries 430 g
    Camera weight without batteries 337 g
    Is it possible to shoot with a blurry background. Thanks.

    • yarkiy

      Purely conditionally possible, in macro mode, the entire background will be blurred in the trash. You can also try on the long end, i.e. at the limit or so focal length, take a portrait as close to the model as possible and as far from the background as possible. But this is pure masochism, and what do you want from a matrix the size of two match heads, if the owners of cropped DSLRs dream (not all, but many) of a full-frame camera for better blurring of the background. Do not forget, also about interchangeable optics, which for this purpose is made interchangeable in order to be able to change, say, a wide-angle lens for completely sharp landscapes, to a special portrait one, which is great for blurring the background and foreground, or even a telephoto for hunting for distant shy ones by the birds.

      I hope you understand what is written here.

    • Jury

      You would have attached the scanned instructions, otherwise this information is not enough.

  • anonym

    my mailing address alexandrov.1983@yandex.ru

    • BB

      um, why, send greetings and congratulations?

  • Inna

    Good afternoon, do not throw your slippers ... I bought a Nikon d5300 18-105 vr kit camera. Tell me with such a camera and with the lens is there even the slightest opportunity to blur the background?)) I don’t ask how, I’ll learn in video courses, just yes or no .. thank you very much for earlier

    • yarkiy

      Of course you can, and even very easy.
      Focal larger, wider hole, closer object, background away. This is a bonus for future studies.

  • Inna

    Thank you for such an early reply! Good luck and success!

  • Andrei

    Tell me please! The Nikon D5100,18-55mm? 1: 3.5-5.6G camera. Why is it not possible to set the value to 55mm F / 3.5 on it? Stops at 5.6 and at least you crack! Does not go below.

    • Denis

      I have the same thing on the D5100, it looks like it's in it (

      • Andrei

        what if you put 18mm everything is exposed ... what the hell?

      • Lynx

        What a horror!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      A class 18-55 / 3.5-5.6 lens can use a maximum aperture of f / 3.5 at 18 mm focal length and f / 5.6 at 55 mm focal length. For this, these numbers are indicated.

      • Andrei

        better to change the lens?

        • yarkiy

          Why change that? Learn to shoot so many different lessons on the Internet.

          • Andrei

            Yes, I just want the background to be well blurred, with this lens it doesn’t work out very well

          • Andrei

            I do not mean portraiture, namely, when for example you take a full picture

            • Yarkiy

              Well, get a fifty-fifty 1.8 and you will be happy. A hole from 1.8 to 2.8, 7 meters away from the model (this is what would be in full growth) and the background the farther, the more blurry. Voila. Yes, and you need to shoot either in mode A or in mode M and no automatic machines.

              • Andrei

                thanks for the info)

        • Lynx

          Better immediately a carcass.

    • yarkiy

      Unless you are kidding. 3.5 is the maximum aperture at a focal length of 18mm. When you rotate the lens closer to 18 to 55 mm, the aperture also changes its value to 5.6. This is the lens device, this is how it works, it was done that way, specifically, to make it cheaper.
      The first change in aperture value occurs at 20mm and closes to 3.8, then 24mm f4, 29mm f4.2, 32mm f4.5, 36mm f4.8, 40mm f5, 48mm f5.3, 50mm f5.6.

      5100, gentlemen, nothing to do with it.

      • Denis

        I suspect that the aperture with increasing focal length opens more and more, despite the fact that the aperture number is getting smaller
        for example, if for an 18mm aperture is F / 3,5, then for 20mm with the same hole diameter it will already be 20/18 * 2.5, it turns out F / 3.8.
        and by 55mm, apparently, the diameter of the hole increases by 1,9 times

      • anonym

        - it was done so, especially to reduce the cost -

        -it happened …

        • anonym

          as always.

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