November 20, 2010

How to shoot subject with blurred background

Shooting a picture with a blurred background is very simple. You just need to know the basic concept behind this effect. Before we carry on with this tutorial to shoot subject with a blurred background, let’s understand the basics as to how this optical effect occurs.

Try this: Keeping your right eye closed with one hand, take your finger close to your left eye. Now focus on the finger. You will see a blurry background. So what exactly happened?
Your eye lens adjusted it’s focal length to a smaller value in order to focus the subject of interest(your finger, in this example), thereby blurring the background. The camera’s lens works in the same manner.

How to defocus the background with your digital camera?

Remember: Your subject must be close to the camera and the background must be a bit distant (4 feet approx. from subject). Secondly, try to go for a colorful background instead of just a plain one(in this way the defocused background can be clearly seen).

Settings for DSLR Cameras:

Operate the camera in manual mode with flash turned off. Choose the lowest possible f-stop value and a high shutter speed value. For example – you can start with the lowest possible f-stop value of 2.0 and a shutter speed of around 200 or 400. Bring the subject closer to the camera and start shooting with these settings. Now gradually increase the f-stop value and shutter speed. Compare the two results and stick with those combinations of shutter speed and f-stop values which give better results.

Settings for Point-and-Shoot Cameras:

Switch to manual mode with flash turned off and choose the lowest possible ISO value (preferably 100 to 200). Now start shooting with these settings. Low ISO values are responsible for inducing blur in photographs, so consider using a tripod while shooting the picture.

Sample photos that i clicked with my digital cameraclip_image001:

blurred background digital camera
blurred background digital camera