How can I make the background blurry?
As a professional baby photographer, I get asked many photography related questions from my friends, families and clients, which generally I am happy to try and answer. One of the most common question is, “how can I make the background blurry?”. So today I am going to try and give you a simple answer.
Firstly, let me say, the answer is not so simple and there are few variable’s to consider, but since this is really written for those with very basic knowledge of their camera’s I am going to give you a simple way to do it. At this stage, I will assume though, you have a basic understanding of Shutter Speed, Aperture and exposure.
Ok, so the first thing you need to do is set your camera to Aperture Priority (Av mode for Canon and A mode for Nikon). The next thing you need to do is just look up your camera’s user guide and figure out how to change the aperture (every camera is different). Now, dial the number down as low as your camera (well actually your lens) will allow you. Generally you will have a number between 2.8 and 5.6 (if you have a lens that is less than 2.8, then keep it at 2.8 for the time being and once you have had some practice, then drop it lower to see the effect.
Ok, basically that’s it. Well actually you do need to make sure your subject is well lit, otherwise your Shutter Speed will be too low and your entire image can end up being blurry, so get as close to the window as you can, or if you are taking photo of an inanimate object then put your camera on a tripod.
Just one more thing you need to know, the closer you are to the subject the more background blur effect you well get. Also, as your focal plane is quite narrow, moving subjects could move out of your plane of focus and you end up with a completely out of focus image. Below you will find some examples with different settings.
(There other factors that effect the blurriness of your background, but as I said earlier, I am keeping it simple here).
Now all you need to do is get out there and practice, practice, practice. Have fun!
Aperture: 4.0, Shutter Speed 1/320s, Focal length 200mm, Distance from Subject 1.4m
Aperture: 2.8, Shutter Speed 1/400s, Focal length 155mm, Distance from Subject 1.9m
Aperture: 6.3, Shutter Speed 1/400s, Focal length 35mm, Distance from Subject 2.7m
For more information or to book a session please visit Pitter Patter Portraits, Melbourne Baby Photographer.