Blurry Backgrounds

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howwwwwwwwwww do I get blurry backgrounds in my pictures??? I just can’t seem to do it.

Like this photo – (this was from Caroline’s blog, of a photo she’d taken, I just wanted to use it as an example)

Do you see how she’s been able to completely focus in on the cupcakes, and everything else is blurry??

Can anyone explain to me — very very simple like, LOL — how to do this? I have a Nikon D40, and would love to be able to use it better.

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5 responses »

  1. I can explain how to do that: “depth of field” (whether or not the background is in focus or blurry) is determined by your aperture. Aperature is technically how wide open the hole in your lens is or isn’t.
    -To get everything in focus you want a large hole (called f stop) represented by a large Aperature number – like 32.
    -To make the background blurry, or out of focus, you want a small aperature, say 2.8

    The easiest way to do this on most cameras is to change the shooting mode from “auto” (the green box most people put their cameras on and never change) to “Aperature priority” (most often an “A”). Then, you can set the aperature to whatever you want and the camera will automatically set the shutter speed to get a correct exposure. Another simple way is to select the “portrait mode” (often represented by a head) because that automatically chooses a very shallow depth of field, blurring the background, but you won’t have any control over how much.

    You can also blur the background in photoshop if you want.

  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_of_field

    The above website gives picture examples of what I’m trying to say. Scroll down to the section named “zone focusing” and look at the two pictures of the flowers on the right. The first picture showing the everything in focus was taken at f/32 (the f stands for f-stop which is layman’s term for aperature). The second picture which looks much better because all the background is blurred out is taken at f/5.6

  3. I have the D40, too, and still have a hard time getting the blurry backgrounds. Unless you can get an f stop of less than 4, it won’t look ultra blurry like that one. You and I need a better lens, methinks!

  4. Thank you!

    And exactly – my D40 just doesn’t seem to want to go that low. If I’m indoors it never really goes any lower than 5 or so. And even at that I never blur really well.

    I want the blur!! LOL – and I wouldn’t even begin to know what new lens to buy. I do good to make do with the one that came with the camera.

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