Just The [camera] Tip: How to Take Pictures with Blurry Backgrounds

 

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If you’re anything like me [handsome, worldly, and humble] you love taking great pictures. I love taking pictures with blurry backgrounds because it helps separate my subject from the background. Also because it just looks pretty.

But if you’re new to the world of big-boy and big-girl (DSLRs and Mirrorless) cameras, achieving that effect is tricky.

Here’s a my quick tip for making sure you nail your blurry background.

  • If you don’t want to shoot full manual—M Mode—shoot in A mode.
    Not any mode. A mode. A mode is also known as aperture priority mode. Don’t worry what that means. You don’t need to know to shoot great photos.

  • Crank down your aperture. Depending on your camera, this will be in different spot. Refer to the manual. I know, super boring.
    1.4, 1.8, or 2.8 is what you’re going for. If your lens came with your camera, the lowest number may be 3.5 or 5.6. That’s okay too. The point is, find whatever dial controls your aperture, and crank that puppy down.

Here’s an example of the same photo taken with two different apertures.

Not Blurry.jpg

Not Blurry

Blurry.jpg

Blurry!

Do you see how in the NOT BLURRY photo, you can still make out words and letters in the background? The lights look sharper, the rims of the car are fairly sharp.

But check out that BLURRY photo. The words, lights, and rims are all blurred, drawing your attention back to my model [Wiff].

Here’s a closer look:

Not Blurry - ZOOM.jpg

NOt BLURRY

Not Blurry.jpg

totes blurred

So there you have it. A quick tip on what camera settings will lead to a blurrier background.

Now that you’ve mastered shooting with a blurry background, you may want to consider how you’ll edit those sweet sweet new shots. I use Adobe Lightroom for almost all of my photo editing. Check it out here.

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