Blurry Background [Archive] - Glock Talk


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04-21-2008, 11:10
I'm try to figure out how to take pictures with a blurry background.
I have a Canon XTi (400D) and can't seem to figure out how to do that.
I'm sure someone here can help me out.

Here is an example of what I'm talking about. Thanks Nipperwolf for the example. :supergrin:

04-21-2008, 12:58
Large aperture (small number). This is particularly effective on long lenses.

04-22-2008, 09:20

I'll have to figure out how to do that and try it.

04-23-2008, 22:03
Most kit lenses do not have very large maximum apertures, which means you are going to be limited on how shallow you can make your depth of field. This holds even more true at wider angles or the farther the subject is from the camera. Generally speaking, the longer the focal length and the closer your subject, the blurrier the background will be at maximum aperture. Even the 18-200mm at 200mm f/5.6 can render a blurry background if the subject is real close to the camera (though it will never be as silky as a 200mm f/2.8 lens). The farther from the camera the subject gets, the sharper the background will be. Now, you take a 50mm f/1.8 lens which can be had for less than $150 brand new. You can take photos that have so shallow a depth of field that all the subject may not even be in focus.

Take the following photos for example. Both photos below were taken with a 50mm f/1.8 lens at the max aperture of f/1.8. In the first photo, you notice just about all of my daughter is in focus, yet in the second photo, you will notice that only the eye closest to the camera is truly sharp, while the far side of her face is a bit blurred, and the hair on the other side of her head is even more blurred. So, both shots taken at the same aperture and focal lenght, yet two completely different levels of depth of field. This is because she was much closer to the camera for the second photo, thus making for much more shallow depth of field.

Another thing to realize is that the smaller the sensor in your camera, the more difficult it is to acheive a shallow depth of field. This is why photos from small digicams are generally sharp everywhere. SLRs generally have larger sensors, and therefore have much more shallow depth of field at comprable focal lengths. Hope this helps you understand it.