Close and fuzzy

A repeat post(*) about a beginners tip we all forget sometimes: there are several things that all contribute to the blurred backgrounds we all love (“narrow depth of field”). And they are….

  1. Selecting a larger aperture (a lower f-number)
  2. Zooming in (using a telephoto lens, not a wide angle lens)
  3. Getting closer

ALL those work. So why forget numbers 2 and 3? If you do not have an f/1.4 lens use an f/5.6 lens but get close!

Here’s me demonstrating this point to two students the other night:

Some blurring of the lady in the background – but not a lot (that was f/2.8 on a point-and-shoot Fuji X100 camera- which gives a depth of field equivalent to around f/4.0 on a full frame camera).

Now, same settings exactly, but let’s get close:

Hey presto – dramatic blurring of the lady in the background. It can be as simple as that.

(*) a repeat post on this subject – why? Simple: you learn by repetition. Also, of course not everyone has read all prior posts. Finally, you’ll see a slight difference in how I explain things, when I explain them several times, and that is a useful difference, designed to help you learn.


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