When I first started out in my photography journey 8 + years ago I can remember all I wanted was my pictures to look professional…not just amateur. I strongly wanted a blurred background so that my subject would be in focus and the main point to draw the eye to. After MUCH trial and error…asking many photographers for help…reading as much as I could…I figured it out!
Here are some tips incase you are in the same boat I was in, back then!
I strongly suggest learning MANUAL MODE…but for simplicity today I’m going to teach you how to do it with using Aperture Priority Mode. A 5 minute crash course in using your DSLR camera can be a helpful read before this article if you find yourself unsure!
1- Set Your camera on Aperture Priority Mode– For Canon’s that’s AV, for Nikon that’s A. This mode allows you to take full control of the aperture setting and then the camera will set your ISO and Shutter Speed! Wa-la best of both worlds!
You achieve this “blurred background” by your Aperture, which is a function of the lens. Aperture is measured in f/stops i.e. 1.4 1.8 5.6 etc. Your lens will indicate on it how low (small of a number) your lens/aperture will allow you to go. The lower the number (smaller number) the more out of focus you’ll get. **,***
2- Distance. Stand back from your subject and if you’re using a zoom lens zoom in. A longer length lens will get you further away from your subject which naturally creates more depth!
3- Subject to Background Distance. Another aspect that can create more depth is how close your subject is to your background. The further away your subject is from the background will give you more depth as well!
** An ideal starter lens for a low aperture is a Canon 50 mm 1.8 for around $100 and if you can take the plunge you won’t regret the 1.4 either! or Nikon 50 mm 1.8
***If you are using a kit lens where the aperture will only go as low as 3.5, still put your camera that low and by doing #2 and #3 you can trick your lens and get more blur!
*Affiliate links included in this blog post, thank you for supporting Sixth Bloom in a small way!
Hi I’m Erin a Southern girl from South Mississippi, owner and chief editor of Sixth Bloom a blog helping mom-tographers as well as up and coming photographers become successful! You will find me living life to the fullest with my mister (aka husband) and our new little addition Miss Elle in our 500+ sq foot cottage as we build our dream house on our two acres! We are blessed beyond measure, love to travel, involved in ministry at our church and in between all of that I run three successful businesses!
Leave a Reply