How to Get a Blurred Background in Photographs

Hi Remodelaholics! Amy here from The Blissful Bee and I’m happy to be back again with more photography tips to make your photographs shine. The most asked question I get about photography is how to get the highly desired blurred background. You see this technique in all types of photography; portrait photos, product photography and even home photography. I love the blurred background effect and use it all the time in my photography. In my opinion it gives the photograph a much more artistic flair. With the right lens, you too can get this look.

The most important piece of equipment you will need is a lens that will give you an F Stop that goes as low as 1.2, 1.4, 1.8 or even the low 2’s.  I use a 50 mm lens that cost me right around $350. There are many types of 50 mm lenses though (with all sorts of price ranges), so I would do your research first! After you have you’re lens, now it’s time to start playing with the F Stop. The F Stop is the feature on the camera that will give you a blurred background (or foreground depending on what you’re focusing on) or a full focus photograph.

Just think about it this way, a lower F Stop will give you a more blurred background and a higher F Stop will give you a lesser blurred background. For example, I chose to focus my lens on this little fox figurine. So since I focused on the fox, with a 1.4 F Stop, my background will be very blurry. Still focusing on the fox, bump your F Stop up  few notches and you will see the background will become less blurry. How to Get a Blurred Background in Your Photos | The Blissful Bee Blog on Remodelaholic.com

  Here is an example of my lens’ lowest F Stop at 1.4. You can’t even see anything in the background!! How to Get a Blurred Background in Your Photos | The Blissful Bee Blog on Remodelaholic.com When I bump up my F Stop up to a 6.3, you can actually start seeing some of the background come into focus. How to Get a Blurred Background in Your Photos | The Blissful Bee Blog on Remodelaholic.com Just remember, whatever you focus your lens on will be what’s in focus, no matter what F Stop you use. If I wanted the foreground blurred, I would just focus on an item in the background instead. I love using my F Stop in my photography and I hope you guys will be encouraged to try out these new tricks! To see more of my photography tips or my latest home design DIYs, make sure to visit me at The Blissful Bee!

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4 Comments

  1. Just so your readers are aware in case they want to research this technique further, this is known as Depth of Field.

    Also, the “size” of the lens depends on the type of sensor your camera has. For instance, in your 50mm example, I’ll assume you have a full frame sensor (Although in todays market, this is a big assumption), the equivalently sized lens for, say, a Canon 7d crop sensor is about 31mm. So if you have a smaller sensor size and wanted to reproduce the image above, you might need a different lens or stand closer to the object you are trying to photograph.

  2. Wow! This is the best explanation of how F stops work that I’ve ever seen! Guess I’m more of a visual learner than I thought!!
    Thank you for this post!!

  3. I learned an easier trick many, many years ago. Use a telephoto lens. Focus on the item in front, back will auto blur. The only difference (and it’s a big one) is that unless you adjust the f-stop, you only have one background choice.

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