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How to blur background in DSLR camera? How to Take a Portrait With a Blurred Background?

How to blur background in DSLR camera? If you’re looking to take your photography skills to the next level, learning how to blur the background of your photos is a must.

Background blur can be incredibly tricky to master – but it’s essential for taking high-quality photos.

Our guide on how to blur the background in DSLR cameras takes you through all the steps you need to know in order to create stunning portraits and landscapes with beautiful bokeh. With just a few minutes of reading this artical by Edon Lazaj, you will be able to do it yourself.

How to blur background in DSLR camera? How to Take a Portrait With a Blurred Background?
How to blur background in DSLR camera? How to Take a Portrait With a Blurred Background?

Choose a DSLR Lens to Blur Backgrounds – Which lens is best for a blurred background?

Choose a DSLR Lens to Blur Backgrounds - Which lens is best for a blurred background
Choose a DSLR Lens to Blur Backgrounds – Which lens is best for a blurred background

Most lenses can produce a sharp subject with a blurred background. How much blur is possible depends on the type of lens, how far away the subject is, how far away the background is, and the aperture setting.

The amount of blur also depends on whether a full-frame or an APS-C sensor camera is used. On a full-frame DSLR, a 50mm f/1.8 lens produces very nice background blur. But on an APS-C DSLR, that same 50mm lens will act more like an 80mm lens due to the crop factor. So if you want to really blur the background on an APS-C DSLR, you’ll need a longer focal length lens.

Here are some examples of lenses that can produce nice background blur:

  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
  • Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G
  • Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM
  • Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
  • Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX II AF 11-16mm f/2.8

When selecting a lens to blur backgrounds, keep in mind that the wider the aperture (lower the f-stop number), the more blur you’ll get. So if background blur is your goal, look for lenses with large maximum apertures. Also, the longer the focal length, the more background blur you’ll get. So if you want the most background blur possible, go for a telephoto lens with a large maximum aperture.

How to blur background in DSLR camera?

How to blur background in DSLR camera
How to blur background in DSLR camera

Guide to blur background on DSLR camera

Guide to blur background on DSLR camera
Guide to blur background on DSLR camera

Set the camera to the Aperture-priority mode

On the circular dial of your DSLR camera,  look for the mode which is represented by the letter “A”. This is called the Aperture-priority mode. In this mode, you set the aperture while the camera automatically sets a corresponding shutter speed.

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Choose the smallest Aperture (f) number your lens allows

The aperture is the setting that controls the size of the opening in the lens. It’s expressed as an f-stop number, such as f/2.8, f/4, or f/5.6. The smaller the number, the larger the opening (and vice versa).

Distance between the subject and the background

Now that you have the aperture set, take a few steps closer to your subject. As you move closer, notice how the background starts to get more blurry. That’s because as you get closer to the subject, the distance between the subject and the background increases. And as we mentioned before, the longer the distance between the subject and the background, the more blurred the background will be.

You can also blur the background by moving further away from your subject. So if you want more blur, take a few steps back. Just keep in mind that if you move too far away, your subject will become too small in the frame.

Another way to increase the distance between your subject and the background is to use a telephoto lens. Telephoto lenses have a longer focal length, which means they can be used to photograph subjects that are far away. And as we mentioned before, the longer the focal length, the more background blur you’ll get.

Use a low ISO setting

The ISO is the setting that controls how sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light. A high ISO setting (such as 1600 or 3200) will make the sensor more sensitive to light, which is helpful in low-light situations. But it also comes with a downside: noise. Noise is those little flecks of color that you sometimes see in photos shot at high ISOs. So if you want to minimize noise, use a low ISO setting (such as 100 or 200).

Use a fast shutter speed

The shutter speed is the setting that controls how long the shutter is open. A slow shutter speed (such as 1/30 or 1/15) will keep the shutter open for a longer period of time, which is helpful in low-light situations. But it also comes with a downside: blur. If the subject is moving, a slow shutter speed will result in blur. So if you want to avoid blur, use a fast shutter speed (such as 1/250 or 1/500).

Combine these tips for maximum blur

Now that you know how to blur the background, experiment with different combinations of aperture, focal length, and distance to get the amount of blur that you want. And don’t forget to use a low ISO setting and a fast shutter speed to avoid noise and blur.

Bokeh and Blur Quality

Bokeh and Blur Quality
Bokeh and Blur Quality

One final thing to keep in mind when blurring backgrounds is bokeh. Bokeh is the term used to describe the quality of the blur. And it’s not just the amount of blur that matters, but also the shape of the blurred highlights. Lenses with good bokeh will produce smooth, circular highlights, while lenses with bad bokeh will produce harsh, angular highlights. So if you’re looking for a lens that produces beautiful background blur, be sure to pay attention to the bokeh.

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How to Use Depth of Field to Blur a Photo’s Background

How to Use Depth of Field to Blur a Photo's Background
How to Use Depth of Field to Blur a Photo’s Background

Using a wide aperture and moving close to or zooming in on your subject means you have a shallow depth of field. This is when only a small slice of your photo will be in focus while the rest gradually fades into blur. It’s ideal for portraits or close-up shots where you want to draw attention to your subject and blur the background.

When using a shallow depth of field, you’ll need to pay attention to two things: aperture and distance. Aperture controls how much background blur you get, while distance determines how much foreground blur you get.

Next, we will show you how to take a portrait with a blurred background.

How to Take a Portrait With a Blurred Background

How to Take a Portrait With a Blurred Background
How to Take a Portrait With a Blurred Background

Now let’s put all of this together and learn how to take a portrait with a blurred background.

First, choose the right lens. If you want a lot of background blur, use a telephoto lens with a wide aperture (such as f/2.8 or f/4). If you want less blur, use a shorter focal length lens (such as an 85mm or 50mm lens).

Next, choose the right aperture. For maximum background blur, use the widest aperture your lens offers (such as f/2.8 or f/4). For less blur, use a smaller aperture (such as f/5.6 or f/8).

Finally, focus on your subject and take the photo. Remember to use a low ISO setting and a fast shutter speed to avoid noise and blur.

And that’s it! With these tips, you should now be able to take beautiful portraits with blurred backgrounds.

Background blur on some phones and small point-and-shoot cameras

Background blur on some phones and small point-and-shoot cameras
Background blur on some phones and small point-and-shoot cameras

With some cell phones and small point-and-shoot cameras, you can enable a background blur effect even if your lens doesn’t have a wide aperture. How? By using digital processing to artificially blur the background.

While this may sound like a good idea, it’s important to keep in mind that the artificial blurring is often not as attractive as the natural bokeh you can get with a real camera. So if you’re serious about photography, it’s best to invest in a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a fast lens. But if you’re just getting started, or if you don’t have the budget for a high-end camera, then an entry-level point-and-shoot with background blur capabilities may be a good option.

Here’s how to blur the background on some popular cell phones:

  1. iPhone: Open the Camera app and swipe to Portrait mode. Then tap the f/1.8 button at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Samsung Galaxy: Open the Camera app and swipe to Live Focus mode. Then tap the Background Blur toggle at the top of the screen.
  3. Google Pixel: Open the Camera app and tap Portrait mode. Then tap the Lens Blur toggle at the bottom of the screen.
  4. LG G6: Open the Camera app and tap Square camera. Then tap Manual Mode and select Wide Angle from the drop-down menu. Finally, adjust the Aperture slider to your desired setting.
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With most of these phones, you’ll need to be fairly close to your subject to get a good background blur effect. So keep that in mind when you’re framing your shot.

Add background blur by editing

Add background blur by editing
Add background blur by editing

Some graphics editors can create several different types of blurred backgrounds.

Simulated bokeh effect

In this type of effect, the background is blurred in such a way that it looks like it was taken with a camera that has a shallow depth of field. This can be done by using the blur tools in an editor to create a gradient mask—a gradual transition from sharp to blurry.

Gaussian blur

This is a more general blurring technique that can be used to create any type of background blur, including a bokeh effect. To do this, you’ll need to select the part of the image you want to blur and then apply a Gaussian Blur filter.

Lens blur

Some editors also have a lens blur tool, which can be used to create a realistic bokeh effect. To use this tool, you’ll need to select the part of the image you want to blur and then apply a lens blur filter.

F.A.Q How to blur background in DSLR camera?

Why Would You Want a Blurry Background?

Creating a blurry background is one of the main reasons people buy DSLR cameras. It’s a popular effect that can make your photos look more professional and can be used to great effect in portraits, product shots, landscapes, and even action shots.

What Affects Background Blur?

There are three main factors that affect background blur:

  • Aperture
  • Focal length
  • Distance to subject

How do you blur the background on a camera?

There are two ways to blur the background on a camera:

  • Use a large aperture
  • Use a long focal length

How do you blur the background with a Nikon DSLR?

To blur the background with a Nikon DSLR, you need to use a large aperture and a long focal length. You can also use digital processing to artificially blur the background.

Conclusion

If you’re looking to blur the background of your photos, there are a few methods you can try. We’ve outlined three of the most popular techniques in this post, so be sure to give them a shot and see which one works best for you. Once you’ve got the hang of it, don’t forget to experiment with different backgrounds and poses to create unique and eye-catching portraits. Have you tried blurring your background in DSLR photography? What tips do you have for others looking to achieve similar results? Let us know in the comments below.

Edon Lazaj

Graduate from UMass Boston with a 3.4 technical GPA. Experienced in the IT field looking to pursue a career within Cyber Security. Be a Bright Content Creator at Digitalne.tv

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