While growing up I always had a minimum amount of four or five cushions in my bed. Because I loved building comfortable, snugly places. I like things cozy.
Coziness… this brings me to our new Blog on Behind the lens. My tip is a matter of style and taste. It can put emphasis on details you like. It can add extra dept to your images… It´s my new favorite adjustment while using manual mood.
So, what is it? A phenomenon to blur out the background, to have only a small range on focus in your images. I like to create an “atmosphere” with this adjustments. You can also use it to blur out unwanted obstacles in the background when doing portraits.
How to get there: first of all you have to find the manual mode on your camera. If you have questions about the different modes, you can check out this blogpost. When you adjust your two main numbers for the manual mode (time and aperture) you want to keep the aperture as low as you can. Here are the fixed lenses especially handy because they usually have a wider aperture than the zoom lenses. When you have the aperture very low, you have to adjust the time and maybe even the ISO according to the light situation in front of you.
If you open the lens as wide as I did in first of the images I put together for this post, the picture might appear out of focus. Which it really is not, instead just a very limited amount in this picture is on focus. Here you see how I blurred out the pearls of the necklace in the background and how the reflection in the evening light turned into these little balls. This exact blur in the background and abstraction of forms is called Bokeh. See that comfy feel bokeh creates! Yessss. I love it, because like I said, I like things cozy! :)
Lens: 50mm, shutter speed: 1/1000, aperture: 2,0, ISO: 100
Going higher with the aperture number you will find that you can decide how much of your image you want to be on focus. In the second image you see how all the pearls remain in their defined form; you still can guess the window in the background and see the crinkles of the blue fabric very clear.
The higher you go with the aperture the lower you will use accordingly the shutter speed. If you shoot free handed I would recommend not using a time below 1/60, because of motion blur.
Lens: 50mm, shutter speed: 1/25, aperture: 10,0, ISO: 100
In the grass image I blurred out the background focusing just on one very tiny blade of grass and the rain drops of the others appear as little white/cream prisms.
Lens: 50mm, shutter speed: 1/60, aperture: 4,0, ISO: 400
See those little golden circles in the back? Ohhh, I am especially fond of them!!
Lens: 35mm, shutter speed: 1/80, aperture: 2,5, ISO: 200
Now it´s your turn to decide which objects in your pictures you want a good focus on and which ones you might want to blur away. Good luck with the practicing!!!
As usual this is not a perfect approach, but if someone finds this tip helpful I am more than happy.
If you liked this post, have more questions or a new topic you would like to have tips for, write away in the comment section below. I look forward to hear from you!
~ Saluti. ~