Question: How to Bring on the Blur
Hi Ben! I am not, nor will ever pretend to be, on par with the kind of photography you are capable of but I try. :-) That being said, is there a general setting on most SLR cameras where you can get the focus on your main subject while essentially blurring the rest of the background? A good example of what I mean is the rodeo clown photo you posted… Unfortunately my fancy camera’s skills are often beyond MY basic capabilities. Thanks for any input!
Answer: Great question! I’ll be discussing this in detail here sometime soon. Basically a blurry background is the result of a low (wide) aperture. This is the size of the hole that lets in the light, and the larger this hole is, the more blur. Additionally, this blur can be a result of using a “longer” lens. So if you zoom in as far as your lens allows and stand back from your subject, it will knock the background out of focus more than shooting wide-angle and close.
For now, your camera probably has a “portrait” mode (picture of a lady in a hat perhaps?). This mode tells the camera that you’re taking a picture of a person and it shoots with some settings that should provide more blur than the basic auto. Combined with zooming in, you should start to see better results.