How to blur the background in portraits – basic DSLR photography tips

Ways to develop a blurred history in picture shots. A guide for the DSLR user on the aspects that affect history blur: aperture, the range from subject to background, the range from electronic camera to topic, as well as the optical size of your lens.

Hi, this is Tom Greenwood from

Now in this clip we're looking at ways to produce that lovely blurred result in the background of your pictures.

There are 4 main aspects influencing the amount of blur you produce in the background of your shots.

The very first is the aperture that you utilize, the second is the range between the subject and also the history, the 3rd is the distance in between the cam and the subject and the fourth is the kind of lens you utilize, be it a wide-angle, a normal lens or a longer lens.

First let's consider aperture. Now we remain in the park and also our topic is two or three metres before the rocks that make the background. Here we're shooting at 50mm. Currently this first shot utilizes an aperture of f11, a fairly little aperture and as you can see there's an aspect of blur, however not very much.

If we take the very same shot at f4, which is a rather wide aperture, we can see the history is quite perfectly blurred as well as the subject attracts attention in contrast. So the wider the aperture, the narrower the deepness of emphasis and also as a result the blurrier the history.

So allow's look at the range in between the subject and the background. In the initial shot the topic is the same two to three metres from the rocks. And currently, utilizing the same 70mm lens and the same aperture of f5.6, the subject is less than a metre from the background. So, clearly the greater the range between the subject as well as the background, the even more blurred the history will certainly be.

Currently allow's take a look at the range between the cam and also the subject. Both of these shots are shot at 40 mm with an aperture of f5.6. The first shot was drawn from concerning 2 and also a fifty percent metres from the subject and this shot, about one and a half metres.

Now it's not the most significant instance but you can clearly see the much more obscured history the closer you, the photographer, are to the subject.

Currently let's look at the optical length of the lens. So again our topic is about 2 or three metres from rocks as well as the aperture is f5.6 in both shots.

Now this is contended 24mm, so rather wide. Currently this is shot with a much longer lens at 70mm. You could see the distinction in viewpoint– also the boosted blur with the 70mm lens.

Lastly lets created a variety of these variables. Below we're utilizing an 135 mm and the trees in the background are quite a distance away, something like half a kilometre.

This shot uses an aperture of f11. Whereas right here we change to f2.8. Our topic is wonderful and crisp, and also the background has that gorgeous soft, blurred structure.

I hope you found this clip valuable. Please leave a remark and also have a look at several of the other clips in the series. Good luck as well as pleased snapping!


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  1. This is #2 in my series of short, sharp youtube lessons on some photography
    fundamentals. This clip looks at how to create that lovely blurred
    background in portrait shots. It’s really aimed at DSLR users, although
    those viewers with point-and-shoots (especially those who know how to
    twiddle the manual controls) should get something out of it too.

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  2. Hi, enjoyed the video. I’m using a Canon t5i, would I be correct to assume
    I could use the “P” settings and manually adjust the aperture to achieve
    these same results? I just have the standard kit len 18mm-135mm.

    1. Thanks for that. No, you’d need to be in AV or M setting to change the


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  3. What camera did you take the photos of?

  4. I have a canon t6i but i don’t see my aperture going down to 2.0 and i have
    the 18-55mm lens ? i also try to put it on manual mode, what am i doing
    wrong? please can anyone help me figure this out?

    1. Dennis Ayala Well the kit lense only has a 3.5 aperture as smallest.So ur
      not doing it wrong.How small the aperture can be depends on the lense your

    2. yes,you will see on the lense it will tell you 3.8-6.3,that means at its
      shortest focal point,the lowest is 3.8, and at the furthest,the lowest arp
      will be 6.3,its all about the lense,2.8 is a real low one to expect on
      decent lense

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  5. Which camera and lens you are using?

  6. Whas’s model and brand name of the Camera you used???? Please say.

  7. perfect tutorial

    1. Will Zojjhne

  8. Great tips for beginners thank u

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  15. Yea, it’s very informative and helpful video.

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  17. im going to a vacation now, thankk u for this tip…

  18. Fantastic tutorial…let’s put my nikon d3300 and pentax k-50 do the
    work…thank you

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    thank you so much sir !

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