Saturday, 15 September 2012

Shallow Depth of Field for Portraits

We have all seen stunning portrait photos that have a blurred background while the subject of the photo is perfectly focused. When done correctly, these photos can be very dramatic, however, it might seem hard to accomplish, especially if you are not familiar with the proper techniques. A faster prime lens (with greater aperture capabilities) will give you an edge in this technique, but even an off-brand lens, such as a Sigma 85mm lens will give excellent results if you follow the tips in this article.
portrait depth field
“Night life” captured by Gagan Dhiman (Click Image to See More From Gagan Dhiman)
Shooting pictures with blurry backgrounds is directly related to something called Depth of Field (DOF). DOF is the range, from front to back, of the picture that is in focus. You can have an infinite range, meaning the photo will be totally in focus in both the foreground and the background.
Conversely, you can have a range of focus that is as shallow as an inch or less. The more shallow the range of focus, the more blurry the background will be.

Controlling DOF

Some digital SLR cameras have a little button that will show the area of focus in the viewfinder, but a little knowledge about how to accomplish your goal will be very helpful. There are a couple of setting on your camera that can give you a great shot with blurry background, but there are also some techniques involving setting up the shot that will help. Here is a short list of things to be aware of when you are ready to shoot an award winning portrait photography:
Distance between the camera and the subject: To increase the blurriness of the background, simply move closer to the subject. Taking a photo from 50 feet away will give a large range of focus. Move closer to within 10 feet, and you will significantly reduce the range of focus, giving you a more blurry background.
Distance of the subject from the background: This is similar to the first tip. If the subject of your shot is standing right in front of something, such as a wall or a tree, the background will tend to be in focus more than if you move your subject away from the background objects. Thus, instead of the wall being 3 feet behind, have the subject positioned 10 feet in front of the wall.
Read more:
Shallow Depth of Field for Portraits – PictureCorrect

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