How do you do that?

Have you ever wondered how photographer's achieve that beautiful blurred background?  What is it called?

 

Portrait photographers use a special effect in order to create a beautiful portrait image where the subject is the main focus and the background is thrown out of focus.  This effect is called bokeh and is pronounced "bouquet".  It is a Japanese word defined by wikipedia as the aesthetic quaity that is present in the out of focus areas of the image.

Some images have a more beautiful bokeh than others, often times the bokeh is a lovely swirl in the background often best represented with reflected light.  Choosing a low f-stop or aperture such as 2.8 or the lowest that your lens will allow is what gives you a shallow depth of field and blurs the background.  Make sure to focus on your subject's eyes and let the sharpness fall off behind the subject. I also find it looks prettier when you have light or bright areas in the background. Check out my next blog post to learn more about adjusting your f-stop/aperture and learning more about what that means.

 

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