Taking photos or video with a blurry background has always been extremely popular. The technical term is bokeh, and when done right it can really make your subject matter stand out! But recently, I was asked by a fellow blogger that specializes in fashion, how they could make the background in their images even more blurry and I figured the information I shared with her could help you too!
Whether you are taking a product image, a fashion image, filming a youtube video or travel photos, bokeh can make your image stand out. The interesting thing is that you can control how strong or pronounced the blurry background is by just changing up a few things.
Tip #1 Move Further away from the Background (or move the product further away)
The first thing you can try is to stepping away from the background or moving the product further away. The more distance you create between the background and your subject, the more blurry the background will become.
Here is an example:
Here you can see that I used the same settings on the camera, the only difference is that I created more distance between the background and the subject.
Tip #2 Adjust Your Camera Settings
If you don’t have the room to move that freely but you still want that blurry background, try adjusting your camera settings. This tip works best with a lower aperture lens, 2.8 or less. One trick I like to use is opening the lens all the way (aka, lowering the aperture to the lowest setting) and raising the shutter (making the shutter number higher) this effect can create a really nice bokeh.
In this example, I did not the products, I simply changed the settings. You can see
Now, I have to note be wary of using this trick when filming video. There are more limitations to shutter speed when you are working with video. If you raise your shutter speed to high, you can walk away with choppy footage.
However, It can be done, this technique is best used for b-roll type shots and not your main footage though.
Tip #3 Use Different Equipment
If neither of these are an option and you are looking to experiment with different equipment, I recommend trying some longer or prime lenses.
Prime lenses are lenses that have no focal range, this means you can not zoom. Longer lenses are lenses that have a lot of zoom range. Both are great for bokeh.
Here are some lenses I recommend for Canon and Nikon
Canon 35mm Or Canon 85mm
Nikon 35mm Or Nikon 85mm
Canon 70-200mm Or Nikon 70-200mm
These lenses come with a pretty hefty price tag if you are looking to buy. A nice alternative that is more cost effective is the Sigma brand, which I personally love. They carry a 35mm, 85mm, and 70-200mm that will work beautifully! You can also look into renting equipment to try it out! There are a lot of places that offer great rates for camera lens rentals.
Hopefully these suggestions will help you get that beautiful blurry background you seek! If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line!
What tips do you have to get really nice bokeh? Looking forward to your take!