How to Blur Backgrounds in Photography

How to Blur Backgrounds in Photography – Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO Explained

Checkout this video:

What is Blurring?

Blurring is the concept of making the background or certain elements of an image less defined or focused. This can be done with various depth of field techniques, use of movement, and even with post-processing tools. In this article, we’ll focus on how to blur your backgrounds using a few simple photography tips.

The Different Types of Blurring

In portraiture, there are generally three different types of background blur: bokeh, shallow depth of field, and deep depth of field. All three have their own distinct looks, and all can be used to great effect depending on the type of photo you’re taking.

Bokeh is the term used to describe the out-of-focus highlights in a photo. These highlights can take the form of specks of light, like stars in the night sky, or they can be larger and more defined, like the lights in a cityscape. Bokeh can be created using any type of camera lens, but lenses with a large aperture (low f-stop number) are best for creating pronounced bokeh.

Shallow depth of field is created when a small portion of the image is in sharp focus while the rest is blurred. This is achieved by using a large aperture (low f-stop number) so that less of the image is in focus. Shallow depth of field is often used in portraiture to help isolate the subject from the background.

Deep depth of field is just the opposite of shallow depth of field – it’s when most, if not all, of the image is in sharp focus. This look is achieved by using a small aperture (high f-stop number). Deep depth of field is often used in landscape photography to make sure that everything from the foreground to the horizon is sharp and clear.

When to Blur Your Background

There are a few key times when you may want to blur your background. One is when you want your subject to stand out. This could be for a portrait or product photo, for example. If the background is too busy or distracting, blurring it can help keep the viewer’s attention on your subject.

Another time you may want to blur your background is when you’re shooting with a wide aperture (low f-stop number). This often gives photos a shallower depth of field, which means that objects in the foreground will be in focus while objects in the background are blurry. This can be used to create dramatic or surreal images.

Finally, blurring your background can also help to convey a sense of motion. This is often used in sports or action photography, but can also be used for more creative purposes.

How to Blur Your Background

There are a few things that you can do to blur your background and create a nice bokeh effect.

First, you need to make sure that your subject is well-defined and in focus. You can do this by using a large aperture (low f-stop number). This will allow less light into your camera, but it will also help to separate your subject from the background.

Another thing that you can do is to use a longer focal length. This will help to compress the foreground and background, making it easier to blur your background.

Finally, you can try moving closer to your subject. This will make the background appear more distant and help to further blur it.

Tips for Achieving the Best Blur

There are a few things to keep in mind when trying to blur your backgrounds. First, it’s important to use a long focal length lens. The longer the focal length, the easier it is to achieve a shallow depth of field, which is necessary for blurring the background. Second, you’ll need to position your subject far away from the background. The further away the subject is from the background, the more blurred it will appear. Finally, use a large aperture (small f-stop number) to let in as much light as possible. This will also help achieve a shallow depth of field.

Things to Avoid When Blurring Your Background

When blurring your background, there are a few things you want to avoid. First, be careful not to blur your subject along with the background. Second, avoid blurring too much of the background — it should only be blurred enough to draw attention to your subject. Finally, be sure not to use a too-large aperture, as this can cause your photo to appear “soft” overall.

Creative Ways to Use Blurring

If you’re a photographer, there’s a good chance you’ve used some form of blurring in your work. Blurring can be a helpful tool to direct the viewer’s attention to a particular subject, or to create a sense of movement. It can also be used to make an image look more dreamlike or surreal.

There are many different ways to blur backgrounds in photography, and the best method for you will depend on the type of camera you’re using and the effect you’re hoping to achieve. Here are some common techniques for blurring backgrounds:

-Use a long focal length lens. This will help you to compress the distance between your subject and the background, making the background appear larger and more out of focus.

-Move closer to your subject. This is especially effective if you’re using a wide-aperture lens, as it will help increase the amount of background blur.

-Use a shallow depth of field setting. This can be done by adjusting your aperture (the size of the opening in your lens) or by using a low f-stop number.

-Create motion blur by moving your camera or by panning (following) your subject as they move past you. You can also ask your subject to move while you keep your camera still.

FAQs About Blurring Backgrounds

FAQs About Blurring Backgrounds

1. What is the best way to blur backgrounds in photography?
2. What are some common mistakes people make when trying to blur backgrounds?
3. How can I avoid making these mistakes?
4. What are some tips for getting the best results when blurring backgrounds?


We hope you enjoyed this tutorial on blurring backgrounds in photography! While it takes a little practice to get the perfect shot, it’s definitely a fun way to add some creativity to your photos. With a little trial and error, you’ll be impressing your friends and family in no time.

Scroll to Top