A few of you have asked me about the blur I (try to) get in most of my photos. That’s called Depth of Field. Small depth of field is what I dig, where only a relatively small area is in focus and either the foreground or background (or both) is blurred, making for a more pleasing overall look (usually).
I use a DSLR with a removable lens and all that shibazz (yes, I made that word up) but these principals apply to your point and shoot camera too if it has a manual mode.
How To Get Great Depth of Field:
1. Set your camera to a low # f-stop.
Thank you, good night! OK, that’s not all, but this is THE KEY. Usually 2.8 will do it, but I have a lens that goes down to 1.8 and it’s CRAZY. I shot this photo with that lens and was able to get one eye in focus and one eye out. (Pssst! F-stop is how wide the camera shutter will open! The smaller the number, the more open the shutter is during the shot).
2. Force your focus.
Some people don’t pay enough attention to the little squares all over the viewer. They are your friend. If you can’t get what you want in focus, get the squares to light up in the right area with your finger on the trigger and ready to shoot, then slowly move the camera to where you want the shot framed and finish compressing the button. Keep playing with your camera till you understand how its focus settings work. Really, this is sooooo key! And when you have the f-stop set so low, it is *hard* to get the camera to focus. It takes patience and practice, dudes.
Really, that’s it! Play around. Let me see what you come up with!
Oh and also. When you don’t have time to set all the manual settings, go for the portrait setting. It usually looks like the weirdly bobbed lady. It is meant to automatically put small depth of field (DOF or DoF) into photos for you. Totally helps in a pinch.
Bonus tip! When that blurred section makes a pleasing pattern, it is called “bokeh.“