How to Get the Blurry Background and Foreground

When I first started photography I knew that I wanted that blurry background and foreground in my photos.

For me, I somehow understood how to do that. But as a photographer, I get asked this question a lot.

A lot of people think this is done in Photoshop. Are though you can add blur to your photos in Photoshop, it certainly isn’t the easiest are the best way to do it.

Lenses That Create a Blurry Background 

The blurry background is created naturally with the lens. But different lenses can create more or less blur. 

The blur is created with the aperture. The aperture is the iris inside the lens. When the aperture is closed down, there is less blur. When the aperture is open, there is more blur.

Now different lenses come with different ranges of the aperture. If you want a lot of blur, you’ll want to find a lens with a very narrow aperture. The aperture is measured in f-stops. The lower the f-stop number the wider the aperture.

I always try to find lenses with an aperture that can go to f2 or lower because I really like blurry backgrounds in my photos.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

It’s fun to get carried away with lots of blur, but you have to ask yourself if it’s too much.

If your subject is farther away and you’re doing a full body shot, then it’s great to shoot with your aperture wide open.

But if you're doing a portrait and you are really close to your subject, you might want to close the aperture a bit. Otherwise the eyes may be in focus but the noes and ears will be blurry.

Of course this could be a desired look, so it really comes down to personal preference.


So have fun with creating your blurry background and foregrounds! 

I would love to see what you come up with. You can post your photos in the comments below.

If you would like to learn exactly how I capture my photos, check out my ‘All Things Manual’ course where I teach you how to capture the photos you want by mastering the manual settings.

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