How to shoot a blurry background (bokeh)

Creating a blurry background can be done a few different ways, but understanding and utilizing the aperture in your lens is a great starting point and will allow your subject to 'pop' off the background and illuminate distracting elements. 

Sony 35mm F1.4 - Driving into the Sahara, Morroco

The Process

The blurred look (foreground or background) is achieved through the manipulation of depth of field, which is the distance of what is in focus between the camera and subject. 

Large apertures between F 1.4 - F 3.5, have a very shallow or short depth of field. Small apertures on the other hand (between F 9 - F22), have a very long depth of field, making more things in focus in front of or behind the subject.

shallow dof II.png
large dof II.png

The closer the camera is to the subject, the more exaggerated the blurred look will be.


Sony 35mm F1.4 -Shot several feet away from the subject for a less exaggerated shallow depth of field look.

Sony 35mm F1.4 -Shot inches away from the subject for a more exaggerated shallow depth of field look.