Wednesday, April 18, 2012

photo tip : bokeh…that “amazing” blur

I often get asked how I get the nice "bokeh" or blur on the background but still have a sharp, crisp image of the subject.

Canon 5D Mark II 50mm 1.4 (ISO 100, f 1.4, 1/800)

Canon 5D Mark II 50mm 1.4 (ISO160, f 1.4, 1/400)

Canon 5D Mark II 85mm 1.8 (ISO 100, f 1.8, 1/500)

Canon 5D Mark II 85mm 1.8 (ISO 100, f 1.8, 1/320)

                The answer? APERTURE
                Basically, lower the aperture, (or f-stop), the prettier blur you get for the background.
                So, how do you get the low aperture?
                The easiest thing would be to set the camera on the aperture priority mode. On a Canon camera, it’s the “AV” mode; on a Nikon, it’s the “A” mode. If you shoot on the aperture priority setting, you have the power to set the aperture at the lowest possible number and the camera will automatically adjust the ISO and shutter speed to give you the correct exposure.

                Here are some basic aperture numbers (may vary depending on your lens / camera)

11         8           5.6         4         2.8        2        1.8       1.4       1.2

                Again, the lower the better to get the blur.

                A typical lens goes down to f5.8. If you want something lower, it’ll take some big dough. For example, a zoom lens with the lowest aperture of f2.8 can cost you around $1600. A prime lens with an aperture of 1.2 will can cost over $2000 **

                One of my favorite lens is the 50mm and the aperture goes down to a whopping f1.4. It costs around $400 and it give a nice, sweet blur.

                Have a nice Wednesday!

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