Blurred background

edited June 2015 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
I recently purchased a new AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1:18G
I am interested in taking some pictures of my grand kids and would like to be able to have a blurred background in some of them. What is the secret? I have tried many different settings. I would appreciate any help/information. Thanks.


  • edited June 2015
    For a blurred background, keep your distance to the subject fairly close, and your aperture as wide open as you can get (f/1.8 is the widest for this lens), while still keeping all of the subject in focus. Try to keep your subject well separated from the background. The greater the separation, the more likely it will be out of the focus range of the subject. So, for example, if you have a person standing in front of a brick wall, you will not get good blur if he's standing against the wall. If he moves a few feet forward of the wall, the wall will go out of focus.

    If you have any choice on backgrounds, try to keep them simple, natural, and without a lot of detail. Grass and brush and distant objects will become nice and indeterminate, but a mailbox will always look like a mailbox even if it's blurry.

    Depth of field decreases with closeness. Even a 1.8 lens will be mostly sharp when you aim it at a distant mountain range, and even a slow, stopped down lens will be mostly blurry when you take a macro picture of a fly.

    For easiest results in setting use either manual mode or Aperture priority mode, so that you can select your aperture and the camera will not change it. Single point focus on the subject's face, eyes if possible. If the person is small in a large environment, or if the person is back lit, spot meter the face. If the person occupies much of the frame, try center weighted averaging metering. For most normal shooting, matrix will work fine.
  • edited June 2015
    Thank you. I am excited to put this into practice. It is easier to understand when I have a starting point to work from. I have had a busy household, but lately I am finding the time to practice with the camera and lens, so again thank you for your response.
Sign In or Register to comment.