How to take a photo with a blurred background on a camera

Whether you’re taking a photo or recording a vlog, a blurred background is an easy way to ensure your viewers’ eyes go to the right place. 

Blurred backgrounds are often referred to as bokeh and can look particularly good at night, diffusing lights to create a soft, colourful background. 

While some cameras include a dedicated bokeh button, others don’t meaning you’ll need to blur your background the old-fashioned way. This involves widening the aperture by decreasing the f-stop number. 

It’s important to note that some lenses will support wider apertures than others, meaning the amount of blur you can get will depend on the make and model of your lens. 

Keep reading to learn how to take a photo with a blurred background on a camera.  

What you’ll need 

  • A camera 
  • A lens with an aperture low enough to reach your desired blur 

The Short Version 

  1. Increase the aperture by lowering the f-stop number
  2. Point the camera at your subject 
  3. Adjust the focus 
  4. Press the shutter release button

How to take a photo with a blurred background on a camera

  1. Step
    1

    Increase the aperture on your camera

    This is controlled by the f-stop and how you adjust it will depend on your camera make and model. The lower the f-stop number, the wider the aperture and the more blurred your background will be. 

    Make sure to adjust the shutter speed and ISO as well to keep the exposure level, or use the aperture priority mode to tell the camera to do this automatically.How to take a photo with a blurred background on a camera

  2. Step
    2

    Point the camera at your subject

    You can use a tripod or hold the camera in your hands.How to take a photo with a blurred background on a camera

  3. Step
    3

    Adjust the focus

    Make sure your subject is in focus and the background diffused. You can do this manually or using autofocus.How to take a photo with a blurred background on a camera

  4. Step
    4

    Press the shutter release button

    This will take the picture. Check your image – you can adjust the aperture and take the photo again if you want more or less blur.How to take a photo with a blurred background on a camera

Troubleshooting

Where can I find the aperture button?

It depends on your camera. Check the manual for your model or take a look through the settings to learn how to access the aperture settings.

Is there a shortcut to add a blurred background?

Some cameras do include a dedicated bokeh switch. Sony’s vlogging cameras are a good example of this with their Background Defocus feature, making it easy to take the background in and out of focus with the push of a button.

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