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mummymold Jun 14, 2004 10:48 PM

Hi everyone, I'm new and have a question. How do you make the background blurry? I have the Canon Powershot G2 digital camera. I've read the manual and played around with my camera but I still can't do it. Can someone tell me what I'm doing or not doing? Thank you. Btw, this is a great forum. So much info. and so many great pictures!

AMG Jun 15, 2004 8:28 AM

I am not familiar with that camera, but basically you want to shoot in an aperture priority mode where you pick the smallest number ( which is the biggest opening ) and the camera will pick the appropriate shutter speed to keep optimal exposure. This will give you a shallow depth of filed meaning whatever is further away from your subject will be blurry. I believe this is called asemi-manual mode, in a semi-automatic mode, you can use portrait mode which will probably give the same result. But the background must be a some distance from the subject in order for the effect to be noticeable.

dcrawley Jun 15, 2004 9:42 AM

I have a G3 so I can give you an idea. Two options: either set themode dialfor Portrait (the picture of the person) or Av (aperture value) and set for the smallest number (2.8 or less); the camera will select the best shutter speed. One thing it to make sure that you are in close to your subject and that there is some distance between the subject and your background.

photosbyvito Jun 15, 2004 10:38 AM

i have the G2 also....zooming helps :)

so here's the deal

set a low arperture

keep them far from the background

use the zoom (optical...not digital)

and stand close.....



slipe Jun 15, 2004 2:18 PM

I think photosbyvito gave a complete list for shooting in automatic modes. The longer the focal distance (zoom) and wider the aperture (lower number) the less the depth of focus. Portrait mode is probably the better choice as it will give you the widest aperture available and not burn out highlights in bright snow or a beach by running you out of shutter speed. It will give you f2 in most circumstances and it is easy to set on the mode dial without having to refer to anything else.

If you want to get a little more sophisticated you can blur the background more. Many SLR lenses have a depth of focus (DOF) scale on the focus ring. So if you focus on something 4 feet from you and check the DOF for the aperture you are using it might say everything from 3.5 feet to 5 feet is in focus. You reset the focus distance to 3.5 feet, which keeps the subject in focus and blurs the background more.

You have no depth of focus scale but can still use the principal. I assume Canon is a competent enough company to put the manual focus distance in the LCD. Set the shot up normally and shoot the image. Switch to manual focus and it should still be at the distance it took the shot (most cameras do that). If you were focused at 5 feet takes shots manually focused at 4.5, 4 and 3.5 feet. Look at the images in the computer and decide where you get the best combination of background blur and subject sharpness. You will eventually get a feel for about how much you can focus in. You can be more accurate with a good EVF, but I don't think you can make critical enough focus judgements in a small LCD – even zoomed.

I know that is more than most people want to mess with, but it will give you a more professional looking shot.

There is only one exact focus distance and DOF represents what most photographers consider a range in which the subject is sufficiently sharp to be considered in focus.

If you have the shot you want framed in your mind I'm not sure zooming makes that much difference. Say you want to shoot someone in a certain position and the background is 20 feet behind. If you shoot at 1X you can stand 5 feet away and get the shot framed the way you want with the background 5 times as far away as the subject. Zoom out to 4X and you are now standing 20 feet from the subject to get the same framing and the background is only twice as far away as the subject. I would probably just shoot at 2-2 ½ X, which is considered the most flattering portrait focal length.

iKwak Jun 16, 2004 1:53 AM

Thanks for that info. I learned a new skill! :cool:

mummymold Jun 16, 2004 1:23 PM

Thanks everyone.

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