how to take photo with blur background in Nikon D3200 with 18-55mmVR Kit Lens

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by senthil_raja_r, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. Hi,

    Am new to this photography. I have purchased new Nikon D3200 with 18-55mmVR Kit Lens. I would like to know how to take photo with blur background. And also please give me best settings to take photos normally
  2. Senthil,
    There is no such things as "the best settings", it all depends on subject, the light you have, circumstances - and part also your personal preference. So nobody can really say what is best in this sense.
    To blur the background, you need to use a wide aperture, and be relatively close to your subject.
    Given your question, I think you might be helped more with a good introduction to the basics of photography; the book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson will give you the knowledge and understanding that would answer both your questions.
  3. The kit lens probably has the widest aperture of f3.5. Try to set it at f4 is you have such a setting. Focus on the subject ensuring that you have focused on the eye, make sure there is ample distance between the subject and whatever is a background, shoot away.
  4. You should Google/Read about Depth of Focus and controlling it with the camera's aperture setting. When you focus on a subject with a wide aperture that results in a narrow depth of focus. The narrower the DoF the more blurred/out of focus the background will be. This effect will also be affected by how close you are to your subject and how close they are to the background.
  5. The easiest way to take photos normally is to set the command dial to "P", let the camera make the settings. That's what it is there for. Good luck!
  6. If you use P mode, you're relying on the camera to make a best judgement about which shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to use. If you want a specific behavior of the camera to take precedence (you've indicated that you want the background to be less in focus, which means you need to shoot with a wide aperture to reduce depth of field), you have to either set the exposure variables manually, or at least use a priority mode that lets you take some control over that behavior.

    In your case, you can set the D3200 to "A" (aperture priority mode), and then use the command wheel/menu system to set that value to a low value (like f/3.5, or f/4 etc). The camera will do what you ask, and will set the other variables (like shutter speed) to a value that preserves a workable exposure in reaction to what you've told it to do about the one variable you've dictated.

    The kit lens that comes with the D3200 is capable of making very nice photographs. But at the longer end of its focal length range (zoom) at 55mm, the aperture can be set no wider than f/5.6. That may make it difficult, under some circumstances, for you to throw the background as out-of-focus as you'd like. You have three ways to address this:

    1) Do your best to increase the distance between your subject and the background. The greater than separation, the better.

    2) Once you feel ready, consider the purchase of another lens (that's the whole reason you buy a camera body that allows you to change lenses - and the D3200 can make use of a wide variety of lenses from Nikon as well as some other manufacturers). To make the most of DoF control, you'd want a lens that provides you with a faster/wider aperture. Like f/2.8, or f/1.8, or even f/1.4. Some of those lenses will be "prime" (single-focal length), while others could be zoom lenses not unlike the kit lens you already have. Choosing a new lens should wait while you get to know the camera, your shooting style, and what focal length(s) you find yourself inclined to use for certain subject/composition situations. It's too early for you to worry about that!
  7. First of all Senthil, welcome to PNet and congrats on picking out a great little camera. D3200 has a LOT to offer so you
    can grow and develop your skills. If you like that specific effect, you could also practice it in post process using the Quick
    brush and some Gaussian blur. The tricky part is getting the area you want outlined, there are a few videos on YT of
    people demonstrating this. I have several wide aperture lenses so I don't need this too much, but I do find it very useful at
    times. In the Nikon Wed pic from the last week of July I posted a quick snap of my son sitting at the table holding one of
    our dogs. I shot that with a D5100 and same lens you have, I used some Gaussian Blur from the filter settings in PSE and
    blurred the background. But, shhhhhh, don't tell anyone that I did that please.... ;-))))
  8. If you have an editing programme with layer capabilities it is simple enough to duplicate the background layer, blur the top layer, then erase the top layer where you want sharp results.
  9. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    In general terms to make the background blurred when using your kit lens at most focal length and at most apertures – the DISTANCE between the Background and the Subject being generally BIG – And the DISTANCE between the camera and Subject being generally SMALL will bode well for you.
    Researching Depth of Field and the practical components of Depth of Field would be better for what you want to do.
    Depth of Focus is related: but Depth of Field is more precise and more precisely related to your quest.

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