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help with getting right effect.

Hello all..

As a part of my new job I have to take all the photographs for everything we do. I don't class my self as a photographer and they knew I don't have experience in this field but I like to think I have a good eye for good and bad photographs because of using them in a day to day working environment.

My question is (if any one can help) how can I create a image like this one of MAN CITY V ARSENAL at the weekend - I'm interested to know how they create such a blurry background now I know there kit costs £10k plus and I have kit that cost's just £1k but is there something I can do to get a very similar effect?

Thanks for your help.

Tom Sound

Active Member
Hello Craig,

I'm a bit fuzzy on some of the technical aspect, but it's all to do with depth of field.

Increasing the aperture decreases the depth of field ie. shortens the distance of focus from you, to the subject and on to the background and vice versa.

If you switch to AV (aperture priority and reduce the f number) The subject will be in focus and the background blurred.

I think.

There's a load of information here>>>

Depth of field - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Understanding Depth of Field in Photography

Geoff (Sunburn) might know more than the very basics I know :up:


Active Member
Its all down to distance the subject is from the background, in the above picture, the shutter speed would have to be fast in order to capture the action, and the aperture would need to be wide to let as much light in, the knock on effect to this is the close subject will be sharp focus and the background blurry.

Most all dramatic sports photos are shot with the lens wide open or one stop from wide open. This is done for two reasons. First you need all the shutter speed you can get, which means shooting wide open, but just as important, it has to do with isolating the subject. As the aperture on a lens opens up, less and less of the photo is in focus. The larger the distance between the subject and the background, the more out of focus the background will come. If you use a long lens and a fast aperture, then your subject will stand out and the background will be more blurry. Typically the longer the lens (zoom), the more dramatic the change between the subject and background.



Active Member
Nps. totally confused me when I started messing with a camera, but after trial and error and reading tuts etc, it sinks in.... :)
All the above answers your question - an easy way to play about with this is set your camera to A - aperture priority and set it at a low figure F2.8 is probably the setting of the football example - most cheaper lenses and cameras probably go to F4.5 approx. Then let the camera set the shutter speed - lower than 80th of a second and you will get camera shake if handheld.