On day four of our Photography Expedition here in Peru’s Sacred Valley, our instructor, Efrain Padro, answered the one burning question we all had…
“How do I make the background of my photo blurry?”
His answer? Count sheep.
Efrain’s tip for counting sheep is one that will help you remember your camera settings – specifically your aperture – when using a digital SLR camera.
Aperture is measure in f-stops, and the smaller the aperture number, the more blurred your background will be.
So, if you’re taking pictures of sheep on the Peruvian countryside, think about the number of sheep you want in focus. If you want just two sheep in focus, use a low f-stop like f/2 or smaller. If you want twenty-two sheep in focus, think f/22 or a larger f-stop number.
Just remember: the smaller the f-stop number, the fewer objects in focus.
Take a look at these two photos below. The first photo below was taken with an f-stop around f/22, and the second photo was taken with an f stop around f/5.6.
Here are a few shots we got at the Pisac Market while practicing these settings:
Soraya Van Asten
When you blur your photo background, it cuts the clutter and removes anything that distracts from your main subject. Remember, sometimes less is more.
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