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Thread: Blurr Background

  1. #1
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    Blurr Background

    Currently, I am using Canon sx500 IS. Is it possible to take blurr background image by using this camera? Please let me know how it is possible?

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Blurr Background

    If by blurry background, you are referring to shallow depth of field, the answer is likely no. You might get something if you shoot at the long end of the lens shot wide open with your subject near the minumum focus distance and the background far away; this is something you would have to try.

    Your camera has a very small 1/2.3" sensor and a fairly slow (f/3.4 at 4.3mm and f/5.6 at 129mm) lens. A larger sensor and a longer lens with a large maximum aperture are used to get these types of shots.

    If you look at the following link; http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...ensor-size.htm

    Your camera's sensor would be in the middle of the two smallest ones. I usually shoot a full-frame camera when I do shallow DoF shots and usually use at least an f/2.8 or faster lens.

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    Re: Blurr Background

    You already have your answer with regards to the camera. A possible option, with varying degrees of success, is to create a blurred background using editing software. While it is not a substitute for the right camera/lens combo it is free.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Blurr Background

    Quote Originally Posted by monirjewel View Post
    Currently, I am using Canon sx500 IS. Is it possible to take blurr background image by using this camera? Please let me know how it is possible?
    Yes it is possible.
    The shots that you can make will be limited.

    The easiest method to achieve this is three-fold:

    • ensure that you use the range of FOCAL LENGTHs that allow the LARGEST APERTURE to be used
    • ensure you FRAME the SUBJECT very tightly
    • ensure an adequate distance between the SUBJECT and the BACKGROUND


    Note that the Focal Length that you choose, is 99% irrelevant - the relevant points are the three, above.

    As an example I shall use Portraiture.
    In this case you will be restricted to shooting mainly Tight Head Shots.

    Here are some examples using a PowerShot S5 IS which has a Maximum Available Aperture of F/3.5:

    EXAMPLE 01:
    Blurr Background
    F/3.5 @ 1/100s @ ISO 200: FL = 50mm (00117v02)
    The background wall is about 10ft from the Subject.

    ***

    EXAMPLE 02:
    Blurr Background
    F/3.5 @ 1/25s @ ISO200;FL=72mm (P501413)
    The wall / window frame at camera left is about 3 ft from the Subject and is quite defined, but the wall runs back on an angle to the subject and it is quite Out of Focus at Camera Right where it is about 10ft behind the Subject.

    ***

    EXAMPLE 03:
    Blurr Background
    F/3.5 @ 1/125s @ ISO200: FL = 26mm (00100v02)
    Here the flyscreen covering of the veranda is in acceptable focus: that screen is about 3 ft behind the Subject - but the back yard area is quite clearly blurred.

    ***

    EXAMPLE 04:
    Blurr Background
    F/3.5 @ 1/40s @ ISO800: FL = 42mm
    This image was made in a Restaurant: the ledge behing=d the Man’s head is quite close to him, but the racks of glasses are about 20ft from him – note that this shot is a little wider (not as tightly framed) as the preceding images – and that means the BACKGROUND has to be FURTHER from the SUBJECT to achieve any significant blurring. Again this shot uses the maximum aperture that the camera has available.
    This image is at about the limit of how loosely you will be able to FRAME a portrait and still get a significant amount of background blur.

    ***

    EXAMPLE 05 (provided as an example of what is NOT possible):
    Blurr Background

    ”Girls at Beach”
    F/4.5 @ 1/1600s @ ISO80; Manual Exp.(S5 IS sample using EV Scale; EV=16; No Flash Fill)

    Once you are FRAMING Portraiture at FULL LENGTH it will be impossible to get any Background Blur, no matter how far away the background is or no matter what Aperture you choose to use.
    This is because with a Sub Miniature Format Camera, the Depth of Field is so great, even at very large apertures.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 17th September 2013 at 10:14 PM.

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    Re: Blurr Background

    William W very thoughtful and informative post! Here is an article that might be helpful. I have heard to "focus on the eyes", the article explains why.
    http://www.lightstalking.com/depth-of-field-simplified

    Note, however, that in the article, focal length IS relative!

    PS I am not familiar with the camera sx500.
    Last edited by rambler4466; 17th September 2013 at 10:40 PM.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Blurr Background

    Quote Originally Posted by rambler4466 View Post
    . . . very thoughtful and informative post! Here is an article that might be helpful. . . .

    Note, however, that in the article, focal length IS relative!
    If you mean that the FL is relevant, then this is my response:

    The article is “simplified” – the Author notes that as a fact and it is a general article about DoF and is not a specific answer to the OP’s question.

    The point the author is making when mentioning Focal Length of the Lens, is that the FL is one of the elements which affects DoF. That point is correct.

    That is to say - IF the Focal Length is changed then so does the DoF change.

    However the author (I expect because he wanted to ‘simplify’ the article) does not mention ALL FOUR of the elements of DoF, but rather he lists only three:

    “These Elements affect the Fluid Nature of Depth of Field
    1. The focal length of the lens
    2. The f/stop of the lens
    3. The camera to subject distance”
    The fourth element of DoF which the author omits is: the Camera Format; Film Size or Sensor Size.

    Also the Author does not mention the topic of FRAMING.

    Provided the FRAMING is kept constant for all practical purposes, for most photography, the DoF will remain the same for any given aperture and camera format (this is the Axiom of DoF).

    ***

    As a note important and relevant to this thread:

    The author mentions the ⅓ : ⅔ Rule of Thumb. This is a general rule but is definitively NOT applicable to all FRAMINGS.

    The comment is flawed and is bad advice - especially concerning Portraiture and especially with that example of the animal, because, as the framing becomes tighter (like that tight shot of the Jaguar), the DoF spread becomes closer to ½ : ½ and this is quite significant in Half Shots or tighter Portraiture.

    ***

    The OP wants to make the blur in the background: the salient considerations are to MAXIMIZE the aperture and to get the BACKGROUND as far away from the SUBJECT as possible.

    Thereafter, we employ another element of DoF, that being the SUBJECT DISTANCE and we minimize the DoF by getting close to the SUBJECT – that is by FRAMING TIGHTLY.

    As mentioned the DoF will not change provides the Framing remains the same - the FL chosen to use is mostly irrelevant an answer to the OP’s question – provided that the FL allows the Maximum Aperture to be used – which is what I stated.

    Where the FL becomes relevant, (but still only in a minor way), is when one considers the quality of the blur (Bokeh). But the OP did not ask that but rather only asked about how to make the background blurred.

    ***

    Thank you for your kind comment regarding my previous.

    WW
    Last edited by William W; 18th September 2013 at 02:57 AM.

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    Re: Blurr Background

    On top of the manual shooting modes, that camera also lists a 'Tilt Shift' function as one of its creative functions. Would that help create the 'background blur' the OP is referring to?
    Last edited by Andrew76; 18th September 2013 at 12:29 AM.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Blurr Background

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    On top of the manual shooting modes, that camera also lists a 'Tilt Shift' function as one of its creative functions. Would that help create the 'background blur' the OP is referring to?
    I think that you are referring to “Miniature Mode”. Canon has introduced that on a few PowerShot models.

    It would be worthwhile the OP trying it: but, it (limited experience by me using the function) seems to work OK for a vast scene, with the camera looking down on the scene (like a car-park or wine valley) to make that large scene appear as a scale model.

    Certainly worth a go: good catch.

    WW

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    Re: Blurr Background

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    I think that you are referring to “Miniature Mode”. Canon has introduced that on a few PowerShot models.
    WW
    That is exactly what I meant. Not sure where I came up with Tilt Shift!?!?

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    Re: Blurr Background

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew76 View Post
    That is exactly what I meant. Not sure where I came up with Tilt Shift!?!?
    Probably because this effect is typically done with tilt movements. Folks like Olivo Barbieri were using view cameras with tilt to achieve super shallow DoF and to make scenes look like they were shot in miniature. Then, dSLR shooters (who obviously can't tilt their lenses or film backs) did the same with tilt-shift lenses,

    Blurr Background
    Canon XT. Hartblei Super-Rotator 80mm f/2.8 [cheap Russian tilt-shift]. tilted up 8 degrees.

    and then folks started doing it in post-processing using gradient blur masks.

    It became known as "tilt-shift" because that's the kind of lens that was being used to do this in-camera, but shift typically isn't used at all. The trick with this effect when you're doing it in post, is that you need a scene where the distance from the camera roughly equates to the position in the frame, with focus in the center of the frame. If you have a very tall object in the frame, the effect will fail, and you may have to resort to a proper depth map, rather than a simple gradient mask.
    Last edited by inkista; 18th September 2013 at 09:00 PM.

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    Re: Blurr Background

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    Probably because this effect is typically done with tilt movements.
    I thought I remembered reading something to that effect, (no pun). I kinda know what tilt-shift lenses do, I just never really equated it to meaning the same thing as 'miniature'. Or did I, subconsciously?! Dun, dun, dun...

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    Re: Blurr Background

    If as you should consider your editor of equal importance to your camera then it is quite possible to organise blurred backgrounds and foregrounds when shootring with a P&S or Bridge camera [ ie. small sensored cameras ] and this applies also to MFT and DSLRs when you do not realise you will want limited depth of field at the camera stage.
    The process is quite simple if you have an editor with layers [ there is a free one which will do this just as well as any in 'Paint dot Net' ]
    First you duplicate the image and apply blurr to the top layer. Then you use the erase brush to remove the top layer where you want to see the sharp image below. If you want a graduated transition in the blurr you can use a lesser density of the erase brush [ from 100% ] to get a mix of blurr and sharpness. In the illustration I duplicated the top layer after erasing the women and applied further blurr and then arranged the edge of that layer further back and further in front of the women.

    I have been using a bridge camera for over a decade now and used this technique umpteem times aand continue to do so now I am using MFT in the main becuase in most cases you simply cannot get adequate blurr whatever camera you use unless there is considerable distance behind the subject to the background and the camera is relatively close to the subject.

    That is heresy to many but it is as I have found it using all types of cameras and lenses.

    So continue to be happy with the camera you have but practice your editing ... the editor is the companion tool of equal importance to the camera ... have fun and good luck
    Blurr Background

    EDIT It doesn't really matter what aperture you use with a P&S or bridge camera the resulting Depth of Field is effectively the same.It is the result of using a short focal length lense and while the camera may tell you it is using somewhere between 25mm and 720mm in fact the lens is using between 4.3mm and 129mm [ I didn't know the details but found it on the photo of the camera at dpreview ]Adjusting, opening or closing, the aperture is what people do with bigger cameras where it has an effect.

    I normally work at f/5.6 on the basis that this might be the sweet spot of the lens, if bridge cameras have sweet spots
    Last edited by jcuknz; 18th September 2013 at 08:24 AM.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Blurr Background

    Hey JC!

    It looks like you've had only a rough attempt at blurring my image . . . some of the girl's heads and arms are a bit 'wonky' . . .

    Or it could be that I have had more than one glass of vino!

    WW

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    Re: Blurr Background

    Quote Originally Posted by rambler4466 View Post
    Note, however, that in the article, focal length IS relative!.

    The SX500IS is a moderately long zoomed bridge camera and in practical tests with my Nikon 5700 many moons ago which is only x8 zoom I was disapointed to find that the zoom had no effective effect on DoF only perspective. it could if using the 720 to take full frame close-ups as WW posted.

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    Re: Blurr Background

    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    Hey JC!

    It looks like you've had only a rough attempt at blurring my image . . . some of the girl's heads and arms are a bit 'wonky' . . .

    Or it could be that I have had more than one glass of vino!

    WW
    I noted but did not mention that there seems to be subject movement with the centre lass and it was a quick job to illustrate the value of the editor to the bridge camera user ... so spare me the comments please.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Blurr Background

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    I noted but did not mention that there seems to be subject movement with the centre lass and it was a quick job to illustrate the value of the editor to the bridge camera user ... so spare me the comments please.
    Hey relax JC . . . I was only making a joke . . .
    It was perfectly clear to me and I understood that it was a "quick job" just to show what could be done in Post Production. . . and I haven't had any vino yet either!

    ***

    On a serious note:

    Apropos your comment about Subject Movement: I cannot concur as that is impossible.
    The shot was made at 1/1600s Shutter Speed, as was indicated when I posted it.

    Perhaps you were just cranky at me, 'cause you misunderstood my humour.

    I trust that is all understood better, now.

    WW

    REF enlarged area:

    Sunburn - Yes!
    Subject Movement - NO!

    Blurr Background

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Blurr Background

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    The SX500IS is a moderately long zoomed bridge camera . . . it [the Focal Length] could [have an effect on DoF] if using the 720 to take full frame close-ups as WW posted.
    No. It wouldn't. (well it would have an effect and that would be to make the DoF MORE, not less.)


    That's the point I was making, previously.

    IF the framing was tight as per the examples that I have posted - AND - we used FL at full zoom, (129mm or "equivalent in 135 Format to 720mm") the Maximum Aperture available at that Focal Length would be F/5.8 and NOT F/3.4.

    AND - given that if the framing remains the same the DoF will remain the same (which I have also explained) . . .
    Then at F/5.8 there will be MORE DoF - which is something that the OP does not want.



    WW

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    Re: Blurr Background

    Only I can do this by Canon sx500 IS
    Blurr Background

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    Re: Blurr Background

    Sorry but have to disagree with you becuase anybody can do that which depends on the relative distances camera-to-subject and subject-to-background ... the requirement is to know how to get in close to the subject, or tightly framed ... made easy with the SX500 IS having a long zoom and if it is incapable of focusing close the use of a moderate close-up lens.
    ie my x12 bridge camera [ 432mm viewing angle because it doesn't waste zoom by starting at a wider angle, 35mm instead of your 25mm ] normally focuses to two metres at full tele but with a two dioptre CU lens I have a working distance of 20>13 inches ..... I apply the same technique with MFT but becuase I only have a 280mm AoV lens I use a 4 dioptre CU lens. 4d is about as far as I want to go apart from an old Large Format camera lens I have which is in efffect a 7 dioptre when used as a CU lens. And nice and large so should match up with my camera lenses if I ever need that magnification... just thought ... perhaps I should use it on my 3mm baby spider to save cropping which didn't really work

    Your photo does make me want to question WW's divergent opinion on my earlier comment but perhaps we are talking of different things ... I have a similar shot except I included the barbs of the barbed wire with dew drops on them

    There is another angle to this that I suggested on another forum years ago which is to know what the DoF is and deliberately front focus on something in front of the subject and then holding half-trigger reposition the camera for the shot you want. With the lens focused in front of the subject there is more likelihood that the background will be OOF ... as much as can be done in-camera and then complete the exercise in editing.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Blurr Background

    Quote Originally Posted by monirjewel View Post
    Only I can do this by Canon sx500 IS
    Have you tried doing what I suggested?


    WW

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