Forgotten in its old age

by Aditya

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I see many photos like this:

enter image description here

How it is done?

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marked as duplicate by AJ Henderson, Matt Grum, Michael Nielsen, Caleb, mattdm Oct 2 '13 at 15:27

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
while some people do it with photo editing, that's not the way to do it. –  Michael Nielsen Oct 2 '13 at 15:21
    
If you do want to do it in post-processing, there's Can I achieve synthetic bokeh? But I agree that it's nicer to do it with optics. –  mattdm Oct 2 '13 at 15:29

1 Answer 1

The keywords you are looking for are 'Depth-of-field' or 'Bokeh'. You will find many answers on the site (As @ajhenderson mentions) and in short:

  1. At larger aperture settings (f-number is low) less of the scene is in focus. This is called shallow-depth-of-field.
  2. This results in blur in objects in front of and behind the subject you focus on
  3. As you stop down the aperture, more and more of the image is in focus and the blurring decreases.
  4. You need to get a lens with larger maximum aperture (say f/1.8) and a longer focal length (say 35mm or 50mm) though you can arrange things such that you can get such a blur also with typical kit lenses.
  5. For a normal kit-lens I would suggest setting it to 55mm (the telephoto end) and opening up the aperture to the maximum (say 5.6). Depending on the lens, you might find everything is a little soft, but you will get the feel for this.
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1  
I think you've probably missed the most important point here: use a larger sensor. –  Philip Kendall Oct 2 '13 at 15:09
    
While that is formally true, it is more common for me to switch lenses, apertures and subject distance than sensors. –  Kaushik Ghose Oct 2 '13 at 19:38
    
Sure, but that's because you already own an interchangeable lens camera with a large sensor. If you own a smartphone (the original poster didn't give any clue as to what they own, so you can't assume), you can't switch either lens or aperture. You can mess around with subject distance, but to get the kind of photo the original poster included, you're going to need a bigger sensor. –  Philip Kendall Oct 2 '13 at 20:31

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