Possible Duplicate:
How can I maximise that “blurry background, sharp subject” (bokeh) effect?
How can I take shallow depth of field photos with a point-and-shoot camera?

I have simple Nikon Coolpix 8800 Point and Shoot. How could I get this effect for my picture. Blurry backlights but good, sharp face photo? Thank you

Here is example http://i.stack.imgur.com/Emcba.png

  • You're welcome. Take a look at the link Imre posted too.
    – mattdm
    Dec 26 '12 at 20:13

Briefly, you can get that effect using a large aperture. A large aperture gives you shallow depth of field, so the subject will be sharply focussed while the background is blurred. On the Nikon Coolpix 8800, set the camera mode to 'A' (for aperture priority) and then adjust the aperture to a low value (low values mean large aperture, high values mean small aperture). In aperture priority mode, the camera lets you set the aperture but adjusts other factors (shutter speed, sensitivity) to produce a properly exposed image. You can also use 'M' (manual) mode, but then it's up to you to make sure the image is exposed the way you want it.


What you are looking for is called "shallow depth of field" (that is, just little bit in focus and the rest blurred).

There are 3 factors that effect depth of field, with a small point and shoot camera you have to combine all of them if you want to get a visible effect (actually there are 4, but you can't change the 4th):

  1. Focal length - zoom in as much as possible (optical zoom only, digital zoom does not help)

  2. Aperture size - switch the camera to A or Av mode (if it has such a mode) and select the lowest value possible.

  3. Subject distance - your subject has to be as close to the camera as possible and the background has to be as far as possible.

And finally, macro mode - usually the smallest depth of field you can get is in macro mode, obviously you can't photograph anything as big as a person but you may just be able to get a complete face into the frame

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