One of the big benefits of using a professional DSLR and Lens is the beautiful, blurry background that can be created. The creamy out-of-focus effect is known as “Bokeh” (pronounced bow-ke).
There is a ring inside a lens which opens and contracts to control the Bokeh and the amount of light entering the camera. This is known as aperture.To produce lovely, creamy Bokeh, you must use a really wide-open aperture.
In the below photos, you can see a very creamy blurred green background utilizing a wide aperture, whereas the purple lavender background uses a narrower aperture resulting in less Bokeh.
Taking a look through the lens below demonstrates how the aperture ring can be widened or narrowed.
Along with aperture, shutter speed controls the amount of light entering the camera. Typically a camera’s shutter can be as fast as 1/8000 of a second, but this might not be fast enough on a bright summer’s day when using a super-wide aperture. In this case you must use a narrower aperture to avoid the photo turning out with white patches.
You see, bright sunlight can hamper the creation of Bokeh due to the way a camera works.
To work in bright sunlight with a wide aperture, we use something called a Neutral Density Filter. This is essentially a piece of tinted glass that goes over the front of the lens. The filter we use stops so much light that the shutter speed can be reduced from 1/8000 sec to 1/125 sec!
Using a powerful enough ND filter can even reduce the shutter speed so much that movement around the subject becomes blurry. In the below example, the shutter speed was slowed down to 2 seconds, causing the red bus driving past and people walking around to blur, whilst the subject remains still in the centre.
So whether you are looking for creamy Bokeh or motion blur in your pictures, we have it covered!