The Problem of Backgrounds
I set my f/stop to f/5.6 to put the bird and some of the flowers in focus,
but I wanted to blur the background to obscure the trail and separate it from the bird
- Distance between the subject and background. The more distance you can put between your subject and the background behind it, the more you can blur the background.
- Small f/stop. By using a smaller f/stop (=wider aperture) you can decrease the depth of field in your photograph, making it easier to blur the background.
- Focal Length of Lens. The longer the focal length of the lens, the easier it is to make the background appear less cluttered, more uniform, and more blurry. In other words, with a longer focal length lens, you can isolate one part of the background you'd have to include with a wider lens, and you can choose a part that has a more even coloration farther away from the subject. With longer focal length lenses, what's in the background is proportionately larger when compared the the background of a wider angle lens. So if the background is somewhat blurred, it will appear even more blurred with a longer focal length lens.
the sky often can make for a nice, "blurry" background
I like this photo only for its subject (the first one I've ever seen);
the background is cluttered and distracting, but it's the best the bird gave me
for me, the leaves in the background do not clutter the composition;
they complement the bird's environment
- Softness. I want to be able to separate the subject from the background through a sharp subject and soft background.
- Uniformity. I try to make the background as uniform as possible, and it's even better if this uniform background contrasts in some way with the subject.
- Interpretation. I try to allow the background to complement the subject. Birds live in environments, so including it in the background of your photo can improve the interpretive qualities of the photograph.
|Black-bellied Whistling Duck|
spanish moss improves just about any composition
the bittern's surroundings here help to interpret the way the bittern hunts for food,
so I was glad to have much of it in focus.
there are some things in the background here I'd probably want to change,
but overall, I think the blurred leaves are more pleasing than distracting