Thursday, April 19, 2012

Selecting the Background

I love bokeh (that soft blurry background pronounced like "bouquet") that you get when you use a larger f-stop. But even with that beautiful softness in the background, I found I liked the photos better when I chose the coloring of the background. While this photo has a lovely blurring in the background, there was just too much going on in the background.
Looking at this photo, I wished I had moved just a little so the blurry branch wasn't behind the photo.
The bark of the tree looked like a good possibility...
 ...So I moved around and put the tree bark behind the flower instead of the greenery.
 I love the subtle blur of bright green in the corner of this one.
 Two of my favorites this morning were the beautiful blue sky blur behind the pink flowers.
And the gorgeous rich darkness (from the dark woods far in the background) contrasting against the whiteness of the flowers.
 Lessons Learned
1. Think about what is behind the subject as well as the subject itself.

ASSIGNMENT - Take some photos being fully aware of what is in the backgrounds.

 - 1 Photo a Day....makes me happy (and a better photographer) Bonnie McCaffery (always a student)


  1. I'm behind in getting going.I didn't realize it had begun. I've been taking tons of them. So do I go ahead an post a picture?I took some that I was deliberately bluing out a background that wasn't appealing.Where do I post?


    I hope this was the right week. But I was thinking about doing this as I took these shots. A telephoto is of course the easiest way to get the blurred background.haow by adjusting the blurred background it makes your subject stand out almost in a 3 D sense, And for photos of people and children a nice telephoto lens which blurs the background, makes for a much better portrait..
    I also thought that you cam find the most interesting, overlooked things and using this technique can make them stand out and become interesting,

  3. I set up a Flickr group. Go to to sign up. Then I think you upload your picks and in the group select which pics to post to the group. That means you can post lots of photos on Flickr, but we're limiting to 7 photos a week per person for now.