How to Get a Blurry Background in Video — Depth of Field Tutorial

How to Get a Blurry Background in Video — Depth of Field Tutorial

September 12, 2019 100 By Kailee Schamberger


– So in this video, I’m
going to be talking about how to get a blurry
background in your videos, also known as depth of field or bokeh. Comin’ up! (camera shutter) Hey, what’s up guys? Sean here with Think Media TV, helping you go further, faster in media. On this channel we do tech gear reviews, video gear reviews, and tip
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consider subscribing. And hey, at any point during this video, check out show notes and links
in the description below, I’ll list out all of the resources as well as some bonus things as well. Let’s get into the video. So you’ve probably noticed that it’s super cool when you
can get depth of field, when you can create the blurry
background effect in videos. Maybe you’ve seen other
YouTubers doing it, of course film makers, and so
how do you create that effect? You know, I’m not actually gonna share any of the science behind it
because I don’t know that, but I’ve been doing video
for almost 15 years now and with DSLR’s and even
with point and shoots and some new phones, you’re
able to achieve that look. And so here’s the things that you need to look for to really
get a blurry background. One of the big tips is that it’s pretty hard to achieve if you don’t actually move away from the background. Like you want as much space between you and whatever your background is, right? And so sometimes if you’re
creating YouTube videos and you’re sitting against a wall, it’s gonna be darned near impossible to really achieve that look. The next thing to consider is that this is easiest to do with a DSLR or with a higher-end point and shoot that has a lot of manual settings. And so what you’re
looking for on your DSLR is really the aperture and
the length of the lens. And so here’s what I mean. A super popular lens is
the nifty 50 by Canon. It comes out to about $125 U.S. and it is a 50 millimeter lens and it is a 1.8 aperture lens. And so those two metrics are what you want to look for when it comes to creating depth of field
and that blurry effect. Now it causes a couple things to happen. One, when the lens is 50 millimeters, when it’s longer and if
you have a wide angle lens, it doesn’t really create depth of field. But when you’ve got a 50, an 85 millimeter or even longer, that is gonna help you. And then when you’ve got an aperture that can get in the low numbers. The higher you go on your
aperture on your camera, meaning not 1.8, but if you went up to 10 or 20 outside then that’s going to lower how blurry the background is. But if you keep it at those low numbers like running the lens at 1.8, then you’re gonna have a
very blurry background. So for instance, we’re shooting right now on a Canon L Glass 50 millimeter lens and I believe it’s at 1.8. And this lens right now is at 1.8, so it’s a higher-end lens than this but it’s basically giving you the effect of this blurry background. So I’m standing about eight feet away from the camera, and that’s how it crops about this shot, and then the background is another, you know, 20 feet until that picture that you see blurred out. And so again, I have to be a certain distance away from the camera which affects a lot of things, right? Your microphone, we switch to a lapel mic because the shotgun
mic would be like, hey, how are you doing over there? Right, you know, it’d be like too far if it’s sitting and you
know, it affects some things. So those are some of the things that you want to be looking for. Now, another thing is that we actually had to mess with the shutter speed. And so on your DSLR you’re lookin’ at your ISO, your aperture,
and your shutter speed. And so to run at a wide open, when you have a lower aperture like 1.8, it lets a lot more light in and sometimes your shots
can be over exposed. We have the ISO set as low as it goes so in this case we had
to put the shutter speed at 250 and the reason that matters, I mean, you probably can’t tell too much, it ends up looking fine, but usually on a DSLR, if you’re shooting 30 frames per second,
you want your shutter speed to be double that or as close to that as possible. So you want it to be 60. If you are shooting 24 frames, or you know a second,
then you want it to be 50, and that gives you smooth motion. So a little bit of
different kind of jittery motion happens when you mess with the shutter speed but that’s okay. So we’ll show you how to set that up on your DSLR right now. Alright so to set this up on your camera, you want the ISO number
probably as low as it goes and see then here on your aperture, this is where you’re gonna get the blurry background, the depth of field. So you could put that number as low as your lens will allow to make
for the blurry background and then again, if that
makes your exposure, which is that right there get too bright, then what you can do is
adjust your shutter speed to get the exposure correct and that will give you that blurry
effect on your camera. So a couple of the lenses that are very popular for getting depth of field are the Sigma lens because it’s a little cheaper than usually a Nikon
or a Canon lens directly. The one that is a Sigma 1.4. So the lower that aperture number gets, you’re like, whoa, it’s gonna get me more of that blurry background. A lot of times what
that means though, too, is that they’re also a
little bit more expensive but you could shop around and look for a lens like that and the 30 millimeter is nice because it’s a good focal length, but it’s not as much as 50. Like you could at least get a little bit closer to the camera, crank the aperture down to that, you know, 1.4 on your camera and then have that good blurry background. And then the other thing to potentially look into is really long lenses if you stand really far away can create really cool effects. So this is a 70 to 200 lens and what portrait photographers a lot of times will do is they will use this lens to get like, completely blurred out backgrounds, right? It’ll look like, just creamy,
sometimes like colors, you can’t even see the
detail of anything anymore and not necessarily because the aperture goes very low, even, you know, at F4, or aperture four, if you are at 70 or 200, you’re still going to
get that depth of field. So the two things you’re
really considering are again is how low can the aperture go and then how far away
can I get of the lens. How long can I make my
lens, you know, zoom out. And so just for example, this is actually the 70 to 100 lens, that huge lens, and it’s probably zoomed in to about, you
know, 150 millimeters or so. Luckily we have this super
long lapel mic on here. But again, now it’s at 2.8 because that’s as low as the
aperture goes on this lens, but you’ve still got the blurry background because you’re zoomed in so far. So for instance, even if you’re shooting with your kit lens, if
you want to get, you know, as much blurry background as possible, move the camera away from you, try to get off your background
as much as possible, and then zoom it all the way in and keep the aperture as low as it’ll go. But a lot of times if you want to get a blurry background, you just have to invest in a nicer lens. So now you get to apply those principles to pretty much any camera, right? So this is the Canon G7X. This camera starts at 1.8, so it starts at a pretty wide aperture and 24 millimeters and so that’s why people like to vlog with it and it creates some depth of field if you put it close to your face then the background
could be kind of blurry. But it also zooms into 120 millimeters. So the lens on this is kind of like this, if that makes sense, it’s
right in the middle there. And so if you zoom this all the way in, it’s only going to go to 2.8. And so now if you were
to shoot some portraits or some video with it, then it’s gonna have
that blurry background. And again, you want to
step off of your background and then you can actually, you know, see that you get the blurry background, this G7X is at 2.8 and
you’re zoomed in all the way, and you’ve created that effect. Again, the downside is on the G7X, to do that there’s no
mic input or anything so now you’d be really far away from the camera as far as audio goes. So kind of the last thing is you really want to be thinking about your audio and your whole kind of work flow, do you have enough space to really create
that blurry background and get that depth of field look? Question of the day, what are your tips for creating that blurry
background depth of field? You might even be more technical and be able to add some value, so definitely comment in the comments section below and remember that some of the best tips and advice come from you, the Think
Media TV community. So definitely connect with everybody in the comments section. So thanks so much for
checking out this video. Definitely subscribe for
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further, faster in media. Keep crushing it, and we will talk soon. Lighting reviews, I’m gonna get this, I’m gonna do the whole
thing straight through right now, no mess ups, alright. Three, two, and Depth of field or even bokeh. Bokeh? Bokeh. Boca, it’s not boca, bokeh. It’s a bokeh. Okay. Hey, what’s up guys, I’m
gonna roll up my sleeves, it’s what I do.