When you look at a stunning portrait photograph in this period of the 21st century, you may notice that the background is most likely blurred, allowing the subject to stand out in the image. This technique is called "bokeh" and it is a popular choice among photographers, especially portrait photographers. But why do they take portraits with a blurry background? In this article, we'll explore the reasons why photographers use this technique and the impact it has on the final image.
First and foremost, a blurry background can create a visual separation between the subject and the background, drawing the viewer's attention to the subject. A portrait with a sharp background can be distracting and take away from the main focus of the image. Blurring the background helps to eliminate any distracting elements and ensures that the subject is the primary focus of the photograph.
Another reason photographers use a blurry background in portrait photography is to create a sense of depth and dimensionality. By using a wide aperture, such as f/1.8 or f/2.8, the photographer can create a shallow depth of field (blur), making the subject appear sharper while blurring the background. This technique can create a sense of three-dimensionality in the image, making the subject appear more lifelike and engaging.
Additionally, a blurry background can be used to evoke a certain mood or emotion in the viewer. A soft, blurred background can create a sense of calm or serenity, while a more chaotic or textured background with many elements can create tension or drama. By carefully selecting the aperture and adjusting the depth of field, a photographer can use the background to enhance the overall mood and feel of the image.
Furthermore, a blurry background can be used to conceal any unwanted or distracting elements in the background. For example, if a photographer is shooting in a crowded area or a messy environment, blurring the background can help to hide any unwanted distractions, ensuring that the focus remains on the subject.
In conclusion, photographers use a blurry background in portrait photography to draw attention to the subject, create depth and dimensionality, evoke a certain mood or emotion, and conceal any unwanted distractions. By carefully selecting the aperture and adjusting the depth of field, a photographer can create a stunning portrait that captures the essence of the subject and tells a compelling visual story. So, the next time you see a portrait with a blurry background, remember that there's a lot more going on than just a simple aesthetic choice.