Forums and Facebook groups are full of someday want-to-be professional photographers and an extremely common question they ask as beginners is “How do I get that blurry background in my photographs?” The blurry background (or blur with bokeh), is an effect accomplished by knowing how to create a shallow depth of field. It is a compositional tool used in many genres of photography such as portraits, flowers/nature, and products. A quick word of caution, overuse of any one compositional tool can create a portfolio that is, well… boring. So don’t rely only on “blur” to create memorable images. Check out our blog post on Composition Basics here.
Composition is essentially an art form. It is the way you frame or arrange an image and it is critical to the outcome – whether that image is just good or great! A set of rules for good composition exists, yet it is still at best subjective, and great photographic images break these rules all the time. The best advice is to know the rules, so then you are aware when you are breaking a rule and can decide if that will, in fact, make your image better. Aside from the “rules” there are a couple of general photography guidelines that will also help you. Let’s start with those…