Tu­to­rial 3

Lau­ren scott uses the ad­just­ment brush to make sub­jects stand out. All shots with an unim­por­tant back­ground can ben­e­fit from this trick

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En­hance a blurred back­drop by us­ing the ad­just­ment brush

Longer focal lengths, wide aper­tures and close cam­era-to­sub­ject dis­tances all com­press the back­grounds of your scenes. How­ever, it’s not al­ways pos­si­ble to blur back­grounds in-cam­era. For ex­am­ple, you might not have the right focal length lens avail­able, and it might not be pos­si­ble to set a wide aper­ture be­cause at the longer end it’s only f/6.3.

In this tu­to­rial we’ll show you how to blur the back­ground at the edit­ing stage – think of it as an emer­gency res­cue, rather than a fail­safe ap­proach. The tech­nique is best ap­plied to im­ages where a busy back­ground de­tracts from your main sub­ject – it works par­tic­u­larly well for wildlife or por­trait shots. Blur­ring the back­ground is a good way to make sub­jects pop out and elim­i­nate unattrac­tive or sim­ply unim­por­tant de­tails.

Our king­fisher shot was taken on a 17-40mm lens, with an aper­ture of f/5.6. While the back­ground was al­ready out of fo­cus, there was more we could do to make the bird pop out from the fo­liage be­hind.


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