9 Ways to Create a Soft Background in Your Photos

Have you ever taken a photo and been disappointed with the Results? The Background just didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to? In this blog post, we will be discussing seven different ways that you can produce a soft background in your photos. Whether you’re using natural light or artificial light, these tips will help you create beautiful soft backgrounds every time. So let’s get started!

Why Are Soft Backgrounds Good in Photography?

Example of a soft background

A soft background is good in photography because it helps to draw attention to the subject of the photo. When the background is busy or cluttered, it can be distracting and take away from the overall impact of the image. A soft background can also help to create a dreamy or romantic mood.

How to Produce a Soft Background in Your Photos?

There are a few different ways that you can produce a soft background in your photos. Let’s take a look at each one.

9 Ways to Produce a Soft Background in Your Photos

Use a larger aperture

When you use a large aperture, it helps to create a shallow depth of field. This means that the area in front of and behind your subject will be blurred, making your subject stand out more. If you’re not sure how to change your aperture, consult your camera’s manual or do a quick Google search.

Choose the right lens

If you’re using a DSLR camera, then you have the option of choosing different lenses. Some lenses are better than others when it comes to creating a soft background. For example, a 50mm prime lens is great for this because it has a large aperture. Other good choices include 85mm and 135mm lenses.

Example of a good wide aperture lens is the Canon 50mm prime

Get close to your subject

The closer you are to your subject, the softer the background will be. This is because when you’re close to something, it appears larger in relation to the background. So if you want a really soft background, get as close to your subject as possible.

Plus, if you are doing portrait photography, getting closer to your subject and then conversing with them is also a great way to make your client feel more comfortable in front of the lens.

Use soft lighting

If you’re using artificial lighting, then make sure to use softboxes or umbrellas. These will help to diffuse the light and create a softer look. You can also try using natural light by shooting near a window.

If you’re outside the best time to shoot will be  in the early morning or late evening when the sun is lower in the sky. This will help to create softer shadows and a more even light.

Shoot into the sun

couple stands close together backlit by golden hour lighting

When you shoot into the sun, it will help to create a soft halo around your subject. This is because the light is being diffused as it passes through the atmosphere. If you’re shooting in direct sunlight, then try to position yourself so that the sun is behind your subject.

Photographing into the sun softens the foreground as well as the background. If you are going to do this, it’s also best to plan a photo session around the evening time when the sun is around head height.

Emphasize a sharp contrast

If you want to capture a soft background, then you want your subject to contrast against the background.

This will make the subject stand out a lot more from the background, creating the appearance of a softer looking background.

This can be accomplished by using a backlight or by placing your subject in front of a light source.

You can also try using a reflector to bounce light back onto your subject. This will help to create a more even light and will make your subject stand out more.

Zoom in or use a long focal length

When you zoom in or use a long focal length, it will help to compress the scene. This means that the background will appear closer to your subject, making it appear softer.

If you’re not sure how to change your focal length, consult your camera’s manual or check out our other articles on focal length.

Distant background

If you want to create a really soft background, then you need to have some distance between your subject and the background.

The further away the background is, the softer it will appear. So if you’re shooting in a studio, try to position your subject at least 10 feet away from the backdrop.

Use a background that works well with bokeh

Some backgrounds work better than others when it comes to creating bokeh. For example, a background with small, round shapes tends to work well. This could be anything from a cityscape at night to a field of flowers.

Experiment and see what works best for you!

Bokeh is an important part of softening your photos’ backgrounds. But if you are photographing with a solid wall as your backdrop, then it might be harder to create that soft look.

Conclusion

In conclusion,  there are many ways to produce a soft background in your photos. By using a long focal length, shooting into the sun, or placing your subject far away from the background, you can create beautiful, soft backgrounds that will make your subjects pop. Experiment and see what works best for you!

Nate Torres

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