How To Get The Blurry Background With A Point and Shoot Camera

Hello all!  We have been in the DIY Senior Picture’s lab for the last few days running some tests.  This test is for those of you that don’t have an interchangeable lens camera.  Since you don’t have one of these fancy camera’s you probably don’t have a really fast lens.  No problem! We are going to show you how you can get a blurry background or also called a shallow depth of field with a point and shoot camera.


First, let’s introduce our camera, the Nikon L310.

Our Point and Shoot Camera

These little cameras are nice, they are by no means a substitute for a DSLR , mirrorless or other interchangeable lens camera, but they are really nice to learn some basic skills on.  This camera has been out for quite a while.  As a matter of fact, at the time of this writing, it is going for around $20-$40 on eBay.  It is by no means an expensive camera.  The bad of this camera is that it is all auto mode, you cannot set your settings manually. If you are serious about your photography, this won’t do. Although, it does have a portrait mode, which we will be using to get our shot. One good thing about this camera is that it has a nice lens for a point and shoot camera.  You also have a nice zoom range with this camera, which we will use to get a shallow depth of field or blurry background.


First thing you will want to do with this camera is to set it to portrait mode.  Look for the lady with the big floppy hat.  This will set your aperture to the widest setting.  Then you are going to want to line up your portrait subject, A.K.A senior with large distance between them and the background.  In our test, we were in an alley with the tree lined background about 75 feet from our subject.  The distance between your subject and the background is the most important step of this process, the more distance, the easier it is to get a blurry background.


We set our Nikon L310 to portrait mode (lady with the floppy hat) and then setup our lab assistant in the alley outside of our lab.  Again, there was about 75ft. between him and the tree lined background.   Then we will get some distance between us the photographer and the subject and zoom in to our maximum zoom and snap the picture.  Below are our results.


Point and shoot-blurry-bg


Sure our lab assistant does not look happy to be our test subject, but ignore him for the moment, check out the background.  It is blurry like we hoped.  You can barely tell there is a utility pole and old brick house back there.  While this does not get you the fancy look of a really fast lens, it does allow you to get shallow depth of field with a point and shoot camera.  In about a week we are going to upload a video describing our test in our free bonus section.  Sign up for updates to get free access to the bonus section!


Thanks for being a part of DIY Senior Pictures.  Need more immediate help?  Need a step by step process?  Check out our latest Kindle books.  Why not check out our bonus video section too?  Leave a comment and let's discuss your photo concerns.  Talk to you soon.

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