How to Get Blurry Backgrounds When Filming DSLR Video Outside





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Published on Sep 26, 2013

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Shooting DSLR video is a great way to get the film look. You can select exactly what you want to be in focus in your scene because of the camera's large sensor and adaptable lenses. Shooting with a shallow depth of field to get blurry backgrounds is one aspect of getting your video to look more like film. However this presents a problem when shooting outside in direct sunlight.

In order to get a blurry background you need a lens that has a large aperture such as f4.0 or wider. When you open your aperture that wide and you are shooting in bright daylight, your scene is going to be overexposed.

There are a few options you have when this happens. First, if your ISO is higher than it's minimum setting reduce that to it's minimum. If your scene is still too bright, you can increase your aperture but with every step up in aperture your scene will become more in focus overall. Finally you can move your shutter speed up to 1/125 but now you've changed the motion blur of your image and therefore another aspect of what gives you the film look.

So what's the real solution? Using neutral density filters a.k.a. ND. These filers allow you to keep your camera's settings exactly where you want them for creative control over your scene while adjusting the amount of light that gets into your camera.

A fader ND is the easiest, most flexible choice because it has several levels of ND within the same filter and allows you to quickly change your exposure in real-time. This is especially useful for run and gun video shooters.

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*Gear used to make this video:

Light Craft Workshop 77mm Fader ND Mark II Filter http://podhelp.me/fadernd77
Fotodiox Step Up Ring 67-77mm http://podhelp.me/stepup77
Canon 60D http://podhelp.me/60dkit
Transcend SD card 16 and 32GB Class 10 http://podhelp.me/tr16gb10
Sennheiser ew100 G2 Wireless Lapel Microphone http://podhelp.me/Sennkit
Canon Normal EF 50mm f/1.4 USM http://podhelp.me/canon501point4
Sigma 18-50mm 2.8 - 4.5 Lens (mounted to the 60D) http://podhelp.me/sigma18-50os (discontinued) Here's a substitute http://podhelp.me/sig17-70
Manfrotto 701 HDV Tripod http://podhelp.me/701hdv055xbkit
Rode VideoMic Pro http://podhelp.me/RbPLrq

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