How Do I Get My Cake In Focus & Background Blurry...?

Decorating By mom2spunkynbug Updated 28 Jan 2010 , 7:21pm by katerpillrgrl

mom2spunkynbug Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 5:18am
post #1 of 12

I have seen photos of cakes where the cake is in focus, but the background is blurry - I LOVE this effect!!! HOW DO I DO IT?!! LOL!

My dh got me a really nice camera last Christmas, and my FIL told me I just need to adjust a setting on my camera to do this. Can anyone help me out here? I barely know how to work the thing! Is there a general setting that I should be looking for to do this?

Thanks in advance!

11 replies
prterrell Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 5:28am
post #2 of 12

I'm not sure, as every camera is different. If the camera's instruction manual does not clear it up for you, try taking it to a camera store (Wolf and Ritz are 2 good ones--just make sure it's a camera store, not a generic electronics store) and they should be able to help you out with it.

The other option is to digitally the background using photo editing software.

katerpillrgrl Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 5:40am
post #3 of 12

maybe a low f-stop and a faster shutter speed? it'll probably just take some experimenting on your part. If you're not sure what an f-stop is, then maybe taking it to a camera store for a little training is the best idea...

cindycraig Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 5:42am
post #4 of 12

Log onto She's a foodie and a photo whiz as well. That effect is called "bokeh" and I think she had a tutorial. Have fun!

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 12:20pm
post #5 of 12

There is another discussion on this topic here.

FromScratch Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 12:34pm
post #6 of 12

What kind of camera do you have? That will help in explaining the approach. icon_smile.gif

FromScratch Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 7:04pm
post #7 of 12

The shutter speed isn't so much in play for the bokeh as it is for the proper exposure. Bokeh is more about focal length and aperture.

I would also ask what lens you are using? (assuming you have a DSLR of course)

This isn't something you are going to be able to really control with your camera on auto. You'll have to switch it to full manual or aperture priority (AvP) might work too. Shooting in manual is really the best way to use your camera. If you have a SLR camera and you leave it in auto, you might as well have not spent the money on it since you are just using it like a point and shoot camera. (I know yours was a gift, but just speaking generally).

Doug Posted 26 Jan 2010 , 9:23pm
post #8 of 12

the real term is "selective focus" and it's a function of "depth of field"

search those two on google for many good lessons, with photos and even videos explaining it.

in short: very large aperture with short focal length and close shooting distance will greatest effect.

mom2spunkynbug Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 10:56pm
post #9 of 12

Oh wow, I'm going to have to take a class just so I can understand pictures and how to take good ones of my cakes! LOL!

Let's see (I know absolutely nothing about cameras)...I have a Fujifilm Finepix S1000 fd, 12x optical zoom, 10.0 mega pixels (I'm reading this off of my camera, I have no idea what any of this means).

For the modes I have:

Auto: automatic mode setting according to shooting conditions
Natural Light: retains natural ambience without flash
Portrait: portrait with soft overall tone and beautiful skin tones
Landscape: clear scenic shots
Panorama: panorama pictures in 3 shots or less
Movie: movie recording with sound
Manual: manual mode with the shutter speed and the aperture
Aperture Priority AE: Automatic mode with user setting the aperture
Shutter Priority AE: Automatic mode with user setting the shutter speed
Program AE: Automatic mode with programmed setting

There is Macro, Super Macro, and a whole bunch of other buttons that I have no clue as to what they do! I never read the instruction manual (as if you couldn't tell LOL)

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!


artscallion Posted 27 Jan 2010 , 11:09pm
post #10 of 12

I don't have the same camera as you do. But on mine, the "portrait" setting is the one that puts focus on the item in the foreground with the background out of focus.

mom2spunkynbug Posted 28 Jan 2010 , 12:11am
post #11 of 12

Ok, so I figured out how to set the correct date on my camera! I lost my manual, but found one online.

I have a better understanding of what each mode is for now.

And it says to put it on Aperture Priority (just like you said FromScratch icon_wink.gif ). So it says selecting a smaller number of aperture has the area in front of and behind the subject out of focus. They have an example photo with crayons standing up. I am trying this on my table (my kids school stuff is all over it right now), so I pushed it back and am trying to focus on a soda can closer to me. I'm trying to do this, but it's not working. AND my camera batteries are dying (which is not helping)! But there is a number (it changes as I move the camera) on the left of the screen; and there are markings (kind of like on a ruler) on the right of the screen, and I can move more to the left or more to the right, but no number changes. Or I can use the up/down arrows and that changes an "F" number. Which number should I be trying to make smaller? It doesn't really say what all these numbers & stuff mean.

Ok, I just went back and looked, and it looks like the "F" number is the I should make that as small as possible, right? Maybe I'm too close? Hmmm...

Thank you to anyone who tries & helps icon_smile.gif

katerpillrgrl Posted 28 Jan 2010 , 7:21pm
post #12 of 12 i said....smaller f-stop (aperture) and a faster shutter speed to get the right exposure.

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