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3.2. Portraits

You may have noticed that in most professional photo portraits, the background is softly out of focus. Unless you have the cheapest camera on the planet, you can create a similar great-looking effect yourself.

In photographic terms, a shot with a soft-focus background is said to have a shallow depth of field. The term "depth of field" refers to how much of the picture is in focus. When you're photographing your family in front of the Great Wall of China, you'll probably want a deep depth of field, so that both the people and the background remain in focus. But in typical headshot-type portraits, you'll want a shallow depth of field—and a blurry background. Figure 3-5 should make this more clear.


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