Although Sony have added more recent additions to their Sony Alpha range, the popularity of the Sony a6000 is undeniable and it continues to go from strength to strength with each passing month. The solid image quality, versatility, and reliability of the a6000 ensure that its user base just keeps on growing at a steady pace while showing absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Due to the a6000 being one of the most popular mirrorless camera bodies on the market right now with a massive customer base, we constantly see large numbers of people reaching out and asking questions relating to the a6000 on how both photographers and videographers are able to improve their image quality in a number of ways.
At the time of writing, one of the most frequently asked questions that we see time and time again and is actually being asked on a more regular basis is “How do I blur the background on my Sony a6000 photographs?“. With so many people reaching out and asking for advice on this, we have decided to publish this article to try and help as many of our readers as possible.
Practice Your Bokeh
The vast majority of people who we see reaching out for advice on how to blur the background of the photographs they capture with their Sony a6000 are usually referring to the Bokeh effect. This is a great technique that is very popular in a wide number of photography niches and can offer a quick and easy improvement to your overall image quality.
For example, with portrait photography, you are able to use bokeh to your advantage to instantly draw the eye to the face of the main subject of your photography by instantly adding blur to the background of the photograph while keeping their face in focus. The contrast between blue (the background) and sharp edges (your subject) helps you control what the viewer of your work looks at.
The photograph below is an excellent example of this, as you can see, the subject of the photograph is crystal clear where as the background is blurred out using bokeh.
You are easily able to use the bokeh effect with your Sony a6000 to blur out the backgrounds of your photographs as shown in the image above. That said though, there are a number of different ways that you can go about it each with their own advantage and disadvantage. This is why we feel getting out and testing the different methods are the best option when it comes to learning how to blur the background of your Sony a6000 photographs but here are some tips to try.
Use An Optimal Aperture
When it comes to adding the bokeh effect to your photographs, the aperture of the lens you have mounted to your a6000 is definitely going to come into play. Although you can sometimes get a decent bokeh effect to blur your background with an f/2.8 aperture, the faster the better. Ideally, something like f/2, f/1.8, or f/1.4 will be ideal and offer the best possible blurring for the majority of situations.
Test A Prime Lens If Possible
Although this is not essential so if you don’t have a prime lens with an aperture that is f/2, f/1.8 or f/1.4 and will mount to your Sony a6000, don’t worry about it. That said though, the majority of decent prime lenses for the a6000 do have a faster aperture and offer some excellent bokeh blurring for your photograph backgrounds right out of the box.
Increase The Distance Between Your Subject And Your Background
Although this may sound like common sense to more experiences photographers, we do have a large number of entry level photographers amongst our readers and we see this mistake often. The best way to get the bokeh blur effect on your backgrounds with your Sony a6000 is to try and ensure there is enough distance between your subject and their background.
This ensures that your lens is able to blur out the background more efficiently while still focusing in on your main subject. Try to ensure that you keep about the same distance from your subject for the photography session while they move and take test photographs as they move away from the background to see what works best for your needs.
Add Blur To Your Background In Post Production
Although we do feel that taking advantage of the bokeh effect explained above is the best option to add blur to your Sony a6000 photograph backgrounds, we do know that there are a large number of popular post production editing software out there that allows you to blur your background at the press of a button.
More and more photographers are starting to take advantage of this when it comes to adding blur to their photographs as you are not always able to add bokeh depending on the type of session. If you are planning on adding the blur effect into your photograph in post production then try to ensure that you are getting the best initial photograph possible with your Sony a6000.
You will almost always get better results out of your post production when you have the best initial photograph to edit. This means ideally, try to capture your photographs in RAW format rather than in JPEG to ensure they are the best quality possible right out of the camera. The compression rate of JPEG photographs just causes problems in the long run in our opinion and with memory cards being larger and cheaper than they were five years or so back, we feel that RAW format is the way to go.
Use A Lower Shutter Speed
Although this one will depend on exactly what you are trying to do as well as the photography niche that you are working in but manipulating your shutter speed on your a6000 to produce a blur effect in the background can be a budget friendly way to do it. If you dont have a suitable lens to take advantage of bokeh, you are sometimes able to get a natural blurring effect but having a really slow shutter speed.
That said though, this method is not the best and can be unreliable as it will often also cause the main subject of your photograph to blur as well as the background too. We know that there are a small number of niches where this may help meet your needs though so we wanted to include it in our article.
Full Press The Capture Button
Again, just like our tip above, this is not ideal but you can use it to blur the background of your Sony a6000 photographs but again, it can end up causing you issues with your subject too causing them to blur. Basically, the Sony a6000 has a two step capture button where you can half press it to get the auto focus to adjust for optimal image quality before fully pressing it to capture your photograph.
Depending on the type of blur that you are wanting out of your Sony a6000, you can sometimes just full press the capture button while having the camera set to auto focus to blur the background. Again, this is not ideal and going with bokeh will almost always be the better option and we would highly recommend it.