BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Jean M. Whelan

How to use the Protrait so I can have the backgrou

I am unable to do the homework for this week for the following reasons:
Using the portrait setting, I can not get a blurred background.
What is a long zoom setting vs. wide angle. Sorry, this is all new to me. Any help on all the homework would be helpful.

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6/11/2012 9:05:10 AM

Peter K. Burian
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/8/2004
  Reply from Instructor

Hi Jean, If you ever have a problem, the quickest way to get an answer is to post the question in the Q&A section at Campus Square. This is where you will find the course pages:

Go to and click on the Q&A tab.
Then on Students Q&A and you can then post a question there.

Anyway, here is the answer. If you are using an 18-55mm zoom, the telephoto end is 85mm. Rotate the wide ring on the lens until it's at the 85mm setting.

With this lens, you can only get a blurred background if you move close to the subject. Move in much closer, like two feet from the subject, as long as a bit of the distant background is visible in your photo.

If you still have problems you can send an e-mail to me at

Hope this helps,


To get into Campus Square, sign in at the upper right on any BetterPhoto page. That puts you in your Member Center. Next, click on the "My Courses" tab. On the page that displays, click on the course title under the "Your Campus Squares" header. That puts you into Campus Square, where class takes place.

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6/11/2012 2:04:22 PM

Nicholas Semo
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2008
  If I was Jean, I would now be more confused. If, in your example she was using an 18-55mm zoom, where does the 85mm setting come in?

Sorry.....I just couldn't resist...LOL


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6/19/2012 4:16:02 AM

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