How do you get your camera to do that cool focus in the foreground, blurry fuzzy whatnot in the background?
What you are talking about is depth of field. The more difference between the fuzziness and the focus, the shallower the depth of field. Everything in focus means a greater depth of field.
Got it? Well, I have a slightly fancy DSLR camera that can do that!* Camera lenses are really just a hole called a shutter.
The hole is closed until you press the shutter button, and then it opens real fast to snatch up the picture and suck it inside the camera and it closes when it has the whole thing. The camera can only suck in what is inside the field. If the field is shallow, then it doesn’t reach very far into the background and the camera ends up just guessing what the background looks like and it comes out all blurry because the camera is unsure. Of course, this is all very scientific, so don’t feel discouraged if you are confused. This hole can be different sizes. It is technically called the aperture. The bigger the aperture, the shallower the depth of field! I have a 50mm lens, and its aperture can get down to an f-stop (unit of aperture size) of 1.8, which is very big. So it can take pictures with very shallow depth of field. Ta-da!
The f-stop numbers are in inverse proportion to the hole size, just like wire thickness is in inverse proportion to its gauge number (26-gauge wire is very thin).
Low f-stop (e.g., 1.8) = larger hole = shallow field visibility
High f-stop (e.g., 12) = smaller hole = deep field visibility
As Andy Carlson says, “It turns out all you need in life is a bigger hole!” It’s true.
Another thing you may be thinking of is the phenomenon occurring in this photo:
See how the background looks like it’s wasting away at the edges? THAT is the result of us standing in front of the sun when it is very low in the sky. And then the blurriness and spots of light (called bokeh in the photo world) are thanks to the big hole on my tiny short lens. A Russian man huffed past us when we were setting this up and said “I don’t see how you can take pictures INTO the sun!” Well, you can, as long as you stand in front of it. Now you know!
P.S. Taking pictures into the sun can definitely be achieved with a point-and-shoot camera. Just make sure your subject is standing in front of the sun because taking pictures directly into the sun can ruin a camera! Although I feel like I have definitely nearly taken a picture directly into the sun when Andy was just barely blocking it…but my lens seems to be OK. Knock on wood? If the subjects come out too dark, try turning on the flash.
*It’s actually possible to get a point-and-shoot digital camera to do it, but you’d have to either be zoomed in on a person or something, or taking a macro (very close-up) shot with a lot of background