One of the few really interesting and impressive effects I am able to produce with my non-slr digital camera is when the subject is sharp and in focus, and the background is blurred. (at this point I was going to include a pic of a pigeon on a fence I took years ago, but photobucket seems to be down)
I believe these modes P,S,A,M are fairly standard on mid to high end non-slr digital cameras, so I was hoping someone could explain using these modes to enforce the abovementioned effect. I know it has something to do with making the hole (the apeture?) bigger or smaller and compensating with the shutter speed (the length of time the hole stays open) or vice versa.
P.s. My camera (Nikon coolpix 8800) has an annoying habit of focusing on everything but the object at dead centre. I tried to produce the blurry background effect on a postbox (the old red cylinder ones unique on this side of the pond) but the postbox was blurred and the background sharp and clear!