It was all about aperture.
Changing the aperture changes your depth of field. For all you non-photography people, depth of field is what makes your subject either stand out in sharp focus against a blurry background (using lower numbers for the aperture setting, in beginner's language) or keeping everything in sharp focus with little to no blurring (using higher numbers for the aperture setting.)
In the photo above, there is a some blurring of the posts that are further away, closer to the beach, but they are still pretty recognizable.
In the photo above, the posts closest to the beach are pretty blurry and you can't really make out what that last one is. The aperture was set to a lower number for this photo.
I couldn't wait to get home and practice.
I'll just have to practice this weekend when my nieces come over. Except they've learned how to roll their eyes too, just like their big cousins.
I might have to resort to using cupcakes.
The things I do for art.