How To Blur Background in Photoshop: Beginners Guide!

Blur Background in Photoshop

Have images with a blurred background ever surprised you? I bet it did. Mona Lisa. The Mona Lisa is the pioneer of blurred images with a sharp main subject. It's just that it was a painting and not an image. The effect was given by precise hands and not with advanced photo editing tools. But thanks to technology, now anyone can give a blurred effect to a picture using Adobe Photoshop. You don't need to be a super-skilled artist like Leonardo Da Vinci.

In this post, we'll learn how to blur the background in Photoshop. What are the various methods through which you can integrate this marvelous effect into your image? Let's start.

Photoshop Version

Photoshop version

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to choosing the right Photoshop version. It is always better to use the latest version, as the latest version has the most advanced AI features that'll make your task a breeze. For example, it has an AI subject selection tool that intelligently identifies and selects the subject automatically. You don't have to go through the strenuous task of selecting the subject. But many like to rely on their precise hands, and they can continue what they are comfortable with. Now, let's take a look at what are the different options available for blurring the background.

Types of Blur in Photoshop

blur photoshop background

Broadly, there are four pathways through which you can blur the background in Photoshop. You can select anyone according to your preference. Let's take a look at each one of them:

  • Gaussian Blur
  • Gaussian blur induces smooth, uniform blur into the entire image. It uses the Gaussian function, a mathematical function deduced by great mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, to reduce the image information and blur it out. 

  • Tilt-Shift Blur
  • As the name suggests, the blur happens along the gradient. This means that the central part of the selected image will appear sharp, and it'll start to blur as we move away from the focal point. The tilt-shift blur can make an image appear like a miniature.  

  • Iris Blur
  • Use an iris blur to mimic or remember the appearance of a shallow depth of field. With this effect, specific areas of an image are blurred. The edges appear hazy while the center stays sharp.    

  • Bokeh Blur
  • Create beautiful photos with blurred backgrounds. The Japanese word "bokeh" means "blur," but the English phrase describes hazy rings that appear to reflect or refract light. A picture can appear more professional using the bokeh effect.

    How to Blur the Background in Photoshop: Step-By-Step Tutorial

    blur the background photoshop

    Now, let's have a look at all the things you all were waiting for. Follow this step-by-step tutorial to blur the background of your image and transform it into a striking piece of art. Let's dive right in. 

    You can level up your backgrounds with an amazing background mega bundle.

    1. First, open your image using Photoshop, and to keep things clean, safe, and organized, duplicate the original layer by right-clicking on the original layer, then select the "Duplicate Layer". You can also achieve this by using the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl J" after selecting the original layer.

    2. After duplicating the original image, you'll need to separate the subject from the background. Sure there are other ways, but tilt-shift blur provides you with more flexibility and allows you to remove edge halos while blurring the background image.

    3. There are numerous ways through which you can select the subject of the image. The fastest method is to use "subject" from the "select" option from the menu bar. It uses Adobe Sensei (Artificial Intelligence) to identify the main subject of the image. Adobe's AI will automatically select the main subject, it may not be a perfect selection but it will be fine if you are just starting. If you want your selection to be perfect, then you can use other manual tools like lasso or magnetic lasso tool to ensure the perfect selection.

    4. Once you have selected the subject you want to focus on, select the option from the menu bar. Select "Expand -> Modify" from a select menu. You can expand the pixels by 5 points. This means that the selection of the object will happen five pixels away from the main selection.

    5. Now, it is time to remove the selected object from the background. Go to "Edit" in the menu bar and choose "Content-Aware fill". Make sure that the output is set to a duplicate layer. You can look at the output from the "output setting"  

    6. Doing this, Photoshop will generate a background layer of the original image where the main selection will be absent. Now, you can disable the two background layers and enable the foreground layer. You will be left with an original background and selected main subject.

    7. Now, you can mask the foreground layer. By the end of this, you will be left with a white background under the main object. But we have a problem, we have a 5 extra pixel layer that we had extended.

    8. To remove this, you can go to "Filters" (layer mask should be selected, "Other" and then go to "minimum". You will be confronted with the minimum control panel. Here you change the radius to five. This method will help in preserving round edges, it will make your image look smooth and realistic.

    9. Now, select the background layer, disabling all the other layers. Go to Filter > Blur gallery > Tilt-shift. This will blur the image on the top and bottom. Tilt-shift gives you more control over background blur. The image inside a solid line will not be blurred.

    10. But there is one thing you should take note of. The blur effect can pass through a dashed line. You can notice that by increasing the blur intensity. But the blur effect will not pass through the dashed line.

    11. You will have to adjust both the lines including the blur intensity to create a perfect image with pleasing highlights on the main object and background with a blur effect. For instance, picture an individual standing in an image, having a decent background behind him. Here, you can move the solid line to the feet of the individual. This way, you will not blur the space on which the folk are standing, giving the photo a realistic blurred picture that is captured by professional photography. You can take it a step further with a background design graphics bundle.   

    Hopefully, now you have learned how to induce background blur using Photoshop. We understand that sometimes text can be difficult to follow. To solve this, we also have YouTube tutorials to learn editing in an audio format. Further, it's always better to see the editing process actually happening in front of you to get a better understanding of the method of blurring the background. There are various videos available on YouTube, you can go through them and follow them side-by-side to achieve better results.

    Want to Fine-Tune Your Editing Skills?

    photoshop blur the background

    Do you know that you can live your dream life if you have mastered the skill of Photo editing? But the earnings from the editing don't come the easy way. You must have passion, perseverance, and the best resources to reach the level of editing mastery that can bring you riches. At the Artixty store, you can explore a variety of high-quality Photoshop editing bundles and temples that hone your picture editing into no less than a perfect one!

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.