Skip to content
Home » Photography Tips and Guides » How to Blur Background In Pictures: The Ultimate Guide To Blurring Backgrounds

How to Blur Background In Pictures: The Ultimate Guide To Blurring Backgrounds

Blurring the background in pictures is a popular technique used by photographers. This can be done for many reasons, but it’s mostly to draw attention to the subject of the photo.

This article will show you how to blur the background in pictures.

What Is Depth Of Field?

Depth of field is the amount of the image that is in focus. Depth of field is measured from the point of focus to the furthest point from the focus point.

Shallow depth of field makes the subject stand out more from the background, and a photographer can take attention away from objects in the background that may be distracting or not pleasant.

A large depth of field allows everything to be in focus, even if it’s close to or far away from the focus point.

A camera with a super macro setting can achieve a shallow depth of field, making it easier to take pictures with a small aperture and slow shutter speed.

What Is Bokeh and Blur Quality?

Bokeh is the quality of the blur in an image.

Good bokeh enhances and highlights the subject, with interesting light and dark patterns.

Bad bokeh—a distracting blur—occurs when the lighting balance is poor or if there are too many light highlights in the dark background.

Bokeh is the appearance of a blurred image, while blur quality affects how smooth an image appears.

It is important to take into account both bokeh and blur quality when taking photographs.

Techniques for Creating a Blurred Background in Your Photos

To create a blurry background in a photo, use in-camera techniques such as aperture and focal length settings, distance, and composition.

Increasing the subject-to-background distance will cause the background to be increasingly blurred the further the subject is from the background. To achieve this look, photograph the subject with a far distance from the background.

Decreasing the camera-to-subject distance will cause the background to be increasingly blurred the closer the subject comes to the camera. If you want to see more details of other elements in the photo, photograph the subject closer to the background

Below are a few techniques you can use to create a bokeh, or blur, effect in the background of your photos.

Technique #1: Use a Wide Aperture Lens

Wide aperture lenses create a shallower depth of field, which makes it easier to blur background elements.

A wide aperture lens is ideal for photographing family portraits where elements in the background could be distracting from the subject.

Technique #2: Use a Long Focal Length

A long focal length lens will create a blurred background when taking a photo.

To achieve a blurred background, use a wide angle of view and zoom in on your subject.

A short focal length lens is ideal for photographing large groups of people and capturing details in the foreground and background simultaneously.

Technique #3: Increase Your Subject-to-Background Distance

To create bokeh, shoot at a wide aperture and long focal length with close camera-to-subject distance

Decreasing camera-to-subject distance for bokeh results in a more pleasing aesthetic.

Technique #4: Decrease Your Camera-to-Subject Distance For Bokeh

This is a way of getting bokeh in the background. The effect will be more pronounced when shooting at night or in a dark setting. This is because the camera will be able to capture more light and details at night, while still creating an out-of-focus background that doesn’t distract from your subject.

You can do this by moving closer or getting lower to the ground, so that you are at the same level as your subject.

Blurring The Background Of A Picture In Editing

To blur the background of a picture, import the image into an editing program and remove the background.

Windows 10 also comes with Photos app that has a built-in option for blurring backgrounds.

Below we’ll walk through how to blur photos in photo editing tools such as Adobe Photoshop.

1. Select Your Foreground Subject & Background

To edit a photo, open up Photoshop and import the image you want to blur the background for.

Use the Smart Selection tools to mark out the foreground subject and blur the background.

If necessary, fix any errors with manual selection.

Tap the Brush Size icon, then select a suitable brush size for the area you want to select.

Select either the Focus or Background icon, then brush over the subject or background that you want to select.

Remember, you need to be precise when using the Manual Selection tools. Any area that you brush over will be selected.

When you’ve finished, the red mask should only be on the foreground subject that you want in sharp focus. The neater you make your selection, the more realistic it will look when you apply the blur effect.

If you notice a mistake with your selection, tap Undo (curved arrow) at the top of screen or switch between Focus and Background icons to repaint an area you selected by mistake.

When you’ve made a neat selection, tap the arrow at the top right. The background of your photo will now appear blurred!

2. Customize The Blur Effect

Use the Blur icon to customize the blur effect in your photo.

You can use Lens Blur or Motion Blur to add a sense of movement to your image.

You can also add sparkle overlay to photos to create a shiny blurred bokeh background!

How to Blur a Photo Easily on iPhone and Android

You can use a few different apps to blur a photo on your smartphone. You can use the app called PhotoBlur on your iPhone or Android device. You can also use the app called Camera+ on your iPhone or Android device for photo blur.

There are many different ways to blur a photo on iPhone and Android.

Blurring photos on iOS

You can use Portrait Mode to automatically blur the background of your photos.

There are also several editing apps that allow you to achieve this effect.

Blur Photo Editor Background by Connects Ltd. is a $5-per-month app that requires a subscription.

Blurring photos on Android

To blur photos on Android, users must first open the stock camera app and grant permission to access photos.

Once selected, the app automatically analyzes and blurs background with a slider.

To further adjust intensity of blur, user can tap on Blur icon and adjust slider from left to right.

Finally, user can save edited photo by selecting Save icon in lower-right corner


The best way to blur background in photos is by using a DSLR camera with a large aperture lens. However, if you do not have access to such equipment, then a stock Android or Apple app is a good alternative, alongside leveraging photo editing tools such as Adobe Photoshop.