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Photo Editing

How to Blur a Photo in 5 Steps

Feb 23, 2021 · 4 minutes read

While sharp, in-focus images tend to be every photographer’s goal, the blur effect can be a welcome addition and a powerful visual tool for creatives. A well-blurred portrait background can bring focus to a subject or an out-of-focus landscape can add mystery to an image.

When you need to virtually “clean up” a photo with a messy background, you can try to remove unwanted objects or blur out part of a picture. In learning how to blur background of a photo, creatives can add serious depth and professional elements to their photos. 

Suggested Post: If you'd like to know more about erasing an object from a photo, check out "How to Remove Unwanted Objects in Your Photos".

YouCam Perfect, the go-to photo editing app for creatives, gives users the ability to fade certain elements into a background, and directing focus to the must-see parts of a photo. This easy-to-use app has made the blurring effect easier than ever to apply. Here’s how to get started.

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Adding the Blur Effect to Your Photos

The blur effect — which is also known as bokeh — helps to create distance between the focal point of the photo (the subject) and the background. This visual technique optically separates the in-focus object — you! — from the rest of the scene.

YouCam Perfect Blur ToolYouCam Perfect Try Now

In professional photography, achieving this natural separation is done by adjusting the camera’s aperture setting. The wider aperture creates a shallow depth of field, increasing the amount of blurred background. Inversely, a narrow aperture creates a larger depth of field, which in turn increases the amount of the image that stays sharp and in focus.

This core photography element — it’s an integral part of the exposure triangle alongside shutter speed and ISO — is crucial to achieving that look in-camera. Luckily, you don’t need a professional DSLR or mirrorless camera and lens combination to achieve the desired blur pic.

Download YouCam Perfect

Just grab your smartphone, snap your photo, and head to the YouCam Perfect app to get that coveted blur effect.

How to Blur Background of a Photo

1. Once you’ve captured your photo, whether it’s a selfie, group picture, or landscape, open the Edit tab in YouCam Perfect. From here, head to Tools, and the Blur.

YouCam Perfect Blur ToolYouCam Perfect Blur Tool

2. In the Blur effect, choose the shape of the outline you’d like to use to shape the blur effect. For example, the Circle shape creates a perfectly round centered shape, while the ellipse gives a long oval shape, ideal for full-length images or selfies.

YouCam Perfect Blur ToolYouCam Perfect Blur Tool

3. Once you’ve selected the shape, you’ll begin to see the effect in action. Anything within the center shape will stay in sharp focus, untouched. Everything beyond that internal shape will subtly begin to fade into a blur, become more and more blurred toward the edges of the photo.

4. You can easily reshape the size of the outer edges of the effect by dragging the outer shape outline. By making the outer shape smaller, you can increase how quickly from the center of the image the blur occurs. By making the outer shape larger, you can retain more of the image in focus and lessen the harshness of the blur. Adjust the outer edges, rotate the entire outline using two fingers and moving across, and see how the blur effect is changed.

5. To give you even more customization options, YouCam Perfect has included additional effect shapes. You can edit the effect shape (from a circle, star, heart, and more) to see how each style leads to blur out part of a picture.

YouCam Perfect Blur ToolYouCam Perfect Blur Tool

Once you’ve finalized the blur effect that best fits your style, accept the changes, and you’re ready to share your blurred photo!

While the blur effect can add aesthetic elements to your pic, the best part is that it is entirely customizable to fit the look you’re trying to achieve. Keep exploring this editing option, and you’ll find countless new ways to add — or remove — focus from your photo. Each editing choice you make can lead you closer to a creative new look.

Suggested Post: If you'd like to know more about erasing an object from a photo, check out "How to Remove Unwanted Objects in Your Photos".

Download YouCam Perfect, Your Go-To Photo Editing App

Ready to get started creating your blur pic? Download the YouCam Perfect app now!

Want to get more photo editing tips and tricks? Subscribe to the YouCam Perfect Blog, check out our YouTube channel, or follow us on Instagram for creative editing ideas and awesome selfie tips!

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