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Do you want to learn how to easily blur the background in Lightroom to create a dreamlike background in your photos?

Blurring the background can make your photos stand out and give extra focus to the subject of the image. 

In this post, we’ll show you how to blur the background in Lightroom (the easiest way) to create a heightened sense of atmosphere in the photo and make it pop.

But first, let’s discuss why you may want to blur the background in your images.  

Why Blur the Background in Your Photos?

How to blur the background in Lightroom

Aside from the overall aesthetics of a pleasingly blurred background, there are a number of reasons why you’d like to blur the background in your photos. 

For example, you may want to:

  • Bring extra focus to the subject
  • Cover up surrounding areas
  • Add a timeless and dreamlike, fairy-tale style
  • Create a heightened sense of atmosphere in the photo
  • Avoid distractions and mask flaws in the image
  • Or, simply create a cool look!

Even though you can get the blur effect directly by using the camera settings, you might not have thought of that at the time of the photoshoot. Or, maybe your client requested the blurry effect afterward. 

Luckily, you can quite easily create a background blur in Lightroom.

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The Use of Soft and Dramatic Blur Effects

Furthermore, you can create different states of your images by either using a soft blur or a more dramatic blur effect. 

A soft blur can be the ideal solution for removing the harsh features of old buildings, unattractive fences, and the alike in the background. 

Soft blur of the background in a photo

On the other hand, a more dramatic blur can create the fairy-tale style that’s often desired in wedding photos. This also adds extra focus to the newlyweds in the picture.

Dramatic blur of the background in a photo

More importantly, when using the blur effect, you need to know the proper levels of blur and precisely how to apply it to keep things from looking amateurish.

With that said, let’s now show you how to blur the background in Lightroom. 

How to Blur the Background in Lightroom (The Easiest Way)

The Lightroom Brush Tool is an incredibly versatile and powerful tool. It allows you to easily paint on the blur wherever you want it and apply additional brush layers to specific parts of the image.

To get started, you can either watch the video or continue reading the text below:

Burring the Background Using the Brush Tool

Burring the background using the Brush Tool in Lightroom

In this image, we are going to blur the background or the surrounding of our subject, which is the girl and her dog.

Step 1. To get started, select the Brush Tool.

Step 2. Next, make sure to check Show Selected Mask/Overlay.

Step 3. Now, adjust the Brush Size using the slider or you can use [and] on your keyboard. Additionally, you can also adjust the Feather through the slider as well.

Step 4. Once everything is set, start brushing the background and make sure to avoid the actual subject. 

Step 5. To erase the excess brush effect on the subject, Zoom in directly to the area and hold the Alt key on your keyboard and the Brush Tool will automatically change to the Erase Tool. You can also change the feather of the erase tool while holding the Alt key.

Keep holding the Alt key and continue to erase all the excess brush effects. If you erase the area where your background is by mistake, just release the alt key and brush the erased area again.

Continue erasing the brush effect to other areas as well by holding the Alt key again.

Step 6. When done, you simply uncheck the Mask Overlay.

Step 7. Once you’ve unchecked the Mask Overlay, you can start applying adjustments by bringing Clarity and Sharpness down. You can also add other adjustments like bringing the Highlights down or up.

Step 8. If you want to create a more blurry effect, you can adjust the Contrast. Further, you can also tweak some of your adjustments to get the desired blur effect.

Step 9. Lastly, duplicate the Brush if you want to add even more blur effect and adjust the 2nd Brush Base to your preference.

When done, view the before and after images so you can see the difference, and that’s it!

Before and after blurring the background in Lightroom

Have You Ever Thought To

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Any photographer will benefit from knowing how to blur backgrounds in post-processing, especially wedding photographers. 

Although the process’s fundamental steps are straightforward, choosing the appropriate brush settings and making the ideal background mask can be difficult and take a lot of time. 

Outsource Your Photo Editing

Twilight Real Estate Photo Editing by PhotoUp
Twilight Real Estate Photo Editing by PhotoUp

Instead of spending valuable time on post-processing yourself, you may want to consider outsourcing your photo editing needs to a professional service like PhotoUp.

We have a team of highly talented photo editors who are ready to professionally edit your real estate photos, starting at the low cost of $1.50 per image.

Our expert team can handle any photo editing job — big or small, complex, or simple. 

Photo Editing Services Offered by PhotoUp

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We also offer additional services such as:

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Custom House Portrait by PhotoUp

As you can see, PhotoUp offers all the tools you need to make your post-processing and marketing efforts easier. 

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We hope this blog post helped you learn how to blur the background in Lightroom to create photos that stand out. If you enjoyed this post, you should also check out these, related, resources:

Stina Pettersson

Professional Blogger

Stina is an entrepreneur, digital marketer, and professional blogger who's passionate about real estate photo editing, being outdoors with her pup, and sweaty gym sessions. She loves the written word and has been writing for publications like Forbes and Thrive Global. Originally from Sweden, she's called South Florida her home since 2013.

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