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Two Easiest Ways to Blur Background in Photoshop

How to Blur Background in Photoshop?

While working on an image, you may need to drive the viewer’s attention to the main object. But, you may fail to do so because of the busy and disturbing background. A blurred background can work more effectively than the original background. Photoshop will help you in creating a Blur Background in an Image.

In today’s Photoshop Tutorial, I will show you two easy and fast ways to Blur Background in Photoshop. Having an out-of-focus background will help you in driving the viewer’s attention to the subject.

Now let’s see in detail the two easy and quickest ways to Blur Background in Photoshop.

Method 1

In this first easiest way to Blur Background in Photoshop, we will use the Quick Selection Tool, Layer Mask, and Path Blur Filter. Follow the below-mentioned steps to learn the easiest way to Blur Background in Photoshop.

Step 1

At first, select the image and open it in Photoshop. Then create a duplicate layer of the image by pressing Ctrl + J.

Create a duplicate layer

Step 2

Now select the Quick Selection Tool from the Tool Panel and then select the main subject from the image (on which you want to drive the viewer’s attention). Make sure to select the duplicate layer in the Layers Panel before selecting the tool. You can also use any other Selection Tool to make a selection.

Select the subject with the help of the Quick Selection Tool

After making the selection, click on Select in the Menu Bar. Then place the cursor on Modify and select Expand.

Select Expand

Now set pixel value in the Expand Selection dialogue box, by which you want to expand your selection. This will expand the selection by the set pixel value. (See the images below)

Set the Expand Value

Step 3

After expanding the selection, click on Add Layer Mask icon in the Layers Panel to create a Layer Mask of the selection.

Add Layer Mask

You can turn off the visibility of the Background Layer, by clicking on the eye icon to check the Layer Mask.

Blur Background in Photoshop

To turn on the visibility of the Background Layer, click on the left side of the layer. An eye icon will appear on the layer, indicating the visibility of the layer.

Step 4

In this step, we will apply the Path Blur Filter to the Background Layer. To select the Background Layer in the Layer Panel, click on the layer named Background. The selected layer will be highlighted in the Layers Panel.

Select the Background Layer

Now click on Filters in the Menu Bar, then place the cursor on Blur Gallery and select Path Blur.

Select Path Blur

Step 5

After selecting the Path Blur filter, set the Speed of blur and direction of the Path Blur. Then click OK to apply the Path Blur Filter.

Apply the Path Blur
Blur Background in Photoshop

This was the first easiest way to Blur Background in Photoshop using the Quick Selection Tool, Layer Mask, and Path Blur filter.

Blur Background in Photoshop

Method 2

In this second method, we will apply Iris Blur Effect on an image to Blur the Background. Now follow the below-mentioned easy to make steps:

Step 1

Launch Adobe Photoshop and open an image in which you want to blur the background. You can click on File in the Menu Bar and then select Place Embedded. Now browse the image from your computer’s internal storage and place it in the Photoshop Document.

Open Image in Photoshop

Step 2

Now create a duplicate copy of the image. Click on Layer in the Menu Bar and select Duplicate Layer.

Select Duplicate Layer

After selecting Duplicate Layer, a dialogue box will appear on the artboard. If you wish, you can give a name to the duplicate layer and click OK. After clicking OK, a duplicate layer of the image will be created in the Layers Panel.

Create a Duplicate Layer
Duplicate Layer in Layers Panel

Step 3

Now select the duplicate layer from the Layers Panel and click on Filter in the Menu Bar. Place the cursor on Blur Gallery and select Iris Blur.

Select Iris Blur

Step 4

After selecting Iris Blur, a large blur preview ring will appear on the image. At the center of the ring, you will see a target point, which is the focal point. Select this target point, drag it to the part of the image where you want to focus, and place it at the center of that part. (See the below image)

Set the Focal Point

After setting up the focal point, set the blur area by moving and rotating the dots on the outer ring. The cursor will change after placing near the dot and then you can rotate the ring and define the area of the ring. The part of the image which is outside the ring will be blurred.

Define the blur area

Step 5

In this step, we will adjust the blur transition inside the ring. You can see white dots between the focal point and the ring. Click on one of the white dots and drag to adjust the area of blur transition. If you will move the dots away from the focal point then the blur transition will become sharper and moving towards the focal point will make it smoother.

Adjust the Blur Transition

After adjusting the blur transaction, you can also adjust the blur pixels under Blur Tools. With the help of this, you can adjust the intensity of the background blur in the image. Click OK in the Options Bar to apply the Iris Blur.

Adjust the Blur Pixels
Blur Background in Photoshop

So, this is how you can Blur Background in Photoshop using the Iris Blur filter. You can compare the before and after images to see the result of the Iris Blur filter.

Blur Background in Photoshop

Now practice these two different fast and easy ways to Blur Background in Photoshop and share your views in the comment section. Also, share this Photoshop tutorial with others.


  • Vivi Designing

    Vivi Designing is a platform for people who are in love with design and are eager to learn for creativity and inspiration. We provide free design resources, articles, tutorials, techniques, and the latest trends in Adobe Illustration and Adobe Photoshop.


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