Photoshop for Beginners: How to Blur Backgrounds in Images

Photoshop can be intimidating for beginners.

The editing tricks that look so easy to perform when demonstrated by a Photoshop expert can take a software novice hours to figure out on their own. That’s why the below tutorial from the Photoshop Training Channel (PTC) is such a great resource.


In the video, Jesús Ramirez of PTC answers a common editing question from new photographers: how to blur backgrounds in images. Yes, if you have a “fast” lens that can shoot at an aperture such as f/1.4 or f/1.8 you can create pretty background blur – aka bokeh – at the point of capture.
But if you don’t have a fast lens – they can be expensive – or you just want your photo to have more extensive bokeh than you were able to capture in-camera, you can significantly blur a background during post-processing. In the tutorial, Ramirez teaches you about selections, Layer Masks, Smart Objects, and the Tilt-Shift Blur in Photoshop to create bokeh and draw more attention to your subject.
“Obviously the best way to get a blurry background in your photos is to do it all in-camera,” Ramirez says. “But if you don’t have the right lens or you’re working with photos that you didn’t take, then the next best way to blur that background in your photos is to use Photoshop. The method that I will show you today will give you realistic results without halos or ghosting and, best of all, this technique is completely non-destructive. You can always come back and edit your adjustments.”


Here is the step-by-step background blurring process that Ramirez demonstrates in the tutorial:

  • Duplicate Your Original Image
  • Make a Selection Out of the Main Subject
  • Expand the Selection
  • Remove the Main Subject with Content-Aware Fill
  • Remove the Background from the Model Layer
  • Contract the Mask with the Minimum Filter
  • Fine-Tune the Layer Mask
  • Paint Hair Back into Your Image
  • Final Adjustments with Camera Raw

How To Blur Backgrounds in Photoshop FAST & EASY!

In this complete step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to blur backgrounds in Photoshop!

You will learn about selections, Layer Masks, Smart Objects, and the Tilt-Shift Blur to blur your photo’s background. This Photoshop tutorial will cover everything that you need to know about creating the shallow depth of field effect (out of focus background) WITHOUT an expensive lens.

I hope this tutorial helps! Links:

Minimum Filter Tutorial ► https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60Gys…

Masking Tutorial ► https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8kUp…

Download The Hair Brush ► https://photoshoptrainingchannel.com/​…


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