Blur Background in LR?

May 08, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Blur Background in Lightroom?

Photographers typically want to get everything right in camera, but the reality is that sometimes conditions are not right, sometimes camera settings are not quite right, and sometimes during post production, a photographer may think, what if it looked like (insert idea) here. Blurring background can be done using a few different techniques in photoshop, including the beta release of blur background in neural filters. What if we wanted to stay in Lightroom for this effect?

Lightroom does not (yet) have a blur background feature, but you can simulate the effect in Lightroom. If we take an image such as above and mask the background (If you have not used masks in Lightroom yet, there are many Youtube tutorials to describe the process.

Once the background is selected, move the texture slider to the left, and the will notice the definition of the background becoming less sharp. Depending on the image, reducing the sharpening or even the contrast may help as well. 

While this is certainly not a true depth of field effect, it can soften the details in the background enough in many cases to make the photo a little more interesting and bring attention to your subject. I have found that a gentle use of this slider often gives the best results. You may be able to subtract some of the effect with a brush if you choose to do so.


While this effect will not give you the gradual blurring as with some techniques in photoshop, it may be worth trying for certain images that you post to social media.


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