DSLR in Photoshop is no more a secret for adding blur effect without camera specialty. Today we are going to learn about the background blur effect in Photoshop without a DSLR camera. Background blur is a special effect by DSLR cameras for the image subject to focus well. So, what does DSLR mean? According to Wikipedia, “A digital single-lens reflex camera (Digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera that combines the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor”. The mechanism is a revolution in the history of digital cameras that took photography to another level. Photoshop background blur or DSLR background increases the focus of the subject of the image.

The main difference between other digital cameras and DSLR cameras is the reflex design scheme. When you focus on a subject, DSLR cameras allow you to choose how you want to capture the image. With the digital viewfinder, you can capture the subject in a crystal clear form. On the other hand, the background blur gives the subject a dramatic environment that you may not want to resist. Filter and blur photoshop options are capable of handling this kind of blurs. Here, we will learn about applying the effect on the background without camera options. However, blur background photoshop online outsourcing is well known today. Let’s jump to the editing method. The procedure is simple but gives an amazing result.

Table of content

  • The DSLR effect in Photoshop theme
  • How to Background blur in Photoshop?
  • Why is background blur in Photoshop special?
  • Additional effects for background blur
  • Finishing touch
Punch Line: Create an amazing image effect without a Digital SLR

The DSLR effect in Photoshop theme

Image with a normal flat view is just an ordinary one. Giving effects to it can increase its appeal to the audience. Besides, you cannot change an image view after capturing it. But you can edit the image to change the look in a more attractive form. However, this is a tough job to do and requires expertise. The final output is far more eye-catchy that will amaze everyone. The tutorial we are going to discuss here is for the beginners. Also, you need to learn about Photoshop tools & functions and practice well for perfection. Let’s learn how to blur the background in Photoshop CC 2019 like the DSLR effect without such cameras. Definitely, this is a creative work. So, you do not need to copy every step for editing. Use your imagination and creative thinking for the best output.

How to Background blur in Photoshop? (DSLR in Photoshop)

A couple of ways you can follow for the blur effects in Photoshop. Going through all the blur procedure is a time-consuming work. We will go for the user-friendly techniques here. The hard part is to implement the blur on the image properly. Take care of the subject edges well. Edit the background separately. The first thing to do is to select the subject that you do not want to blur. For this, you can use any selection tool as well as selecting the subject automatically. The second part is, you need to blur the background using Photoshop tools and techniques. A couple of blur filters you can see in Photoshop. Choose the compatible one according to the image for a better effect. Remember, the blurring process is destructive most of the time. So, make sure you chose the best one before applying it.

Process 1 (Layer Mask and Field Blur)

Sample image - DSLR in Photoshop
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Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/horse-with-leash-on-grass-field-1842833/

At first, open the image in Adobe Photoshop. Copy the layer by pressing Ctrl+J for Win or Command+J for MAC. Let’s rename this new layer ‘Subject’. Select any selection tool such as the ‘Quick Selection Tool’ and click on ‘Select and Mask’ on the upper portion of the window.

Selecting the subject - DSLR in Photoshop
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A new window will open and click on ‘Select subject’. Photoshop automatically selects the subject with the use of artificial intelligence. If any portion is not automatically selected, you can use some tools to select those. For hard edges, you can use the ‘Quick selection tool’. But, for soft edges, you can use the ‘Refine edge tool’. Also, for this image, we will use black color as background and opacity at 80%. With these settings, you can see the below image well and make the selection. Click ‘OK’ with the output to ‘New layer with layer mask’.

Let’s rename this ‘Subject’. Also, we have two other tutorials for separating the subject from the background. One is ‘The Easy Background Remover tool in Photoshop’ for the complex subject with a busy background. And another one is ‘Understanding and Master the Pen Tool in Photoshop’ for hard edges subjects for any background.

Select & mask - DSLR in Photoshop
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Content-Aware Fill (DSLR in Photoshop)

Now, press and hold Ctrl for Win or Command for MAC and left click of the mouse on the mask of the Subject layer. You will see a selection of the subject. Go to Select>Modify>Expand and select the value ‘5’. Do not set the value to a much higher number. This will affect the natural look. Select the blur layer and go to Edit>Content-Aware fill.

Content-Aware Fill
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Photoshop uses some calculations and fill the selected area with possible textures from nearby areas. You may see some impurities still left as below image. We will take care of them in a moment.

Leftover impurities - DSLR in Photoshop
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Select the ‘Clone Stamp Tool’, take a sample from the impurity-free area and brush over the impurities. Do not brush over all the impurities by sampling once only. Each time sample from the nearby areas and brush over the impure areas. No need to be super accurate with the areas as they remain under the subject.

Use of Clone Tool - DSLR in Photoshop
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Copy the Blur layer and rename it ‘Mask’. Hide the Blur layer. With the Blur Copy layer selected, take the soft round brush and select the foreground color ‘Black’. Make the brush size a little bigger approximately 300 pixels. With the opacity, 100%, brush over the top portion of the image. Then reduce the opacity to 50% and brush right bottom of the 100% brushing area. Use 25% and 10% for below portions and leave approximately 1/5 portion at the bottom of the image without brushing. We will know the reason for this procedure right in the next part.

Multiple opacity brushing - DSLR in Photoshop
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Field Blur (DSLR in Photoshop)

Go to Filter>Blur Gallery>Field Blur. This will open a new window.

Field Blur
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Increase the blur to 230 px and hit OK.

Increasing the field blur
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The final output is as below. The subject is intact, the blur has gradually increased from close to far. With this method, you can modify blurring from the ‘Mask’ layer. If you make the mask more transparent, it will be more blurry. On the other hand, if you create low transparency of any portion, the background will be less blurry.

Final image - DSLR in Photoshop
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Punch Line: Blur the background with the layer mask for DSLR effect in Photoshop

Process 2 (Layer Mask and Tilt-Shift)

Sample image - DSLR in Photoshop
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Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/zh-cn/photo/821416/

For the process, we will use a human model image with a wide background. As the above process, we will copy the background layer for the subject and rename it ‘Subject’. For this subject, you may find it difficult to select because of hair. Nothing to worry. Use the ‘Refine Edge Brush Tool’ for the soft areas and brush over. Photoshop will do the math and select the relevant strings for your convenience. Check the box ‘Smart Radius’ and increase the radius to 8 px for the image. Use ‘Smooth’ 25 units to avoid harsh edges. Select output to ‘Layer Mask’ and press ok.

Select & mask - DSLR in Photoshop
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The mask will add to the subject layer. Make another copy of the background layer and rename it ‘Background’. By the way, it is not a must to rename the layers. We are doing it to explain with specific information for making you understand more precisely. Press and hold Ctrl for Win or Command for MAC and click on the mask of the subject layer. With the process, you can select the subject in no time. Now, hide the Subject layer and select the Background layer. Go to Select>Modify>Expand and expand by 10 pixels. Click on ‘OK’ and you will get the selection 10 pixels expanded. Well, the amount of the pixels may vary depending on the subject.

Expand selection
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Content-Aware Fill (DSLR in Photoshop)

Go to Edit>Content Aware Fill and wait until process completion. Press ok to go to the next stage.

Content-Aware Fill - DSLR in Photoshop
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You may find some impurities caused by the subject (See the right portion of the above image). Use the Clone Stamp Tool to cover up defects made by the Content-Aware Fill. If you can do that well the image would be as below. No need to perfect each and every pixel because it will remain behind the subject.

Use of Clone Stamp Tool - DSLR in Photoshop
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Tilt-Shift (DSLR in Photoshop)

Make visible the Subject layer but keep the Background layer selected. To add blur, go to Filter>Blur Gallary>Tilt Shift.

Tilt-Shift Blur - DSLR in Photoshop
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For this image, we are setting the blurring position as below image and rotate a little. The reason for the rotation is, you can see the left side of the image is closer than the right side. So, the blurring should be less for the left side and more for the right. If we do not do so, the effect may look unnatural. The blurring process may take a little time and wait for that. Hit ‘OK’ when you are done. By the way, you can convert the layer into a smart object before applying the Tilt-Shift blur. This way you can modify the blurring settings anytime you want.

Adjusting Tilt-Shift Blur
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The final output is as below.

Final output
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Punch Line: Tilt-Shift blur effect to enhance the subject in an attractive way.

Why is background blur in Photoshop special?

Background blur in Photoshop is very special for editing capability. When you get the blur with a DSLR, that is different. But when you want to apply blur to any image, you need to edit it. A couple of software you may find that can create a blurry effect. But, Photoshop is one special program that has enough options to use for any kind of image editing process. Not only that, but the operation is also quite user-friendly and you can have freedom of editing. For convenience, most of the designers use Photoshop. For the same reason, background blur in Photoshop is special.

Finishing touch

Every editing that we do gets more attractive with a finishing touch. We have not added any kind of additional effect in the tutorial. You can use adjustment layers like Photo Filter, Channel Mixer or Color Lookup for more dramatic effects. Also, you can use the Gaussian blur for a different effect. Noise addition and Boker Effect also gives an image a little more extra touch. It is better to learn the effects addition and their utilization well before you apply them on to images. Try to work non-destructive. You will have the freedom of working as you can go back anytime you need.

Background blurring procedure has more ways to perform excluding these two. You can add more effects with the blur according to your will. One of the most used is the digital bokeh effect in Photoshop. You can download bokeh effect Photoshop action free from some websites. The effect gives more brightness of some areas in the blurred background or layer. You can also add noise if the subject got a similar kind of noise. However, the whole procedure is up to you. Use your imagination and creativity to give your image a proper blur and effect as well.

FAQ

How to blur the background in photoshop?

Ans: Photoshop tools and techniques are rich in applying blur effects on the image effectively. In the blur gallery, you will see five types of blur. Before applying the blur, learn the effects well of each type for perfection.

What is Photoshop Lens Blur?

Ans: Photoshop Lens Blur is a type of blur that creates a round-shaped effect. You can rotate, stretch or modify the blur according to your will. Just go to ‘Filter’ then ‘Blur Gallary’ and select Lens Blur. Increase the blur pixels and enhance your image.

How to add a blur mask?

Ans: To add a blur mask in the image, first you need to separate the subject from the background. You will need two copies of the image so that you can use one for the subject and another for the background. Mask the background and add blur on the original copy. Our first procedure is on this kind of blurring. Follow ‘Process 1 (Layer Mask and Field Blur) and you will know it better.

How to blur background in Photoshop elements?

Ans: Adobe Photoshop, the most renowned image editing software in the world has a couple of ways of blurring the image. The program has a tool named the ‘Blur Tool’. In the Blur Gallary, you will find five more blurring options as well. They are Field Blur, Iris Blur, Tilt-Shift, Path Blur, and Spin Blur. Each of them has its own characteristics.

What is the Fake Blur?

Ans: A Fake Blur is the kind of digital blur that we create through image editing. We can capture natural blur while shooting a photograph with a DSLR camera. But when we fail to achieve the blurry effect or the images that have no blur, we use the Fake Blur. The whole process we can do through an photo editing software like Photoshop.

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