How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

Apple introduced the portrait mode on mobile phones with the launch of the iPhone 7 Plus. It adds background blur to separate the main subject. It’s a quick hack for capturing professional-looking photos on the go. However, you may have old photos or random memories where the background distracts from the main subjects. If you use Lightroom as your go-to editing tool, follow the guide below to apply background blur.

How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

Adobe’s AI tools can auto-detect (mask) backgrounds, speeding up editing and making it convenient for beginners. Transform your dull images into mesmerizing ones.

Make Background Blur in Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom does not have a ‘Portrait Blue’ feature. To adjust the background in a photo, you can utilize the Mask function creatively.

To follow this tutorial, you will need the Lightroom desktop app from Adobe’s Photography plan. This subscription-based service includes Lightroom and Photoshop, costing $9.99 per month. Note that certain features may differ with Lightroom Classic. Now, let’s begin.

Create New Mask

Masking is an excellent way to edit specific areas of a photo. You can use various tools to define and refine your editing area. Adobe’s AI tools can make complex selections quickly.

First, create a new mask in Lightroom to separate the main subject from the background. Adobe’s latest advancements allow the software to auto-detect the background, sky, and subject. This allows for quick selection and editing. Let’s export a photo in Lightroom and blur the background.

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Step 1: Find a photo in Finder or File Explorer and open it in Adobe Lightroom.

How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

Step 2: Click the Mask tool from the right side. Step 3: Select Background and check Adobe’s AI magic in action. Check the detected background overlay.

How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

As seen in the example, Adobe did well with the option for multiple objects, people, shadows, etc. To include it in the background, follow the steps below.

Add or Subtract Objects

Adobe’s auto-detection feature may miss sometimes. Follow these steps to add or remove objects in a scene. Continue with our example.

Step 1: Choose Add from the Mask tool.

How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

Step 2: Click Objects.

How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

Step 3: Paint over or draw a box around an object and adjust the size of the paint tool. Step 4: Choose an option based on the object you want to select.

Edit Background Scene in Lightroom

After you are satisfied with the final outcome, edit the background scene to apply a blur effect. Step 1: Stay in the Mask menu and expand the Details tab. Step 2: Decrease the Sharpness slider.

How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

Step 3: Expand Effects and decrease the mask texture and clarity as desired. Both options soften the background mask.

Step 4: Use the Amount slider at the top to apply the same blur effect more strongly. Increase the intensity and preview it in real-time.

Step 5: Press Control + E (Windows) or Command + E (macOS) to export the photo. Customize the image type, dimensions, and quality, add watermark metadata, and click Export in the top-right corner.

How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

You can check the before and after comparisons and be the judge yourself.

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How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom on iPad

The AI-enabled background masking feature is not available on Lightroom for iPad. To apply a background blur effect, you must manually select the main subject and invert it. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Launch the Lightroom app on your iPad and import a photo.

2. Tap the mask tool on the right side.

3. Tap the + button at the bottom and select the subject.

How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

Step 4: Select the subject at the bottom and tap ‘Invert Mask 1.’ Lightroom inverts the mask to highlight the background.

How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

Step 5: Masking: Use the Sharpness, Texture, and Clarity sliders to apply a background blur.

How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

Step 6: Tap Done and click the Share icon at the top.

How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

Step 7: Select Export, and open the default Share menu.

How to Blur Background in Adobe Lightroom

Step 8: Save the edited photo on your iPad.

Create Stunning Photos in Lightroom

You can use photo editing apps to blur the background, but the desktop offers a better experience with a wide range of image editing options in Adobe Lightroom. How do you like blurring backgrounds in Lightroom? Share your creativity in the comments below.

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