March 08, 2012

How to blur the background of a photo in Photoshop with quick mask and Gaussian blur tool

Blurring the background of a photo is very easy to do in Photoshop. All that you have to do is to mask your photo or subject and apply the appropriate blur effect in Photoshop. A well focused subject standing against a soft background is a great way to draw the attention of the observer towards the subject. Although one can easily shoot a subject with a blurred background using basic digital cameras, the background can also be blurred easily by using this post-processing technique in Photoshop. So here we go with our new photo editing tutorial on defocusing the background using Photoshop…

Step 1: Mask the subject completely. Press ‘Q’ and select the brush tool from the left toolbar. Since we need to blur the background of the photo, we have to mask our subject so that it does not gets affected while applying blur to the entire photo. Refer the sample below…

blur background photoshop

Make sure that you cover your subject neatly and completely. This process can take time but it’s worth doing for achieving amazing results. If the mask spreads out of the subject, use the eraser tool for correction.

Step 2: After finishing the masking of the subject, press Q again. Navigate to Filter –> Blur –> Gaussian Blur. Select a smaller radius value for the Gaussian blur tool, or else the photo might look over edited. a radius value of 4.0 to 5.0 should produce reasonable blurring effect.

gaussian blur 

radius gaussian blur

final blurry background photo

That’s all. When you are satisfied with the level of blurred background, click OK and save your picture. This is how easily you can blur the background of a photo using quick mask and Gaussian blur tool in Adobe Photoshop. Thanks for going through this short and easy tutorial. Your comments and feedbacks are always appreciated Smile