Looking to blur a photo or just part of a photo? You’ve come to the right place! Blurring photos is a great way to accentuate a part of a photo, drawing the viewer’s eye to the in-focus part you want them to notice first. It can also be used to preserve the identity of people in the background, protect from accidentally disclosing your location, accentuate specific colors and features like city lights, or give your portraits a poetic blurry background. Photo blurring is a great professional photo editing tool. It can even be used to help better understand the feeling of near-sightedness or to make portraits feel misty, like from a dream or old forgotten memory.
Whatever your reasoning for learning how to blur a photo, you’ve come to the right place. Photo editing platforms like PicsArt can help you easily achieve that dreamy blurry photo effect, whether you’re editing on your mobile device or on web.
So let’s learn how to blur a picture. Below, we dive into four ways to achieve a blurring effect: how to blur an entire picture, how to blur part of a picture, how to blur a background, and how to blur faces in a photo.
How Do You Blur a Photo?
PicsArt’s full range of editing tools and different blur effects available makes it really easy to blur a photo. Here is your simple step-by-step guide to adding a blur effect to your photo:
Step 1) Open the PicsArt app (our favorite blur photo app) and click the plus sign (+) to upload your photo. You can also choose to work from any of the #FreeToEdit images.
Step 2) Tap on Effects in the bottom toolbar and scroll to find BLUR. Pick one of our many Blur filters. We like how the Focal Zoom and Radial Blur effects allow you to pick the focal point of your image.
Pro tip: If you want to further manually adjust the blur, tap and hold the filter to adjust Blur, Fade, Size, Hardness, and more.
Step 3) Once you’ve achieved the perfect blur image, tap Apply to save it on your photo. Tap on Next to save and export your photo or instantly share it with your friends and followers across the web!
How Do You Blur Part of a Photo?
Oftentimes you’re not looking to blur the whole photo, but just a part of it. This is often done to focus the viewers’ attention on a certain aspect of the photo and not be distracted by other elements.
For example, if you blur out the face of a person on a swing, it’ll make the viewer focus on the silhouette more and hint at the dizziness that swinging is known to cause. You can also use this effect to focus on something in the foreground like we’ve done below to keep your eye on the image on the phone.
Another mind bending blur image effect is to create a mirror image and then use a blurring effect on the background to draw the viewer’s attention to the mirror edit aspect.
Keep in mind that blurring a part of a photo is a very direct artistic interference, and it’s always better if you can justify to yourself why you’re making that edit, like in these examples.
Time to start editing! Here is your comprehensive, step-by-step guide to blurring just part of a photo.
Step 1) Open the PicsArt app (our favorite blur background app) and click + to import your photo.
Step 2) Scroll across the bottom toolbar and tap on Tools, then Selection to select the part of the photo you want to blur.
Step 3) Depending on the shape of the part you want to blur, there are quite a few different tools you can use to select it here. Tap Select to let our AI Select auto detect specific parts of your image. Alternatively, you can tap Oval if you’re blurring out something round or Rectangle if you’re blurring out a rectangular shape. In most cases, however, the shape will not fall into any of the categories, and you’ll need to tap on the Lasso or Brush to outline the part you want to blur.
Step 4) Now that you have your soon to be blurred out area highlighted in red, tap Effects on the upper menu and tap BLUR to open and apply the PicsArt blur filter that’s right for your project. This will give the area outlined in your photo the blurred effect that you’re looking for.
Don’t forget that you can further adjust the blur settings while in this blur app tool. If you want to further adjust, tap, and hold the filter to manually adjust the blur effect to fit your taste.
Step 5) Tap Apply to save when you’re done customizing the filter. Then, tap on Next to save and export your photo or immediately post it on your social media accounts. It’s that easy! You just used an app to blur part of a picture!
How Do You Blur the Background of a Photo?
When discussing blurred backgrounds, it’s hard not to recall the famous candid photograph by Elliott Erwitt of a couple’s kiss reflected in a car mirror. The breaking waves in the background, though paramount to the atmosphere, are blurred to indicate just how engulfed the couple is in the tender passionate moment they’re having. Although in most cases people blur out backgrounds for pictures less iconic to the history of photography, the effect of deeming the background somewhat less important remains relevant.
Indeed, sometimes no matter how scenic the background of a picture is, the focus of the viewer is often going to be the people and happenings in the foreground. So, why not help your viewer out by guiding their gaze with the addition of a beautiful bokeh effect?
Fun fact: Bokeh comes from the Japanese word for blur.
Follow below for a step-by-step guide to blurring the background of a photo using a blur background app like PicsArt! Looking for a deep dive on background blurring? Check out this comprehensive guide to blur the background of a photo.
Step 1) Open up the PicsArt app and tap on + to upload your photo.
Step 2) Tap on Effect in the editing toolbar and then pick BLUR from the menu down below. Try out all the filters and pick the one you prefer. You can also tap and hold on the filter to manually adjust blur.
Step 3) Now click the Eraser in the upper menu and swipe over the area you want to keep in focus. Since we want to blur just the background, you’re using this step to erase the blur effect from the foreground. Voila!
Step 4) Tap on the checkmark in the upper right corner and then click Apply to save your blur effect. Tap on Next to save and export your photo or share it immediately with the PicsArt community.
Want to play around with other background effects? Consider making your background transparent, playing around with geometric shapes, or changing the background color.
How Do You Blur Faces in a Photo?
A blurred out face tends to remind people of true crime documentaries, but – remember the above photo that drew your attention to the image on a phone? Or the idea of a person on a swing, dizzy from flight? In most cases, the context is actually really artistic and thoughtful. For example, you may want to blur out the face of a passerby eating a sandwich in the background of your family photo on the beach boardwalk. In general, it’s not that difficult to think of cases where ethics or artistic preference require you to blur a face in a photo.
Wondering how to blur faces in a photo? Here’s your quick editing tutorial:
Step 1) Open the PicsArt app and click the + sign to upload your photo.
Step 2) Tap on Tools and then Selection to pull up the selection tools. This is where you’ll pick out the part you want to blur – in this case, blur out a face!.
Step 3) Tap on Select and then Face. Our AI tool will automatically select the face in your photo and highlight it in red.
Step 4) Tap on Effects in the top menu and choose BLUR to open the range of PicsArt’s blur tools. Pick your favorite blur filter (Blur, Focal Zoom, Radial Blur, Lens Blur, Smart Blur, and Motion Blur). This will blur the selected face in your photo. Don’t forget that you can manually adjust the blur settings by tapping and holding on any of the filters in this step.
Step 5) Tap Apply to save when you’re satisfied with the blur face effect. Now that you’ve blurred out a face, it’s time to tap Next to save and export your photo or post it online.
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Where Can You Blur Photos Online?
Wondering where and how to blur a picture online? PicsArt’s online photo editor has a number of different blur filters you can easily apply if you prefer editing on your computer. Besides, you’ll surely have fun trying various other filters and effects, playing around with thousands of templates, or creating your own stickers, and perfectly adjusting the size of your pics for various social media platforms with just a click!
Where Can You Blur Photos on Your Phone?
If you’re wondering how to blur a picture on iPhone, Android, or Windows phones, then check out PicsArt, the most awesome all-in-one photo editor app out there. There’s no better, easier way to rock your social media accounts and impress your business partners!
PicsArt all-in-one Photo and Video Editor, Collage, and Sticker Maker is the world’s largest creative platform with over 150 million monthly active creators and influencers. PicsArt has collaborated with major artists and brands like The Jonas Brothers, Gwen Stefani, Maroon 5, Lizzo, Meghan Trainor, One Direction, MONSTA X, Warner Bros. Entertainment, iHeartMedia, Condé Nast, and more. Download the app today to level-up your photos and videos with thousands of quick & easy editing tools, trendy filters, fun stickers, and brilliant backgrounds. Unleash your creativity with PicsArt and upgrade to Gold for awesome premium perks!