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How to Blur Backgrounds in Adobe Lightroom for Phones

Posted by Arch on September 9, 2019
How to Blur Backgrounds in Adobe Lightroom App

Images with blurred backgrounds are all the rage now among Instagram and Facebook users around the globe. Skim over your favorite profiles, and chances are that there will be at least a few blurred images among their recent posts.

If you want to jump on the bandwagon, you’ll need an image editing suite or an app if you’re on a mobile platform. Adobe Lightroom is one of the most popular apps for editing images and it can help you blur backgrounds on your photos, as well.

Lightroom Mobile

Lightroom Mobile, sometimes also referred to as Lightroom CC or even Lightroom CC for Mobile, is a mobile app available on both iOS and Android platforms. The first version of the app started with a somewhat limited set of features and abilities. However, subsequent updates gave users an increasing amount of editorial freedom.

At the moment of this writing, the mobile version of Lightroom is pretty close to the desktop version, being one of the most complete photo editing suites available on mobile platforms, Android and iOS included.

Lightroom can be downloaded for free. However, in order to use it, you’ll need an Adobe account. Alternatively, you can sign in through Facebook or your Google account. It is important to mention that the top features are hidden behind the pay wall and are not available in the free version.

Needless to say, the interface is very user-friendly on both iOS and Android platforms. The main editing options are neatly tucked away at the bottom of the screen, while the photo takes up the main portion of the screen.

How to Blur the Background

The ability to blur the background is one of the recent additions to the mobile version of the Lightroom app. Both iOS and Android users can now add this interesting effect to their photos. Without further ado, let’s dig in and see how to blur backgrounds in the Lightroom app.

NOTE: The methods presented below work on iOS and Android versions of the app.

Method 1

The first method we’ll cover here involves the radial filter. Here’s how to blur the background via the radial filter:

  1. Launch the Lightroom app on your device.
  2. Load the image you want to edit. You can use any image from your Camera Roll or Gallery, depending on the device you’re using.
  3. When the image loads, you should select the radial filter from the menu. It looks like a transparent red circle.
    Radial Filter
  4. Position it on the photo. Make sure it covers the object or a person you would like to keep in focus.
  5. Resize and reshape the filter if necessary. You can drag one of four dots on the perimeter to edit the shape and size of the filter.
  6. Tap on the Detail section of the menu at the bottom.
  7. Decrease sharpness to -100.

Method 2

The next method you can use to blur the background on your photos and images involves the graduated filter tool. With this tool, you will focus on the part of the photo that gets blurred instead of the part that needs to stay in focus. Here’s how to blur the background with the help of the graduated filter:

  1. Launch the Lightroom app from the Home screen.
  2. Go to your Camera Roll or Gallery and select the photo you want to edit.
  3. Once the photo loads, you should pick the graduated filter from the menu.
  4. It will appear on the photo as a set of three parallel lines with a transparent red background. You can rotate the filter however you want. Position it so that it covers the part that needs to be blurred.
    Graduated Filter
  5. Tap on the Detail section at the bottom.
  6. Decrease the sharpness to -100.

In case you’re not satisfied with the result, you can increase the amount of blur. To do that, you should bring up mask options and tap on the Duplicate Mask option. Repeat this step as many times as you see fit.

Method 3

The third way to blur the background of an image in the Lightroom app is to use a brush. You will use a brush to select the portions of the image that need to be blurred. Here’s how this method works:

  1. Open the app from the Home screen.
  2. Browse the Camera Roll or Gallery on your device and select the image you’d like to edit.
  3. Next, select the brush you’d like to use.
  4. Start brushing the photo. You will see the transparent red overlay over the area covered by the brush. Be careful with this tool and use the Eraser tool if you accidentally brush over what you shouldn’t have.
    Brush Tool
  5. When you’re satisfied, tap the Detail section of the menu at the bottom of the screen.
  6. Decrease the sharpness to -100.

As with the previous method, you can increase the amount of blur if you’re not satisfied with the result. Bring up the mask options and select the Duplicate Mask option. Do this as many times as necessary.

Make Your Photos Pop

The blur trend is pretty strong and it doesn’t seem it will fade away any time soon. With the help of a powerful image editing app such as Lightroom for Mobile and the techniques explained this tutorial, you will have trendy photos on your Insta in no time.

Which method is your favorite? Do you use the other two as well? Is there another way to blur the background that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below. While at it, don’t be shy and share links to your best work with us.

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