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How to Blur a Photo in Snapseed

Posted by Arch on August 21, 2019
Snapseed how to blur

Snapseed is Google’s free application for editing photos. Some people compare this app to Instagram, but that is just wrong. This is a professional photo editing application with a great kit and many different effects.

You can make color pop photos, insert various filters, use double exposure, text effects, and lens blur. Some smartphones already have portrait modes that can blur a photo’s background on their own, but most still don’t.

If your phone doesn’t support this feature, you can use Snapseed instead. You can even make bokeh. This article will teach you how to blur the background perfectly using Snapseed.

Getting Started

Before diving into blurring on Snapseed, make sure to install and update the app using the official app store. Here is a Google Play Store link as well as the Apple App Store link to save you some time.

What most photographers want to achieve with Snapseed blur is bokeh. This is a technique where the subject in a picture is in focus, as clear as possible, while the background is blurry.

This trick focuses the attention of the viewer to the main subject of the photo, putting the background in, well, background. The easiest way to achieve this effect is with a digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR). Some phones are also getting bokeh features, but they are still not nearly as good as DSLRs.

Snapseed allows your phone to replicate a high-quality DSLR camera using its lens blur tool.

Snapseed: How to Use the Lens Blur Tool

Using the lens blur tool in Snapseed is not difficult at all. After you have installed and updated the app, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Snapseed application on your phone.
  2. Add your desired photo using the Open button or the big plus icon. This will lead you to your phone gallery, where you can pick the photo.
  3. Once your photo loads, use the filters in Snapseed to polish the photo. Additionally, you can use the Tune Image option, and sharpen the contrast or the color saturation. When you are done, tap on the checkmark button to save the changes.
  4. If your photo has a lot of stuff in the background, for example, if it is in the landscape position, you should crop it to help the subject stand out. Use the Tools menu and choose Crop. Make any other necessary border adjustments. Tap on the checkmark on the bottom right when you are done.
  5. Then you can select the Tools menu and finally use Lens Blur. Choose the shape of the blur, there are many different options, like circular and linear blur.
    lens blur
  6. Use the blur tool to make an outline around your subject. You can pinch out the photo to zoom in. Make your blur outline as close as possible, according to the photo subject.

Tweaking the Blur

You might think that your job is done, but it isn’t. Snapseed is a pro-grade photo editor and there are many tweaks you can make in addition to the first layer of blurring. Follow these steps to tweak your lens blur effect:

  1. You can apply another layer to your blur which makes the transition between the blurred background and the photo subject. You can do this by swiping the photo up and tapping on Transition in the dropdown menu. Then you should drag left on the slider.
  2. When you are done with the transition, you can choose the blur strength. Swipe upward again on the photo and choose Blur Strength from the menu. Then drag the slider to the right.
  3. Additionally, you can add the Vignette effect on the edges. If you want the edges to remain the same color, move the slider of the Vignette to zero.
    blur strenght transition and vignette
  4. Finally, when you are done you can save the changes and export your blurred photo to your photo gallery.

Final Thoughts and Tips

There you have it, you just learned the easiest way to use lens blur in Snapseed. This robust app is great and it keeps getting better the more you get used to it. You can experiment and make all kinds of cool effects, apply various filters to get your photos to the next level.

There are other ways to use the lens blur in Snapseed, but they are more advanced and they take more time. Do you blur backgrounds in your photos? If not, would you give it a go? Tell us your opinion in the comments below.

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