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Unleash Your Creativity: Mastering Blurred Backgrounds in iPhone Photography

Capturing stunning photos with a blurred background is a popular way to add depth and creativity to your iPhone photography. In this article, we will explore different methods and techniques to achieve this effect, both using the built-in features of your iPhone and through the use of third-party apps and lens attachments.

Taking pictures with a blurry background on iPhone

Many iPhone users are not aware that they can achieve a professional-looking blurred background, similar to what is traditionally achieved with a DSLR camera. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using the Portrait Mode feature on your iPhone.

Using Portrait Mode

Portrait Mode is available on newer iPhone models, including the iPhone 12, iPhone 11, and iPhone X. This feature uses the dual-camera system to create a depth-of-field effect, resulting in a sharp subject in the foreground and a beautifully blurred background.

To use Portrait Mode, simply open the Camera app on your iPhone and swipe to the “Portrait” mode. Frame your subject and wait for the camera to detect the person or object.

Once the camera focuses, you will see a visual indication that the depth effect is activated. Take the photo and you will have a stunning image with a blurry background.

Using Instagram’s Focus Mode

If you don’t have a dual-camera iPhone, don’t worry! Instagram has a feature called Focus Mode that allows you to achieve a similar effect even with a single camera. This feature uses machine learning algorithms to create a depth map and blur the background.

To use Focus Mode, open the Instagram app and swipe to the “Story” mode. From there, swipe to the “Focus” mode.

Frame your subject, and once the camera detects a face, it will automatically blur the background. Snap the photo and you’re done!

Using third-party apps for more creative possibilities

While the built-in features of your iPhone are powerful, there are also third-party apps that can take your iPhone photography to the next level. Here are two popular options:

Using Tadaa SLR app

Tadaa SLR is a photo editing app specifically designed to mimic the effects of a DSLR camera. With Tadaa SLR, you can not only blur the background but also adjust the intensity and shape of the blur.

To use Tadaa SLR, simply open the app, select a photo from your camera roll, and use the intuitive tools to blur the background. You can choose between circular or linear blur, adjust the size and intensity, and even refine the edges.

Once you’re satisfied with the results, save the photo and share it with your friends and family.

Using lens attachments

If you want to experiment with different types of blur and real-time effects, lens attachments are a great option. There are several lens attachments available in the market, such as the Holga detachable magnetic lens turret and the Lensbaby Creative Mobile Kit.

These lens attachments, often made of plastic, can be easily attached to your iPhone’s camera lens. They offer unique effects such as swirl, tilt-shift, and vignette, allowing you to capture creative and artistic photos with a blurred background.

The best part is that you can see the effects in real-time, making it easier to compose your shots and achieve the desired result. In conclusion, capturing photos with a blurry background on your iPhone is not only possible but also easy to achieve.

Whether you’re using the built-in features like Portrait Mode and Instagram’s Focus Mode or exploring third-party apps and lens attachments, there are plenty of options to unleash your creativity and take stunning photos. So grab your iPhone and start experimenting with various techniques to add depth and allure to your images.

The possibilities are endless!

Creating DIY filters for blur effects

Achieving a beautiful blurry background doesn’t always require expensive equipment or advanced camera features. With a little creativity and some everyday materials, you can create your own DIY filters to achieve stunning blur effects.

Experimenting with different materials

When it comes to DIY filters, the possibilities are endless. Here are a few materials you can experiment with:


Plastic Button: One simple and effective DIY filter can be made from a plastic button. Start by cutting out the center of the button, leaving a ring-shaped piece of plastic.

Hold this homemade filter in front of your camera lens while taking photos, and you’ll notice a soft, dreamy blur around the edges. 2.

Glass Plates: Another option is to use glass plates. Look for small, circular pieces of glass, such as those found in picture frames or small decorative items.

Hold the glass plate in front of your lens at a slight angle, and you’ll achieve an interesting diffusion effect. Experiment with different sizes and textures of glass for unique results.

3. Clear Plastic Surfaces: Clear plastic sheets or packaging materials can also be used to create DIY filters.

Cut out a small rectangle or square and experiment with shining a light through it onto your subject while taking a photo. This technique can create a bokeh effect, where small points of light appear as beautiful, blurry orbs.

Aligning materials for partial blur

If you’re looking to achieve a partial blur effect, where only a specific area of the photo is in focus while the rest is blurred, you can align materials strategically. 1.

Sharp Center, Fuzzy Edges: Place a circular object in the center of your lens, such as a plastic lid or a coin, and hold it in place with some tape. This will create a clear, sharp center, while the edges of the photo will have a soft blur.

This technique is great for drawing attention to a specific subject within your frame. 2.

Layering Materials: Another approach is to layer different materials to achieve varying degrees of blur. For example, you can attach a piece of semi-transparent plastic in front of your lens and then attach a smaller, opaque shape closer to the center.

This layering effect creates a gradual transition from sharpness to blur within the frame. Remember that experimenting with DIY filters is all about trial and error.

Try different materials, sizes, and placements until you achieve the desired effect. It’s a fun and creative process that allows you to personalize your photography and add a unique touch to your images.

Connecting DSLR to phone for blurry backgrounds

If you own a DSLR camera and want to take advantage of its shallow depth of field capabilities to create blurry backgrounds, you can easily connect your DSLR to your phone and harness its editing and sharing features.

Using DSLR with Wi-Fi capability

Many modern DSLR cameras come equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities, allowing you to connect wirelessly to your phone. To get started, make sure your DSLR is Wi-Fi enabled, and download a compatible camera app on your phone.

Popular camera apps include Canon Camera Connect, Nikon SnapBridge, and Sony Imaging Edge. After installing the app, enable Wi-Fi on your camera and follow the app’s instructions to connect your phone to the camera’s network.

Once connected, you can control your camera remotely from your phone, adjust settings like aperture and focus, and capture photos with a shallow depth of field for beautiful blurry backgrounds.

Transferring and editing photos on the phone

Once you have captured photos with your DSLR and transferred them to your phone, you can take advantage of the various photo editing apps available to enhance your images further. Many DSLR camera apps come bundled with editing features that allow you to fine-tune exposure, adjust colors, and even apply filters and effects.

However, if you prefer more advanced editing options, there are numerous third-party apps available, such as Adobe Lightroom, VSCO, and Snapseed. These apps offer a wide range of editing tools and presets that can help you enhance the overall look of your photos, including the blur effect.

In these apps, you can selectively apply blur to specific areas of your image, further accentuating the subject and creating a more pronounced depth of field effect. After editing your photos, it’s time to share your creativity with the world.

Most photo editing apps allow you to directly share your images to social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Utilize these platforms to showcase your stunning photos with beautifully blurred backgrounds and receive feedback and appreciation from fellow photography enthusiasts.

In conclusion, whether you choose to create DIY filters or connect your DSLR to your phone, achieving a blurry background in your photos is within reach. By experimenting with different materials and techniques, or taking advantage of the wireless capabilities of your DSLR, you can add depth and aesthetic appeal to your images.

So get creative, explore the possibilities, and capture breathtaking photos that stand out from the crowd.

Using Photoshop for background blur

When it comes to advanced photo editing, Adobe Photoshop is the go-to software for many photographers and designers. With Photoshop, you can achieve precise and customizable background blur effects that will make your photos truly stand out.

Uploading and retouching in Photoshop

To get started, open Photoshop and navigate to the File menu to upload your desired image. Once you have your image opened, you can begin the process of retouching and applying background blur.

One of the most effective tools for selecting the background area in Photoshop is the Polygonal Lasso Tool or the Pen Tool. These tools allow you to create a precise outline around the subject of your image, ensuring that only the desired area remains in focus.

After selecting the background, go to the Filter menu and choose the Blur option. From here, you can select various blur filters, such as Gaussian Blur or Lens Blur.

Experiment with different settings to achieve your desired level of blur. The Gaussian Blur filter offers a more general, soft blur effect, while the Lens Blur filter allows for a more realistic replication of depth of field.

Adjusting bokeh strength

One exciting aspect of background blur is the bokeh effect, where sources of light in the blurred background appear as soft, out-of-focus circles. In Photoshop, you can further adjust the strength of the bokeh effect to add depth and dimension to your photo.

To control the bokeh strength, select the area of the image where the bokeh effect is desired. In the Filter menu, choose Blur Gallery and then Field Blur.

A panel will appear on the right side of the screen, allowing you to adjust the blur settings for the selected area. Here, you can experiment with the strength slider to control the amount of blur and the level of detail in the background.

By adjusting the bokeh strength, you can achieve a more natural-looking background blur that enhances the overall composition of your photo.


In conclusion, background blur can add a touch of professionalism and creativity to your photographs. Whether you’re using iPhone features like Portrait Mode or Instagram’s Focus Mode, exploring third-party apps and lens attachments, creating DIY filters, connecting your DSLR to your phone, or using Photoshop for advanced editing, there are countless options to achieve stunning and unique background blur effects.

Experimentation is key in discovering the techniques and tools that work best for you. Have fun exploring various methods and don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of your creativity.

By incorporating background blur into your photography, you can create visually compelling images that draw the viewer’s attention to the main subject while adding a pleasing aesthetic quality. So, grab your iPhone, DSLR, or Photoshop, and start experimenting with different approaches to background blur.

The possibilities are endless, and with practice, you’ll be able to capture and create striking photos that truly showcase your unique vision and style. In conclusion, achieving a blurred background in your photos adds depth and creativity to your images.

Whether you utilize the built-in features of your iPhone, such as Portrait Mode and Instagram’s Focus Mode, explore third-party apps and lens attachments, create DIY filters, connect your DSLR to your phone, or use Photoshop for advanced editing, there are numerous options available to create stunning background blur effects. Through experimentation and exploration, you can capture unique and visually compelling photos that showcase your creativity and leave a lasting impression on viewers.

So, go forth and embrace the art of background blur, and let your images speak volumes with their captivating and professional look.

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