Photoshop Tutorial – How to Blur Background

The other day Em, Lilman and I were goofing off in my office/craftroom and naturally I had my camera.  It had been a while since I used my 50mm lens so I was taking some goof off pictures to get the aperture right.  Later I came across this picture – she’s just cute!  I was still in the playful mood and wanted to play around with the pic a bit.  What I really wanted to do was blur the background more.  My office wasn’t all that bright when I took the picture so I had to set the aperture higher, meaning less background  blurring to let in more light.  The Aperture was at F7.1.

So I decided to edit the picture in Photoshop to blur the background.   I was surprised how easy this was, just took a bit of patience.


Here is the picture I started with.


1: Create a Duplicate Layer: right click on the current layer and select Duplicate Layer – I named this one “Blur Background”


2: Then select Filter, Blur, Gaussian Blur


3: You’ll want to play with the Radius a bit.  For this picture I went with 25.3.


4: Then select the Erase tool, located in the Left panel.  You’ll need to adjust the brush size a bit too (located in the upper left). As you get closer to the edges you’ll want to enlarge the image and reduce the brush size.

Tip: One thing I also found helpful was clicking the eye button next to the layer, this turns the layer on and off so I can see where the edges are or the hair that I wanted to keep.

On this photograph, I also used one of my favorite actions by Pioneer Woman: “Bring On The Eyes” in Pioneer Woman’s Photoshop Actions – Set 2

Before and After



After – What was originally a goof off picture, turned into something that really captures my daughter – she is silly, pretty and fun :)

Blur Background Photoshop tutorial_Grinninglikeanidiot.com-

I hope you give it a try and feel free to pin it for future reference!


  • Lynda Self
    September 18, 2013, 1:04 pm

    Now I just need to learn how to take photos to edit in Photoshop.

  • Katy Cedillo
    September 22, 2013, 8:56 pm

    Can’t wait to try it!

  • October 25, 2013, 7:04 pm

    Nice job…there are a lot of great ways to blur..never tried to just duplicate,blur and erase!

  • October 27, 2013, 11:03 pm

    What a wonderful tip….thanks for sharing!