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Fake Shallow Depth Of Field In Lightroom

Fake Shallow Depth Of Field In Lightroom

Lightroom Tutorial: How To Add Blur To Photos In Lightroom

Today’s tutorial is going to show you exactly how to fake shallow depth of field in lightroom, and blur out the background in your photos to make it look awesome. From here on out, you’ll be able to blur out backgrounds in your photos without using photoshop. Skip ahead to the tutorial video, or read on for some more information on getting blurred out backgrounds!

First Question – How do I get my photos to have that out of focus background / bokeh WITHOUT editing?

Ever wondered how photographers get their photos too look so blurry in the background? Or how to take photos with a blurry background? Perhaps you find yourself struggling wondering how to get your photos to look like _______, or how _______ edits their photos so that the background separation is so awesome. Many parts of how an image look come down to the skill of the photographer – Lighting, composition, knowledge and mastery of their craft etc. BUT if you’re trying to get blurred out backgrounds in your photos and its just not working, its likely less about technique and more about the gear you’re using. This is one of those rare situations where the gear really does matter more than anything else!

So what kind of camera gear / body / lenses gives you that out of focus background?

Rather than an indepth explanation for why and how these things make your background blurry, for today we’re keeping it short and sweet, and just giving you the summary. There are three main camera gear factors that add that out of focus background to your photos:

1) The larger the camera sensor, the more out of focus your background / shallow depth of field / bokeh

2) The faster your lens (Aperture 1.4 vs 5.6 – lower number = faster), the more out of focus your background / shallow depth of field / bokeh

3) The more telephoto the lens (zoomed in), the more blurry your background behind the subject.

But don’t fret if you don’t have these things or a bunch of money to go buy new camera gear. Today we’re going to show you exactly how you can copy that out of focus background / shallow depth of field / subject separation inside of Lightroom!

How To Add Blur To Your Photo Backgrounds In Lightroom, Video Tutorial:

Here’s how to fake shallow depth of field in Lightroom.

Follow along by downloading the RAW practice file here!

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[powerkit_collapsible title=”Video Transcript”]
*This Transcript Is Auto Generated! There are likely issues with grammar. If in doubt, check the video!*
hey guys Ryan here at signature edits
and today I’m going to show you how you
can get that out of focus blurry shallow
depth-of-field look using Lightroom
let’s do it
[Music]
all right so first things first you can
actually download this image right now
if you head to the description link
below download the raw file and come
back to the video and we’ll do it
together all right okay perfect
so now that you’ve paused the video
downloaded that raw practice file we can
go through this image together how are
we going to make it out of focus and for
those of you who are wondering how do I
get this out of focus in my camera how
do I get that shallow depth-of-field
blurry background well it all comes down
to your camera and your lens basically
what it comes down to is this if your
lens is fast F one point 2f one point
four if one point eight the lower that
number is the shallower your depth of
field is going to be if the lens is
sumed
in a 85 mil versus a thirty five mil the
higher the zoom the more shallow your
depth of field is going to be the more
out-of-focus your background becomes the
same goes with your camera and its
sensor size a full-frame camera with a
very large sensor is going to have a
very shallow depth of field whereas a
smaller sensor size like that in your
cell phone is going to be much harder to
replicate that look that’s why using a
cell phone everything seems to be in
focus both because it’s a wide-angle
lens and because they have very small
sensors that typically don’t have that
fast of apertures but let’s say that
you’re using a wide angle lens
everything is in focus can we still get
that shallow depth of field look in
Lightroom well yes we can let me show
you we’re gonna start by going to our
radial filters I’m going to hold option
and hit reset make a brand new radial
filter take our clarity down by about
minus 20 D haze down just a little bit
and sharpness all the way down okay now
what I’m going to do is drag this radial
filter out and move it over top of our
skateboarder now if yours is the other
way around if it is like this instead of
like this all you have to do is press
the apostrophe sign or the quote mark
symbol on your keyboard and that will
invert the mask and I’ve got this handy
red filter showing me where the image is
being affected by pressing oh you can
toggle that on and off okay so I’m
pressing oh that shows me exactly what’s
being affected I’m going to just widen
this mask and take our feather down just
a little bit and the feather is how its
blending into the rest of the image
take that down just a little so that my
skateboarder guy is not being affected
and neither is his skateboard so
lengthen this a little bit perfect just
like that alright let’s toggle that off
and you can already see that these parts
of the image are being softened
considerably things are looking a little
more out of focus that’s great but it
looks really unnatural and weird because
the rest of the image in behind
skateboarder guy and they parts of the
image that aren’t being affected still
are in focus how do we fix that easy
where you head up to our brush and we
hit brush this is still inside the
radial filter this particular one we’ve
done but by hitting the brush tab we can
actually brush in the areas of the image
that we still want effected inside of
this radial filter so I’m just going to
take my brush and paint in here right
now I’ve got my softening my feather set
all the way up I can take it down a
little bit and my flow is up at a
hundred because I’m just doing a very
quick mask up for you guys so that it
doesn’t take too long so once I’ve got
kind of the gist of it using a bigger
brush I’m going to zoom in and do the
detail work perfect that’s kind of good
using a bigger brush just to make sure
I’ve got everything I think borders
covered then we’re gonna zoom in by
hitting this one to one tab in the
Navigator and I can drag this little box
over to wherever I needed to go and just
paint in like this now if you’ve got
something with hard images like his leg
and press commands that undo that brush
stroke I can actually go to the auto
mask feature in Lightroom and it’ll
probably detect that edge see how it’s
not going over its just painting inside
that very handy so I’m going to use that
auto mask feature here sometimes it
works sometimes it is a little buggy so
you just have to watch it and make sure
that you don’t accidentally leave it on
but in a situation like this where we’ve
got a really good line of contrast like
his leg I don’t see it picked up his arm
didn’t work properly there we can just
paint like that and save ourselves some
time so I’m going to fast forward a
little until I’ve got this kind of fin
nest and where we like it and then we’ll
continue you can pause the video or skip
ahead and see the rest of the tutorial
so I have gone through and I’ve painted
pretty much the entire image where I
need it to be now you can see in these
bushes right here the automatic feature
wasn’t working perfectly so I’m just
gonna go back to my brush
make sure Auto mask is off and just
paint on it perfect and I can see a
little spot around his eyes it still
isn’t quite done but that’s really
detailed so I’m gonna take my flow down
and I’m just going to kind of fade it in
there the nice part is this image is
wide enough that we are gonna be okay if
we have it not perfectly masked out all
right so now we got that in place let’s
get rid of our red filter by pressing Oh
perfect and we can see that already the
image looks very out-of-focus compared
to our before right here great so how do
we take this a step further
great question first things first I’m
going to click on this and right click
duplicate okay that’s going to duplicate
the radial filter that I’ve just created
and this time because now our image is
getting a little weird I’m going to take
my clarity and reset it my t haze reset
it by hitting my mouse button twice just
double-clicking will reset any tab back
to its standard and then I’m gonna leave
my sharpness at minus 100 and I’m going
to take my exposure down just a little
to separate him from the background a
little more because our eyes are
naturally drawn to the brightest part of
the image okay so our skateboarder guy
if he’s the brightest part of the image
he’s going to stand out like crazy
obviously this looks ridiculous although
ironically it’s a good method to be able
to see which area of your image is not
being affected clearly I’ve missed some
spots around his shoe but if we drop it
by you know let’s say 0.2 0.3 of his top
minus 0.3 will get a nice separation
without it being too crazy so here’s
before and here’s after before and after
now obviously that looks maybe a little
bit too intense for you you can dial
this effect in you can go crazy and just
you know duplicate this three or four
times or you can keep it a little bit
more subtle like that I like to make it
a little more subtle you want it to look
natural in your image not like he was
super edited but that’s how you add that
blurry out-of-focus look inside of
Lightroom again if you want to try this
for yourself make sure to download the
raw image and you can walk through this
tutorial again or just do it on your own
time
I hope this was helpful for you make
sure to LIKE and subscribe if it was
leave me a comment and I’ll see you in
the next video alright
take care
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That’s How To Add Blur To Your Backgrounds In Lightroom – Quick and Simple!

We hope this tutorial on how to fake shallow depth of field in Lightroom CC (Or any version of Lightroom) was helpful for you. If you have a tutorial request or question leave it in the comments below. Until next time – Go make something awesome!

Practice Along! Download the practice image for FREE here:

https://shop.signatureedits.com/blur-background-practice-image/buy

 

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