How to Blur an Image in Photoshop

With over 3.2 billion images shared each day on social media, you want your photos to stand out. And ultimately, a good photo boils down to how you mix textures, colors, and composition. There are a few digital tools that can help elevate your photo above the pack, too.

We explore one of those tools here. Keep reading to learn how to blur an image in Photoshop!

Blur an Entire Image

One way to blur an image in Photoshop is to apply a blur filter to the entire image. With just a few clicks of the mouse, you can transform every crisp edge into a blurred line. Access the filter menu from the top of the workspace, and then choose a blur to apply to the image.

You can change the radius of the blur, too. This will create either a softer, more diffused image or one with a bit more definition.

Select an Area to Blur and Filter

One of the Photoshop benefits is that you don’t have to apply the same modification to all parts of an image. You can focus your efforts on one area, such as a single object sitting on a table in an image.

To do this, locate the selection tool options in the toolbar, which normally is on the left side of your workspace. The quick selection tool will grab the nearest edges of a place where you click. For instance, if you click on a face, the tool will grab the entire face if there’s enough contrast against the background color.

You can use the lasso tool, as well, to draw an area to select. In either case, you’ll want to select the area and then access the filter menu at the top of the screen. You can apply a Gaussian blur at differing strength levels, for example, to the selected area.

Knowing how to select an area has other Photoshop uses, too. For instance, you can select and remove background space if you’re wanting to isolate the main subject.

Try the Blur Tool

No Photoshop guide is complete without mentioning the blur tool. With it, you can selectively blur portions of an image in a more freeform way.

The blur tool works like a pen in that you just need to click and drag to activate it. For instance, you might want to dissolve the edge of a lake into the mountains behind it.

If you head to the Photoshop toolbar, you’ll find the blur tool there. It’s grouped with the smudge and sharpen tools. Find an icon that looks like a teardrop for the blur tool, or a triangle or finger if one of the other two tools is selected.

Learn How to Blur an Image in Photoshop

When you know how to blur an image in Photoshop, you open the doors to new aesthetic possibilities. Consider applying a blur to the entire photograph to create a mysterious image. Or use a combination of the selection tools and blur functions to isolate certain areas for blurring.

For more Photoshop tips, check back soon to read new articles.