How to Add Blur and Bokeh Effects in Lightroom
Sometimes, we need to edit certain photos to give them a much more pronounced character, and one of the techniques at our disposal is to create a deeper depth of field to highlight our subject. To do this, we have several options: one of them is to manually edit the photo in our preferred application, or we can do it in Lightroom with its new 'Lens Blur' tool. Today, I'm going to show you how simple it is to add a blur effect to a photo while simultaneously adding a Bokeh effect, all without the need for complicated selections and using multiple filters. Instead, we'll simply use the new Lens Blur tool, which is already available in the latest versions of Lightroom.
But before we begin, and if you want to follow this tutorial exactly as described, please download the following free picture from Pexels: Download.
Open your photo in Lightroom.
Go to the "Develop" tab and expand the "Lens Blur" module.
Check the "Apply" option. Lightroom will process the file for a minute to detect the focal range and give you a default Blur Amount result based on A.I.
At this point, you may adjust the Blur Amount to your liking dragging the slider left or right until you find a blur amount that you like. In this case, I will set the value to 25.
Next, click on the arrow icon of the Bokeh effect to visualize the Bokeh options.
Here you may choose from 5 different Bokeh types, from "Circle" to "Cat Eye". Here, I will pick the "Ring" one (also know as Doughnut).
Now you have the option to boost the Bokeh effect (adjust the brightness of the blured light sources). To to that, simply drag the slider left or right until you are happy with the result. In this case, I will set the boost amount of the bokeh effect to 100 since there are not too many light sources in this image.
If there are areas that you also want blured (on in focus), but the A.I. did not include them, you can manually adjust those areas. To do that, expand the "Refine" options.
Check the "Visualize Depth" option. The Yellow areas are the ones that are currently in "focus", while the rest is blured. In this example, we will blur those 2 down right barrels.
Click the "Blur" button and then simply paint over the areas of the image that you want blured.
Lastly, uncheck the "Visualize Depth" option.
A Final Tip:
After you finish editing your image, you can also swap the focus/blur areas simply by dragging the Focal Range slider.