How to Blur in Lightroom

Part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, Lightroom is a powerful photo organizer that serves as a great complement to Photoshop. In addition to archiving your images, Lightroom also has a variety of editing features and processing effects, which can be used if you don't feel like digging through your Photoshop project again. Furthermore, any edits you make in Lightroom are non-destructive, which means you can always undo them and return to your original image. 

In this walkthrough, we've shared how to blur in Lightroom, so you can put more emphasis on your image subject.

Blurring a Background
First, open Lightroom and decide which photo you're going to blur. After selecting the photo, press D to switch to the Develop Module. Then, click on the Adjustment Brush, which is located on the top right side of the screen (it looks like a large horizontal brush). 

Just below the Adjustment Brush, you should see a dialog box appear with a variety of mask effect settings. Make sure that the Sharpness setting is set to -100 (the least amount of sharpness). Then, start drawing on your background with the Adjustment Brush and it will begin to blur. 

If -100 is too extreme for your taste, you can increase the Sharpness setting and draw over the overly blurry areas to make them sharper again. Likewise, if you accidentally blur part of your subject, change your Sharpness setting to +100 and draw over the blurry sections to undo the effect. 

Blurring a Face
Once you've learned how to blur in Lightroom, it's easy to add blur effects to any part of your image, no matter how small the area. For example, if your subject does not want to be identifiable in their photo, you'll probably need to blur out their face. 

First, select the Adjustment Brush and resize it in the Brush panel, or by moving your mouse's scroll wheel. For a more precise job like blurring out a face, you'll want the brush to be a lot smaller than if you were blurring out a background. Make sure you adjust the Sharpness values below 0 as well (ideally, between -100 and -50). Then, paint over the entire face once or twice with the brush, see if it's blurry enough to be unrecognizable, and repeat if necessary.

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