Adobe Photoshop CC

Add creative blur to photos

Learn how to add blur and motion effects to photos using the Blur Gallery. (Try it, 9 min)

Add photographic blurs using simple, on-canvas controls. Create motion, tilt-shift and other blur effects.

What do I need?

Get files Sample files to practice with (ZIP, 33 MB)

Tip: Learn how to take great photos and make them even better. Preview world-class photography courses from CreativeLive.

Step 1 of 6:

Check out the layers panel

In the Layers panel, each layer is labeled with the name of a blur from the Blur Gallery. Attached to each layer is a mask.

For this exercise, you will use the images only and not the masks in each layer.

Layers panel

Step 2 of 6:

Click on the image

Click the Tilt-Shift Blur layer in the layers panel, making sure to click on the image not the mask. When the image is selected in the Layers panel, you can apply a blur to that specific image, and not any other.

Tilt-Shift Blur layer

Step 3 of 6:

Go to the Blur menu

To apply a Blur, Choose Filter > Blur Gallery, and then select an option from the menu. For this example choose Filter > Blur Gallery > Tilt-Shift.

Select a blur from the Blur Gallery

Step 4 of 6:

Adjust the blur

In the Blur Tools panel at the right, make sure that the Tilt-Shift checkbox is selected.

Move the circular pin to the center of the city area in the Tilt-Shift image. Adjust the horizontal lines to change the scope of the blur and the Blur slider to change the amount of blur.

Adjust the blur

Step 5 of 6:

Apply your blur

To apply the blur, click OK on the right side of the options bar.

Apply the blur

Step 6 of 6:


Use the other images to experiment with other blurs in the gallery. Here are some to try:
Iris Blur. Apply a blur to the horses eye. This will create a point of interest in a specific point.
Field Blur. Create a focus point with blurs at the bottom of the image, bringing focus to the barn.

Experiment with different blurs

Path Blur

To apply the Path blur, choose Filter > Blur > Path Blur. By placing the blur path along the ceramic pot, it will appear as if it is motion.

Path blur

Spin Blur

To apply the Spin blur, choose Filter > Blur > Spin Blur. Try placing the blur circular stroke on top of the clock. This will make the clock appear as if it is spinning.





Introduced in Photoshop CC 2015

Learn how to add monochromatic or color noise to your Blur Gallery effects to better match your original image and get a more realistic effect.

Spin blur

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