person holding space gray iPhone 7

Image via unsplash

Are you looking for a way to get that fantastic blur background effect on your iPhone photos? Whether it's beautifully sharp photos of their loved ones or magazine-grade food photography, you might have noticed that your friends have recently picked up their Instagram game.

But have they all gone out and purchased a brand new DSLR camera? The answer is that they're probably just taking advantage of the new blur background technology in smartphones.

Yet with some iPhones having up to three built-in cameras, it might all seem a little confusing. Luckily, getting a crispy and sharp subject with a blur background on your iPhone is a lot easier than you might think.

Why Photographers Use The Blur Background Effect

person using smartphone taking picture of building

Image via unsplash

The primary reason why photographers and hobbyist happy-snappers want the blur background effect in their photos is that it makes the subject stand out.

That is, using the contrast of a very sharp subject with a blurred out background naturally draws our eyes to what the photographer wants to convey.

Besides, a blurred background simply looks more appealing to the eye.

Whether the subject is a person, animal, object, or food, focusing in on what's important in the photograph is a great way to tell a visual story.

What Is The Depth Of Field?

The photographic jargon for our plane of focus is the depth of field. This field explains how far the distance is from the nearest and furthest points of focus in an image.

When planning out an image, an important consideration is how much of the foreground and background you want in focus. For super-crisp shots of a subject, you're going to want a shallow depth of field,

To explain, this means a blur background and foreground, with only the subject in focus.

While it might seem a little technical, understanding this concept will benefit iPhone photographers looking to snap sharper images.

Easy Ways To Get A Blur Background With Your iPhone

If you think back to a decade ago, would you have ever thought you could get studio-style photographs from your mobile phone? Undoubtedly, mobile technology is continuously pushing the boundaries of what you can fit in a small, handheld device.

But with anything powerful, you're going to need to know how to use it in order to get the results you want. So, how do you get a blur background from your iPhone? Let's find out.

Blur Background With Portrait mode

Here's the easiest way. Apple calls it the "New era of photography." Portrait mode uses advanced sensors, processors, and algorithms to digitally create the blur background effect.

By using two or more cameras, your iPhone can better determine the difference between the subject and the background.

The technology is built into the camera app all new iPhones. But, if you're rocking an older phone, you'll have to check if Portrait mode is supported on your device.

How to use Portrait mode

Editing or removing your blur background

Use Portrait Lighting for added effect

Shoot closer to your subject

While Portrait mode is getting better and better, many people dislike the digital look. Instead, many want a more realistic looking photo using photographic techniques to achieve the blur background effect on their pictures.

If this sounds like you, then don't give up yet. There are other ways to get those beautiful shots using just your iPhone.

One of those ways is to simply shoot closer to the subject. The closer you position your camera, the farther away the relative background will be. That causes the depth of field to become narrower, and your background to look more blurry.

Understanding apertures

Get an edge by trying out some iPhone lenses

Remember to focus manually

Try out some post-processing apps

Another way to defocus the background of your images is to use a third-party app or software. There are several apps that can handle this task available on the app store.

If you have an older iPhone which doesn't have support for Portrait mode, this could be your answer.

The benefit of adding background blur after you've taken your photos is that you can often have more control of the final look. Furthermore, being able to simply go out and shoot, without worrying about enabling certain modes is appealing to many.

In saying that, using third-party apps to add digital blur often produces results that look less realistic. Also, manually selecting your subject can be tedious, especially on smaller screens.

Get Sharper Shots With Your iPhone Using The Blur Background Effect

Using your iPhone to take photos is supposed to be simple. Apple understands this and has crammed a tremendous amount of technology into one easy-to-use package.

While it all seems a little tricky to start with, once you get going, you just won't want to stop taking photos.

The convenience of having a high-end camera that fits right into your jeans pocket is a privilege we're indeed glad we can take advantage of.

Do you have any other tips or tricks on getting a blur background with your iPhone? Let us know in the comments below.

Want to take cooler pics with your phone? Use Olloclip's 4-in-1 lens to take your mobile photography to the next level with macro, fisheye, and wide-angle lenses.