There are several things that make photos look high-quality: higher resolution, vibrant colors, sharp definition. And there’s one other thing that really separates the best from the rest – depth of field.

You might recognize it from iPhones’ Portrait Mode. The main subject of the photo is clear as day, while the background is pleasantly blurred. What you may not know is that you don’t need a portrait mode-enabled phone to produce photos with a professional-looking depth-of-field effect. Here’s how you can make any of your own pictures look like Portrait Mode masterpieces, simply by blurring their backgrounds online.

  1. Upload your photo to the Kapwing Studio
  2. Copy your image and remove its background
  3. Make your background image blurry
  4. Export & download

Step 1: Upload your photo to the Kapwing Studio

Wherever your picture is stored, you can upload it to the Kapwing Studio and blur its background in just a few clicks. Head over to and click “Start editing” to get started in the Studio. If you took the photo yourself, or have it saved to your device already, click “Upload” and find the picture in your file browser or camera roll. You can also upload any image from the web – just copy its link and paste it into the URL field in the Kapwing Studio.

Step 2: Copy your image and remove its background

Start by selecting your image and create a duplicate layer by either pressing control/command+C or clicking Duplicate under the editing options in the right toolbar. Now, select “Erase” on the right-hand menu.

To remove the background from your image, start by using the Magic Wand tool. Click on any part of your background, select “Remove pixels,” and continue, adjusting the “Sensitivity” slider as needed. Once you’ve removed most of your background this way, select “Erase” from the right side of the window and click & drag the remaining bits of background in order to remove them from your image. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but the more accurate you are, the better your blurry background will look.

Step 3: Make your background image blurry.

Here’s the easiest part. Select your background image (it should be the bottom layer listed on the right side of the screen) and choose “Adjust” in the right-hand editing toolbar. Here, slide the “Blur” button just a little bit to the right – somewhere between 2 & 4 is probably your best best for a realistic depth-of-field effect.

Step 4: Export & download

When your background is blurred and everything looks just right, click the red Export button in the upper right corner and your image will be ready to download in just a couple seconds. When it’s ready, click “Download” to save your depth of field picture directly to your device!

For more product updates, content tutorials, and photo & video editing tips, subscribe to Kapwing App on YouTube or follow us on Twitter @KapwingApp. In the meantime, check out these related articles on high-quality, streamlined photo editing:

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