Bokeh effect on all smartphones

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Pau Monfort
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How to get the Bokeh effect on all smartphones? It's a technique that adds cunning to portraits, close-ups, and other shots where the background shouldn't be in focus. Once recognized, you will start seeing bokeh everywhere.

Show off your artistic side with this attractive photo effect. Bokeh photography is popular with DSLRs and film cameras, but it is now possible to mimic the effect on a smartphone camera.

As demonstrated in the photo above, bokeh is the quality of the blurred areas of an image, namely the white circles in the background, which in digital photography are caused by the shape of the camera lens.

How to get the Bokeh effect on all smartphones

It's a technique that adds cunning to portraits, close-ups, and other shots where the background doesn't need to be in focus. Once recognized, you will start seeing bokeh everywhere.

What is the Bokeh effect?

Bokeh, pronounced BOH-kay, comes from the Japanese word boke, which means blur or haze or boke-aji, which means quality of blur. The effect is caused by a shallow depth of field, which is the distance between the closest and farthest object in a photo.

When using a DSLR or film camera, a combination of aperture, focal length and distance between the photographer and the subject creates this effect. The aperture controls how much light is allowed in, while the focal length determines the amount of scene captured by a camera and is expressed in millimeters (i.e. 35mm).

A shallow depth of field produces a photo in which the foreground is in focus, while the background is blurred. An example of bokeh is in a portrait, such as the first photo above, where the subject is in focus and the background is blurred. The bokeh, the white spheres in the background, is caused by the camera lens, usually when it's wide open, letting in more light.

How to take pictures with blurred background on smartphone

On a smartphone, depth of field and bokeh work differently. The necessary elements are the processing power and the right software. The smartphone camera must recognize the foreground and background of a photo, then blur the background, keeping the foreground in focus.

So instead of occurring when taking the photo, smartphone bokeh is created after the photo is taken.

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How to get the bokeh effect iPhone and Android

In the photo above, taken with a digital camera, the photographer enjoyed joining the bubbles, where much of the scene is blurry. A smartphone with a dual lens camera takes two photos at the same time and then combines them to get that depth of field and bokeh effect.

The best Bokeh apps for Android and iOS

While newer smartphones have dual-lens cameras, it is possible to achieve bokeh with a single lens by downloading a third-party app that will give you the tools to create the effect. Options include AfterFocus (Android | iOS), Bokeh Lens (iOS only), and DOF Simulator (Android and PC).

There are many more available too, so download some apps, try them out and choose your favorite.

How do I get the bokeh effect on any Android?

It's actually quite easier than you think. Just load the Play Store and download and the app called Pixlr is free by the way. Once open, click on the photos and choose the photo you want to work with.

Now in the first tab click on the blur features.

Dual lens cameras

If you have a flagship phone from Apple, Google, Samsung, or other brands, your camera probably has a dual lens and you can get bokeh without an app. When taking a photo, you should be able to choose what to focus on and what to blur and, in some cases, refocus after taking a photo.

Some smartphones also have a dual-lens front camera for artistic selfies. Take test shots to perfect your technique and you'll become an expert in no time.

Best bokeh apps for Android

If you don't have a native camera app with a portrait effect, we will tell you the main applications to get a bokeh effect . We bring you the list with all of them and when we are done we will also explain how to use two of them.

  • Point Blur: Perhaps one of the best tools you will find for this. It's like the previous two and you just have to paint the area you want to blur and correct the results. With patience you can get a spectacular image very similar to the real portrait mode.
  • Blur Image Editor: The application is specially designed for this task and offers radial filter mode and manual mode. With the former you can set a radius to keep focus and blur the rest, and with the manual mode the photo is completely out of focus allowing you to slide your finger across the screen to focus on the areas you want.
  • Blur Background DSLR: Same as above but with a different interface. You can change the blur level and brush size and the result is very similar to the previous one. It also inherits other problems such as somewhat invasive advertising.
  • Blurfoto: Auto blur photo background & DSLR focus: In this application you first need to draw the outline of what you want to keep in focus in the photo, and then the rest will be blurry. You'll have several tools for this, including brushes of different sizes or a zoom to zoom in on areas and look for greater precision.
  • LightX: A photo editor to use with an option to blur the background. You have it in the Focus> Mask section. Once there, choose “Easy Selection” and make a stroke in the area you want to blur (see the second screenshot). It won't blur the entire background, but it will analyze the scene and do it in sections, so you'll have to go through several steps.
  • AfterFocus: Blurs the background using two options: smart and manual, and the latter works best. You simply have to draw over all the areas you want to keep in focus. To improve accuracy you can change the size of the brush and look at the magnifying glass, and it is better to do this, because the filter is not applied gradually, but directly.
  • Snapseed: And we're done with the popular Google app. We include it in the list in a practically testimonial way, because although it has both a blur mode and a portrait mode, they are not optimized to create the bokeh effect, so you will have to continuously apply many different blurs to various parts of the photo you get the same thing you get with other applications in a much simpler way.

Read also: How to clear background photos quickly

Further Reading:

  • "Transparent" wallpapers for everyone: the inside of your phone as a background thanks to iFixit
  • How to blur faces or parts of an image with your mobile
  • The Huawei P Smart + 2022 bomber is ready to destroy the mid-range
  • Oppo AX7, this is the new cheap mobile from Oppo
  • Samsung S10e vs iPhone XR, what are the differences?

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