How to Blur the Background of Photos Using Canva

How to Blur the Background of Photos Using Canva

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Written by Casey Botticello

March 9, 2021

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information, read our full affiliate disclosure statement here.

Product TipCanva is a graphic design tool allowing anyone (regardless of their experience) to create amazing designs using drag and drop tools!

If you don’t already have Canva, try it for free! Canva makes it ridiculously simple to create blog banners, edit photos, and create social media marketing images. It is one of the few blogging tools that I use daily.

Introducing a background blur to your photos can draw attention to a specific subject, such as an individual in a portrait or an item in a still life, while adding a professional flair to your image. This beautiful background blur, also known as bokeh, can be achieved even after shooting your photo, thanks to advances in free photo editing software, such as Canva.

Below is an example of a photo that has a shallow depth of field, where the subject is kept sharp but everything in front and behind of it is blurred:

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As you can see, the light bulb (the focus of the image) is sharp, while the background is quite blurry.

However, this effect was created by the photographer. What if we wanted to blur the background of an otherwise clear image, such as the example below:

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In the image above, there is some natural blurring of the background, but it is still clearly visible. However, we can use Canva to increase the blur effect of the background, highlighting the woman in the foreground:

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Steps to Blur the Background of a Photo in Canva

For the purposes of this Canva tutorial, we will be recreating the image seen above, although the blur can be applied to any image background.

1. Select Your Image

Canva offers a wide selection of images. Select an image in Canva. In this example, we’ll use one of Canva’s free images. You can find this image by searching for “woman looking out the window” under the photos section of Canva:

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2. Drag Image / Maximize Image in Canva

Next, we will add the image to our screen in Canva. You can do this by clicking on the image and dragging it onto the white background so that the image maximizes and becomes the background image:

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3. Blur the Background Image

Next, we are going to blur the background image. To do this, first click on the image and then click on adjust. This will open up the adjustment menu. By default blur will be set to 0. Increase the blur number to intensify the image blur. For the purposes of this example, I used a blur value of 25.

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4. Add a Second Copy of the Image

Next, we are going to go back under photos and single click on the same photo. Do not maximize this image. You should now have the first image blurred in the background with a smaller sized image (with no blur) sitting on top of it, as seen below:

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5. Insert Newly Created Image

The next step is to remove the background from the smaller (unblurred) image. To do this, click on the smaller image, click on effects, and click on background remover.

Note: This method only works for Canva Pro users. If you have the free version of Canva, and want to make you image background transparent, you can use RemoveBG as a free alternative.

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6. Adjust the Size of Smaller Image

Your smaller image should now have a transparent background. Next, we need to increase the size of the smaller image so that it is slightly larger than the background image.

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7. Drag Clear Image Over the Blurred Background Image

We can now drag the clear image of the woman over the blurred background. Make sure that the clear top layer image is slightly larger than the blurred background image. Center the clear image so that it completely covers the background image.

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Final Product

Once you have successfully aligned the clear image of the woman over the blurred background, you will now have an image with the woman in the foreground (with a sharp focus) surrounded by a blurred background. You can click on the background and adjust the blur settings to meet your specific design needs.

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Conclusion

Canva is an amazing graphic design tool, and I hope you found this tutorial useful! Click here to read our comprehensive Canva Guide. If you are interested in downloading Canva or trying Canva Pro for free, click here. Below are several related Canva tutorials that you might find useful:

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Secret Canva Element Codes

Secret Element Codes in Canva

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Written by Casey Botticello

January 23, 2021

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information, read our full affiliate disclosure statement here.

Product TipCanva is a graphic design tool allowing anyone (regardless of their experience) to create amazing designs using drag and drop tools!

If you don’t already have Canva, try it for free! Canva makes it ridiculously simple to create blog banners, edit photos, and create social media marketing images. It is one of the few blogging tools that I use daily.

Canva is an amazing graphic design tool. One of the best features of Canva is its custom elements. This Canva tutorial will teach you how to use secret Canva element codes in Canva, in just a few, simple steps!

Elements are available in the free version of Canva, and there are even more elements in Canva Pro.

Canva elements are divided into several categories, including Lines, Shapes, Frames, Stickers, Charts, Grids, and Gradients.

Canva elements can be either static or animated. some are created by Canva, others are submitted by third-party graphic designers.

Canva elements are a great way to customize any image or graphic design.

However, as anyone who has ever searched for elements in Canva knows, it is very hard to find some of the best elements and many of these hidden gems are buried deep in the Canva search.

canva elements menu

This post will show Canva users a series of secret brand codes or search keywords, which allow users to search for images created by the same designer, or organized by the same theme.

Why is this useful?

These secret Canva brand codes and search keywords help designers create more cohesive and professional-looking designs.

The image below depicts two similar scenes: a group of six people sitting around working at a desk or on their laptop. Each of the six people is a unique element.

However, while the two scenes depict the same general scenario, the “Before” image consists of six images from different themes. The “After” image contains six images from the same theme.

The result is that the image with images from the same theme appears far more professional and cohesive than the image with 6 unique themes.

So how can you find matching image elements in Canva? Below are several secret brand codes and keyword search phrases, along with a sample of the images contained within that theme. To use these codes, just copy and paste the codes into the Canva element search bar.

Secret Canva Brand Codes

brand:BADeGZOX6Sc

These images were created by Sketchify. This Canva element code includes a wide range of custom elements. You can scroll through their elements manually to finding matching images, but in this case, Sketchify has so many images, that it is easier to find a single image you like and find others like it.

If you are trying to find images that contain a similar theme (from the same designer or across all of Canva), hover your mouse over an image from the search result, click the three dot icon, and then select the “see more like this” button.

 

brand:BADG2bnxObc

brand:BAD63x8KTpk

brand:BAB3aHwd-Ec

brand:BADOKQ7rDcQ

brand:BACQlb3VYbQ

brand:BAB6Ra8NgNM

brand:BAA8o5wO9as neon

brand:BACtcUNeEMA blob

brand:BABA8P7nMpE canvakeyed

brand:BAAQhe-f-BM

Recently Added Designs:

design-stream

Free Elements:

brand:BAAAAP7rQ8M or brand:BAAMOuJH0Ec

Canva Search Keywords

Below are several keyword search phrases, along with a sample of the images contained within that theme:

Conclusion

Canva is an amazing graphic design tool, and I hope you found this tutorial useful! Click here to read our comprehensive Canva Guide. If you are interested in downloading Canva or trying Canva Pro for free, click here. Below are several related Canva tutorials that you might find useful:

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How to Create a Glowing Outline Effect in Canva

How to Create a Glow Effect with an Outline in Canva

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Written by Casey Botticello

January 16, 2021

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information, read our full affiliate disclosure statement here.

Product TipCanva is a graphic design tool allowing anyone (regardless of their experience) to create amazing designs using drag and drop tools!

If you don’t already have Canva, try it for free! Canva makes it ridiculously simple to create blog banners, edit photos, and create social media marketing images. It is one of the few blogging tools that I use daily.

Sometimes, when creating a graphic design, you want to add flair or underscore the tone that a certain image conveys. If you want to help an image standout, using Canva to create a glow effect that outlines the image, can be a great option. This Canva tutorial will teach you how to create a glow effect in Canva, in just a few, simple steps!

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Steps to Create Glow Effect

1. Select Your Image

Select the image that you want to add the glow effect to. You can add the glow effect to any image, but it definitely helps if the image has clear and distinct borders.

2. Create Transparent Background

Your image should also be on a transparent background. If your image has a solid or colored background, you can convert it to a transparent one by clicking on the image, clicking on the “effects” button, and then selecting the “Background Remover Tool.”

Note: This method only works for Canva Pro users. If you have the free version of Canva, and want to make you image background transparent, you can use RemoveBG as a free alternative.

3. Save Shape as JPEG or PNG

The next step is to save our image as a JPEG or PNG. When you save your image, make sure that you select the “transparent background” box before clicking download.

4. Upload Image to Canva

Next, we need to upload this image to Canva. To do this, just click on the uploads tab in Canva, click upload from device, and select the file you just downloaded.

5. Insert Newly Created Image

You can now delete the original statue of liberty imae (you now have a blank screen). Select the image you just uploaded from your uploads tab:

6. Make a Copy or Duplicate Image

You can now delete the original statue of liberty image (you now have a blank screen). Select the image you just uploaded from your uploads tab, and click on it twice to produce two copies of the transparent image:

7. Edit Your Image Using Duotone Effects

The next step is to edit your image using Duotone Effects, one of the built in effects offered by Canva. To do this, first click on one of your images of the statue of liberty. This will be your image background (the part changing color).  Select the “effects” button from the Canva toolbar. Next, click on the Duotone icon. Under Duotone, click on the option labeled “Pomelo.” This will create a yellow and orange stylized version of the statue of liberty.

8. Increase Image Blur

Click on your orange statue of liberty image (the image on the right, in this tutorial) and select the adjust button. Under the adjustment menu, increase the “blur” effect. You can play around with this setting later to perfect things, but as a rough template, increase the blur to ~17.

9. Adjust Images

Next, we need to adjust our original statue of liberty so that it is slightly smaller than our orange statue of liberty. You also need to make sure that the orange image is behind the normal image. You can do this by sending the orange image to the back or bringing the regular image to the front.

10. Align Images

The final step is to line up the two images. You can do this by dragging the images manually or by using the position tool.

The end result is an image of the statue of liberty that has a subtle yet eye catching glow, outlining the image. Depending on what effect you are trying to achieve, you can go back and edit the orange background layer and adjust the blur setting. If you want to change the color of the glow, select a different effect.

I hope you found this Canva tutorial useful! If you have any more questions or want to learn more about custom Canva design, check out our Canva tutorial page, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter which send out free Canva Templates.

Conclusion

Canva is an amazing graphic design tool, and I hope you found this tutorial useful! Click here to read our comprehensive Canva Guide. If you are interested in downloading Canva or trying Canva Pro for free, click here. Below are several related Canva tutorials that you might find useful:

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How to Create a Drop Shadow in Canva

How to Create a Drop Shadow in Canva

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Written by Casey Botticello

December 31, 2020

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information, read our full affiliate disclosure statement here.

Product TipCanva is a graphic design tool allowing anyone (regardless of their experience) to create amazing designs using drag and drop tools!

If you don’t already have Canva, try it for free! Canva makes it ridiculously simple to create blog banners, edit photos, and create social media marketing images. It is one of the few blogging tools that I use daily.

A drop shadow is graphics effect that makes elements look more three-dimensional and “pop out” of the picture. Using an image editor, a duplicate of the text is made, changed to black or gray and then passed through the filter. The blurred result is aligned under the original text to create the effect. This Canva tutorial will teach you how to create a drop shadow in Canva, in just a few, simple steps!

Paying attention to the interplay of light and shadow in real life can give us some great inspiration for making our designs look more life-like. Unless you happen to have a 3D printer in your basement, most of us only have the ability to design in two dimensions. But we’re all used to seeing things in three dimensions, and sometimes that creates a visual disconnect between what we’re used to seeing in everyday life and what we see on paper or on screen. Adding elements of light and shadow into your designs can help bridge that gap, giving your 2D designs a more realistic, almost 3D appearance.

Steps to Create a Drop Shadow in Canva

Note: This method works best when you are trying to add a drop shadow to an image that is one of the standard Canva types of shapes (square, rectangle, circle, pentagon, triangle, etc.).

For the purposes of this Canva tutorial, we will be recreating the image seen above. Although this drop shadow is for a circular shape, the steps can be applied to any shape in Canva.

1. Pick Drop Shadow Shape

Canva offers a wide selection of shapes. Select a solid colored shape from the elements section in Canva. In this example, we’ll pick the standard circle option.

2. Edit Shape Color

Next, we will make several edits to the shape. In most cases, you want your drop shadow to be some variation of black or grey. So I select a color that is close to grey:

3. Save Shape as JPEG or PNG

To create a shadow, we now need to adjust the settings of our grey circle. In order to do this we need to save out image as a JPEG or PNG. When you save your image, make sure that you select the “transparent background” box before clicking download.

4. Upload Image to Canva

Next, we need to upload this image to Canva. To do this, just click on the uploads tab in Canva, click upload from device, and select the file you just downloaded.

5. Insert Newly Created Image

You can now delete the original grey circular image (you now have a blank screen). Select the circular image you just uploaded from your uploads tab:

6. Increase Blur and Transparency

Unlike before, when your grey circle was just a shape, it is now an image, which allows you to adjust the settings.

Click on your shape and select the adjust button. Under the adjustment menu, increase the “blur” effect. You can play around with this setting later to perfect things, but as a rough template, increase the blur to ~40.

Next, you want to increase the transparency of your image. Like the step before, you can later go back and adjust this setting to your exact liking, but for the purposes of this example, adjust the transparency to ~25.

7. Add Image Frame

You now have the shadow for your image! Next, you need to add a corresponding image frame (so a circle in this case). Frames can be found under the elements tab:

8. Adjust Image Frame

Next, we need to adjust our image frame so that it is slightly smaller than our shadow. We can also move the frame around the shadow to create shadows oriented in a number of directions. Generally, your shape should be slightly offset from your shadow to create the illusion of light. In the example below, my frame is slightly offset toward the upper-right corner, making it appear that this is the direction that light is coming from:

9. Add Image to Frame

Finally, we need to add our image. Click on photos or uploads, and drag an image over the circular frame. If you double click on the image within the frame, you can adjust the specific positioning of the image.

Conclusion

Canva is an amazing graphic design tool, and I hope you found this tutorial useful! Click here to read our comprehensive Canva Guide. If you are interested in downloading Canva or trying Canva Pro for free, click here. Below are several related Canva tutorials that you might find useful:

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