How to Use Lightroom's Powerful New Lens Blur Panel (VIDEO)

Today we're bringing you the 10th installment of the popular Master Lightroom Classic series from British wedding photographer James Feaver who recommends that you make sure your software is up to date before following along.

Lightroom Classic's latest Lens Blur tools lets you enhance images in a variety of compelling ways that are often difficult to achieve in the camera depending upon the task at hand and the lighting conditions you confront. There are also some interesting effects for quickly modifying the look and feel of an image.

Feaver describes the topic like this: "Lightroom's Len Blur is a brand new tool that allows you to customize and change the depth of field and plane of focus within a photo." You'll need to update Lightroom Classic to at least version 13.0 to take advantage of these new capabilities. Feaver also notes that, "because this is an early access tool you may discover a few temporary glitches."

According to Feaver you can achieve professional results Lightroom's Lens Blur panel in its current form, and he provides several examples of how everything works so you can add it to your workflow today. He's working within the Develop panel where you'll find the new Lens Blur options between Transform and Effects.

Feaver notes that the adjustments you make can take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes depending upon the speed of your computer and the complexity of the photo at hand. He's using a new high-end Mac so the effects he applies are completed quickly after clicking on "Apply."

You'll see how blur is applied automatically and learn several ways to refine the result. There's a Blur Amount slider that simply controls the strength of the blur—not depth of field. He recommends not exceeding a value of 50, otherwise you may end up with an unrealistic look.

Another important slider is labeled Bokeh, with five options and a Boost slider. Beneath that is where you'll find the Focus Range control, which Feaver describes as "the crux of what Lightroom's Lens Blur tool really does," so pay close attention to how he puts it to use. Unlike the Lens Blur tools found in Photoshop or other editors, Lightroom "creates a depth map and then applies blur according to how close or far it is from the plane of focus."

The foregoing is just a taste of the methods described in the video, so be sure to watch until the end and maybe take a few notes. The use of this new panel is quite straightforward, but there are plenty of capabilities to remember. But once you get the hang of it the techniques will become second nature.

Be sure to pay a visit to Feaver's instructional YouTube channel that has plenty more to offer. And don't miss a tutorial we posted earlier, demonstrating three quick steps for eliminating ugly banding from photographs in Photoshop.