How to Adjust Portrait Mode Blur in Photos on iPhone & iPad

Dec 7, 2021 - 3 Comments

How to Adjust Portrait Mode Blur in Photos on iPhone & iPad

Do you take a lot of Portrait mode shots using your iPhone or iPad? If so, you may be interested in manually adjusting the level of background blur or bokeh effect according to your liking. Apple allows you to do it during post-processing and it’s actually pretty easy to learn.

Apple’s iPhones have been doing an incredible job in the photography department packing some of the best sensors in a smartphone camera. A lot of people have been switching to flagship iPhones purely to take great photos without having to shell out thousands of dollars on DSLR cameras and lenses. That being said, having finer control over the photos you take is more important even if you have the assistance of computational photography features like Deep Fusion.

Being able to fine-tune the level of bokeh is something most people would appreciate. So, if you’re interested in trying it out, read on to learn how you can adjust Portrait mode blur in the Photos app on your iPhone and iPad.

How to Change Portrait Mode Blurring in Photos on iPhone & iPad

This feature which Apple calls Depth Control is only available on select iPhone models, starting with the iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and newer devices. As for iPads, you’ll need a third-generation iPad Pro or later.

  1. Launch the stock Photos app on your iPhone and open the Portrait photo that you want to adjust the blur for. Tap on the picture once to access the Photos app menu.

    How to Adjust Portrait Mode Blur in Photos on iPhone & iPad
  2. Next, tap on “Edit” from the bottom menu as shown in the screenshot below to access the photo editor.

    How to Adjust Portrait Mode Blur in Photos on iPhone & iPad
  3. Here, you’ll see the f-stop or aperture level at which the Portrait photo was taken at the top of your screen. Tap on the f-stop option as shown here.

    How to Adjust Portrait Mode Blur in Photos on iPhone & iPad
  4. This will bring up the Depth Control slider. You can move the slider to the left or right according to your requirement. Note that the lower the f-stop, the higher the level of blur in your picture.

    How to Adjust Portrait Mode Blur in Photos on iPhone & iPad

When you’re satisfied with the changes, simply tap on “Done” at the bottom-right corner of your screen to overwrite the updated version of the picture.

There you go. You no longer have to worry about too much bokeh or too little blur in your portrait shots, since you can adjust it accordingly during post-processing. Or, if you think a particular picture would look better without the bokeh effect, you can simply tap on the Portrait option at the top to toggle it off and see it for yourself.

If you use a Mac alongside your iPhone and iPad, you’ll be excited to know that you can access the Depth Control slider using the built-in editor in the macOS Photos app as well. However, do keep in mind that the Portrait shot must be taken on a device that supports Depth Control.

First time using the built-in editor in the Photos app? You’ll be surprised to know that it gives you access to a plethora of different tools that you can use for post-processing. From simple filters to advanced tools like noise reduction, there are plenty of ways to enhance your shots. If you’re interested, you can check out our detailed guide on editing photos on the iPhone and iPad using the Photos app.

Are you using this feature to increase and decrease the amount of blur in your portrait shots to better suit the background? What are your thoughts on this nifty post-processing feature? Does your iPhone or iPad model support Depth Control? Feel free to share your personal experiences and sound off in the comments section down below.


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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Antoine says:

    Thank you very much for your so useful tips.
    I’d like to keep some of them but they’re impossible to print or convert into pdf. Couldn’t you offer the option to pdf them?

  2. Serge says:

    Thank you!

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