The blur tool was once a largely useless feature, only applicable in niche uses. That's no longer the case and it's now more powerful than ever before. In this video you will see five different effects you can utilize in your photography.
I have used blur throughout the years, but never to revolutionize my images, rather to reduce a distraction in a reflection or smooth out a surface. For instance in a lot of my commercial product photography, reflections in shiny product surfaces can draw the eye away from the details you want your viewer to appreciate, so by adding localized blur, you can keep the focus where you want it.
However, what Aaron Nace of PHLEARN is doing in this video is quite different for the most part. He is showing you five ways you can transform an image using the blur tool. Two of the mentioned effects I must confess are guilty pleasures of mine. The tilt-shift effect is heavily featured on social media through automated tools and I should be sick of it, but in the right scenario, it's still good fun. The other is adding some blur in places which Nace describes as adding depth of field. I'm not sure I'd agree that's what it's doing most of the time, but I do like the effect. It works in a similar way to how I use blur in my commercial work: guidance of the eye. Even if the blur added to a portrait is plainly not achieved in camera, it can be a useful tool for creative effect and for ensuring your intended focal point is the focal point.
Do you use blur in your workflow? Share your tips in the comment section below.