Gear matters under specific circumstances in photography, and without any doubt, you might need specific lenses for certain effects. But, if you cannot afford fast, high-end glass, and want to achieve that creamy-blurred background, then your Photoshop skills matter.
On this video, nature and wildlife photographer Steve Perry shares his tricks on blurring out the backgrounds by using Photoshop, when he wants to increase the blurriness on his images. Using fast tele lenses are ideal for achieving a blurry background, however depending on the distance between your subject and the background, you might want some more blur on the background to isolate your subject. For this reason, you can either use a lens with a larger aperture or try to shoot the same subject with a longer focal length. However, the price of fast ultra-tele lenses can increase dramatically, especially if you want to use something that has a larger aperture than f/5.6, and same applies for the lenses with longer focal lengths. Therefore, Photoshop can do the job for free, if you want subtle change on the background and to keep your money.
While this might not be the best solution for a realistic blur, as Perry states, the key is the subtle application of the process and matching the overall textures.
If you ever tried this trick before, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.