Blurry photos are no longer associated with a lack of photography experience. Since the dawn of autofocus mode and image stabilization, sharpness has become a boring quality when it comes to photographs. At the same time, the intentional blur effect has become a sign of artistic skill and courage.

Some renowned photographers including William Klein, Daidō Moriyama, and Rolf Sachs, used blurring as an artistic medium. This approach helps artists make their frame dynamic, draw attention to the main subject (by blurring either the background or foreground), or imitate the “spontaneity” of the shoot.

For example, here, you can almost feel the speed of the horses:

blurring photography horse running

And by looking here we can easily experience travel vibes:

blur photo friends in New York

If you’re still hesitant about blurring photography in your brand campaigns, or are unsure of the genre potential in general, we’re inviting you to check out our atmospheric collection of blurred images. You’ll also learn some facts about them.

See collection

*By clicking on the images, you will be redirected to the Depositphotos website where you can purchase them.


Where to use blurred photography

Blur images come in many variations and their type determines their usage scope. For example, abstract images are great as trendy backgrounds for a website or poster.

Blur photos in which some objects are in focus and others are blurry can easily fit into social media ads or brand posts online. This is because you can place text or a button in the “blurred” areas.

Do not forget about the aesthetic aspect! Blurry, artistic photos grab attention by being different from most online and offline content. This means your visuals based on blurry photos are more likely to attract attention and be memorable.

Watch our short video review of this spring’s color trends for a better picture.

Note that most of the photos we show as examples have blurred foregrounds or backgrounds


5 types of blur effects and how to take blurry pictures 

#1 Slow shutter speed + objects in motion (blurred motion photography)

This technique allows you to share the atmosphere of your shooting location. As waves crash against the shore, coasts, cities, and other details remain unchanged.

Master your motion photography skills with another blog article—The Basics of Capturing Motion in Photography.

blurring photography woman chair room

blur photo sea coastline

blur photo London cathedral


#2 Slow shutter speed + camera in motion 

This artistic technique allows us to take a fresh look at the world around us. Most often, photographers use it to achieve abstract compositions. You can learn more about this genre here Get into Abstract Photography! 5 Tips for Beginners.

blur photo flowers

blur photo forest

blurring photography night lights

See collection


#3 Wider aperture + slow shutter speed

This is how you can capture big city lights or the beauty of the sea in your blur photos. Images like this have a little bit of added magic to them, and are often associated with childhood or summer adventures.

blur photo sea vacations

blur photo New York

blur photo forest plant


#4 Manual focus on minor objects 

Photojournalism or scientific photography is no stranger to this visual effect, as it is something you achieve when using a macro lens or, conversely, a telephoto lens. Despite the fact that blurred backgrounds in documentary photography are caused by peculiarities in equipment, shots like this are valuable because they direct the viewer’s attention to the right point.

More details here—10 Tips for Better Macro Photography

blurring photography field plant

blurring photography crossroad race

blur photo gambling machine


#5 Post-production blurring or other custom effects  

Of course, there are also alternative methods to achieve a blurry effect in your images. For example, the radially blurring image filter was one of the first features on Instagram. If you shoot on film, then you have the opportunity to manipulate it during development.

Find more analog blurry photography ideas here—Good Old Film Photography: 6 Tips for Beginners. And if you want to dig deeper, explore our Guide to Bokeh Photography: Essential Tips on How to Use It.

blurring photography woman face

blur photo abstract

blur photo film man nostalgic

See collection


Wrapping up 

Blurring is not only an all-sufficient creative method mastered by many world-class photographers, but a promising type of content for brands.

Blurred areas of a photograph can contain marketing and social messages. Blurred photos stand out from social media content and look more spontaneous and authentic. In addition, they provoke emotion, such as nostalgia for vacations by the sea, and help us see beauty in a different way.

And if you’re not into the blurry aesthetic yet, be sure to try integrating some of our curated images into your next campaign. We are sure the results will exceed your expectations! 

For our blog readers: Images for as low as $0.80 Shop with discount

Depositphotos Blog Digest