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How to Change a Background in Lightroom

Published: 09/07/2021

Lightroom offers a large variety of image editing tools that mainly focus on the color and texture of your images. Using this incredible software, you can change the background of photos in multiple ways. This guide will show you how to change the background in Lightroom using different ways.

How to Change a Background in Lightroom 

The background is undoubtedly the deciding factor of images. It can either make or break the complete appearance and impression of your photos. When you capture a photo or create a new graphic from scratch, you might not be satisfied with the background. Thankfully, Lightroom allows you to change that.

You can use different tools and techniques offered by Lightroom to produce different background results on any of your regular images. You can use these tools to change the appearance, texture, and color of the backgrounds.

In this tutorial, we will be looking at different ways of transforming the background of your images with just a few simple clicks.

Changing the Background in Lightroom

You can quickly transform the look of your images by changing the background in Lightroom. We will be looking at different methods of changing the background in the Lightroom. From the color to the texture, there are various ways of 

Blurring the Background in Lightroom

You can change the texture of your background in Lightroom by blurring it. There are multiple ways through which you can easily blur the background in Lightroom. Here, we will look at two of the easiest methods of blurring the background of your images.

Blur the Background with Brushes

Here are the steps to follow if you want to blur the background of your images using the brushes:

  1. Launch Lightroom and import your images into it. Here is the image that we will be using:
Image of a bedroom in Lightroom
  1. Now, switch over to the develop module and hover your cursor over to the editing panel present on the right side of the screen.
  2. Pick up the adjustment brush tool from the panel. The icon for this looks like a makeup brush.
  3. You can then change the setting for this brush so that it matches your requirements.
  4. Now, paint over the background of your image to select this area.
  5. Now, again go to the editing panel and navigate to the Sharpness slider. Move this slider to the left side. This will decrease the sharpness of the background, making it blurry and have a different texture from before.
  6. Here is how our image looks now:
Blurring the background with brushes

Blur the Background with Radial Filters

To change the background of your image, you can also make it blurry using the radial filters. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Launch Lightroom and open/import your image in Lightroom.
  2. Now, switch to the Develop module and hover your cursor over to the editing panel on the right side of your workspace.
  3. Select the Radial filter from the panel. The icon for this tool is the second one from the right and looks like an empty circle.
Radial Filter option in Lightroom
  1. Now, with the radial filter tool in your hand, click on the center of your object and drag it outward. This will form an oval shape around your object, isolating it from the background.
  2. Now, go back to the editing panel, find the sharpness slider, and move it to the left. You will then see that the background becomes blurry while the rest of the image remains intact.

Darkening the Background in Lightroom

You can also change the background of your images in Lightroom by making them completely black.

Here are the steps to follow for it:

  1. Launch Lightroom and open up the image whose background you want to change.
  2. Now, go over to the develop module.
  3. Pick up the adjustment tool brush from the editing panel present on the right side of your develop module workspace.
  4. Now, with the adjustment brush tool in your hand, paint over the background.
  5. Once you are satisfied with the selection of the background, you can quickly transform it into black.
  6. Go to the editing panel and bring the sliders for Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, and Saturation all the way down to zero.
  7. The background of your image will become completely black, as shown in the image below:
Image with a darkened background in Lightroom

Whitening the Background in Lightroom

Another method to change the background of your images in Lightroom is by making them completely white. Here are the steps to follow for this:

  1. Launch Lightroom and open the image you want to work on.
  2. Switch over to the develop module.
  3. Go to the editing panel on the right side of your screen.
  4. Pick up the adjustment brush tool from the editing panel.
  5. Using this tool, paint over the background of your image.
  6. Now, from the ‘Effect’ tab in the editing panel, bring down the sliders for Exposure and Whites all the way to the right.
  7. This will change the background of your image into a solid white, as shown in the image below:
Image with a whitened background in Lightroom

Changing the Color of the Background

Using this method you can easily change the background color to a large variety of colors available on the color spectrum. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Launch Lightroom and open up the images that you want to work on.
  2. Go to the Develop module to edit your image.
  3. Hover your cursor over to the editing panel toolbar present on the right side of your develop module workspace. Now, from this panel, pick the Adjustment Brush Tool.
  4. With the adjustment brush tool in your hand, paint over the background of your image.
  5. As you paint over the background, you will see a red color all over the background. This is to demonstrate the area that you have selected. 
  6. Once you are done highlighting the background of your image, you can change it to any color that you want. All you have to do is go to the ‘Color’ section on the editing panel and pick any color of your choice from the color swatch. Once you pick a color, your selected background will change to this new color. 
  7. As you can see in the image below that we have changed the background to blue color:
Image with an edited blue background in Lightroom

Conclusion

Now you know various ways of changing the background of your images in Lightroom. Learn these methods and make them a part of your image editing workflow in Lightroom. You will be amazed at what a simple change in the background can do to the overall look of your images.

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