With the launch of the new HTC One (M8) and its Duo Camera, we'll be seeing a lot more photos taken with a shallow depth of field and a gloriously blurred out background. It's common to see on photos taken with proper cameras, but less so on smartphones. But it looks awesome when it comes out well.
Some use software or trickery to create the effect artificially. Nokia Refocus for example takes a selection of shots at different focal lengths to allow you to change the focus on the picture after you've taken it. There's also a pretty popular app here on Android, After Focus, that lets you get your blur on.
It works very simply. You can either shoot a photo from within the app – still using the phone's stock camera app it seems – or choose one from your gallery. On the LG G2 I lost a lot of the cool scene modes like HDR shooting using the app, so I'd always recommend taking the pictures first if you're being ultra creative.
There are then two methods to helping you blur out the background while keeping your focal point nice and sharp. There's smart mode, and a manual mode. Smart asks you to define areas of focus and background and it'll figure it out. Manual lets you 'color in' all the areas you want to keep in sharp and mid focus.
It's actually pretty good at what it does, and it does blur out the backgrounds nicely. But, it's only as accurate as you are. And with my fat fingers that sometimes leaves distinct edges where I don't want them to be. It might be better with a capacitive stylus if you have one, but I'd recommend manual mode over Smart every time.
It's free to try out – you do get ads – so give it a whirl. If you're liking some of what you're seeing with the HTC One (M8) camera, try this out to artificially create something similar of your very own. If you've got any similar apps you recommend, drop them into the comments below!