34 Photoshop effects every photographer must try

34 Photoshop effects every photographer must try

Killer Photoshop effects 16-20

Best Photoshop Effects: 16 Create art with the Oil Paint filter

Best Photoshop Effects: 16 Create art with the Oil Paint filter
Even if you’re not a big fan of Adobe’s past attempts at ‘art’ effects, the new Oil Paint filter is definitely worth a look. It comes much closer to recreating the look of real brush strokes and offers plenty of customisation options, too.

Best Photoshop Effects: 16 Create art with the Oil Paint filter

The key sliders are Cleanliness and Scale. Cleanliness changes the size and definition of the paint strokes, while Scale affects the appearance of surface texture. Carry out your own experiments to find a look that you like.

 

Best Photoshop Effects: 17 Remove objects with the 
Content-Aware Fill tool

Best Photoshop Effects: 17 Remove objects with the 
Content-Aware Fill tool
You can save yourself a lot of tedious cloning with Photoshop’s new Content-Aware Fill tool. It doesn’t always work, but it’s so quick, it’s always worth a try.

Best Photoshop Effects: 17 Remove objects with the 
Content-Aware Fill tool

First, select an object you want to remove with the Freehand Lasso tool, then use the Edit>Fill command and choose Content-Aware from the Use menu.

Best Photoshop Effects: 17 Remove objects with the 
Content-Aware Fill tool

Photoshop then magically (it doesn’t tell you how, in other words) selects surrounding details to fill in the gap. Sometimes it’s spectacularly successful, and sometimes it leaves you with a little more manual cloning to do, but much less than before.

 

Best Photoshop Effects: 18 Split-toning with a Gradient
Map Adjustment Layer

Best Photoshop Effects: 18 Split-toning with a Gradient
Map Adjustment Layer
Split-toning effects apply one colour to the dark parts of a black and white picture and a different one to the bright parts. They can be tricky to get right, but here’s a very easy method that’s also non-destructive.

Best Photoshop Effects: 18 Split-toning with a Gradient
Map Adjustment Layer

First, create a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer, then create a custom gradient that’s black at the left, white at the right, but has two additional colour stops towards the left and right ends of the gradient.

Click the left colour stop to choose the shadow tone colour, and click the right colour stop to choose the colour for toning the highlights.

 

Best Photoshop Effects: 19 Add a dramatic zoom blur effect

Best Photoshop Effects: 19 Add a dramatic zoom blur effect
Zoom blur effects are created by zooming out quickly during the exposure to create a radial blur effect that gives a strong sense of movement and focus.

You can do it digitally using Photoshop’s Radial Blur filter, which gives you much more control than doing the blur in-camera. First, select Zoom as the Blur Method.

Best Photoshop Effects: 19 Add a dramatic zoom blur effect

Now drag the Blur Center gadget to where you estimate the centre of your picture to be. Adjust the Amount – this controls the length of the blur ‘streaks’ – and click OK.

If it’s not quite right, hit Cmd/Ctrl+Z to undo it, then try again with modified settings.

 

Best Photoshop Effects: 20 Iris blur effect

Best Photoshop Effects: 20 Iris blur effect
Photos often look better with a differential focus effect that leaves your main subject sharply focused but defocuses the rest of the picture.

It’s not always possible to achieve this when you take the picture, but you can now simulate it convincingly using Photoshop’s new Iris Blur filter (Filter>Blur>Iris Blur).

Best Photoshop Effects: 20 Iris blur effect

You drag the blur gadget so that it’s centred over the area of the image that you want to keep sharp, and then use the other controls to define the blur characteristics.

There’s an outer ellipse, which represents the outside where the image is fully blurred, and an inner ellipse, which represents the area that will stay completely sharp.

Each of these has drag handles so that you can resize these zones independently – the area in between is where the transition from fully sharp to fully blurred takes place.

This isn’t based on any scientific theory about focus planes and zones of sharpness. It’s up to you to position the Iris Blur gadget and adjust the control handles to achieve the most realistic-looking effect.

That said, with a little skill and judgment, its possible to create attractive – and convincing – depth-of-field effects with just a little effort.

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