Use the Harris Shutter Effect to shake up a psychedelic storm in Photoshop

Harris shutter effect
(Image credit: Chris George)

There are lots of differences between Photoshop CC and Photoshop Elements (and other Photoshop alternatives, for that matter), but many are minor or irrelevant to photographers. Some are more significant, however, particularly when it comes to advanced techniques. Photoshop’s Channels facility is one such feature, and in this tutorial we’ll show you how to use it to create a spectacular special effect.

All digital cameras capture color and tone using a combination of just three primary colors – red, green and blue (RGB). Every pixel in an image is made up of
a combination of these three hues. In full versions of Photoshop, you can access and manipulate images by looking at these colors in separate plates or layers, also known as Channels. This can be particularly useful when you’re creating a mask or cutout, as the outline may be more visible in a single channel than in the RGB image.

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 


His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 15 Pro Max.


He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.