How to Subtly Use Photoshop Filters

Within the Adobe Photoshop software are solutions for photo editing and working with digital graphics. These include Photoshop filters that can be used to subtly transform and enhance photographs or graphics. In addition to the included plug-ins found in Adobe Photoshop, there are also plug-ins that you can install for more filter options.

Filters can be used to create layered images and then apply effects to the layers to produce a desired result. You can change photos to black and white, soften an image, add a particular tint or tone, and adjust the contrast and saturation and more.

The most effective results can be found with the subtle use of Photoshop filters. Many effects can be produced with just a few the clicks of your mouse. Below are the steps to manipulate your image.

Step 1: Select an Image

Open the desired image file that you want to enhance. You will be working with layers of this image to enable more creativity and control in producing a finished image. The Photoshop filters that you use will be applied to some of the layers to produce the desired effects. If you only change a few layers, your effects will be more subtle.

Step 2: Choose a Portion of Your Image

Using your mouse, you can select a portion of your image with an elliptical marquee, magnetic lasso or magic wand tool. You can also choose a particular portion of your image (layer) by choosing "Select" then "Inverse". To apply the filter you wish to use to a layer, make the layer active by selecting it.

Step 3: Select a Filter

From the filters menu, choose the filter you wish to use. In an extended menu, there are additional categories of effects you may also use. Click on the desired filter to see the effect on your selected layer. This may take a few minutes as some effects render slower while your computer processes the image change in the file.

Step 4: Adjust the Filter

Make adjustments to your Photoshop filter parameters. You can adjust the filter to make subtle effects that will be made to your selected layer. You can add texture, soften or sharpen the image using a virtual brush. By previewing your image to check your progress, you can keep trying different settings until the desired effect is achieved.

You can also use multiple filters on a single layer of your image. This allows for artistic creativity and interesting effects. From the styles palette, you can try other options to enhance your image. To subtly use Photoshop filters, you should not use more than two filters on a single layer.

As you try different effects and options, remember that you can return to the original image by accessing the history window.

Step 5: Save Your Image

Once you are happy with the effects produced by the filters, save your image. Make sure to use "Save As" and rename your image so it will not overwrite your original file. By doing this, you will still have a copy of the original file.

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