View Full Version : fun photo filters or tricks?

05-12-2006, 02:20 PM
hey all!

I recently took photos at acen-- wondering, does anyone know any cool filters or tricks on photoshop?

I see people do the "dream shots" hazy blurry filter- but no idea how to go about doing it.

any tips would be appreciated!

Ami Yuy
05-12-2006, 04:14 PM
There are many ways to do the blurry shots. The only way I've really done it is: - Make a duplicate of the background layer
- Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur (whatever amount I want)
- Adjust the Blending Mode of the layer to whatever fits the best (Screen, Overlay, and Soft Light work nicely depending on the image)
- Adjust Opacity of the layer to my satisfaction

I attached a sample of this with the original image and then an edited one (Gaussian Blur 9.9, Screen, 50% opacity). It's not the best example, but it's what I had easily accessible to edit at the moment.

05-12-2006, 11:23 PM
Ami Yuy's technique is pretty much the standard technique for doing so. I remember seeing the exact technique applied to wedding photos somewhere. I usually prefer smaller radii and lower opacities myself, but no blend mode. Typically about 5px for the blur, plus about a 20-30% opacity with no blending (Normal mode, versus screen) usually gives me a nice softness without overwhelming the underlying image. Works especially well if you've added sharpening to the lower layer already.

As for filters, I'll throw my recommendation behind a favorite from the DPReview forums: optikVerve Labs' virtualPhotographer (http://optikvervelabs.com/). The presets in the filter can handle a lot of neat special effects, including a soft focus blur overlay on top of the images. And it's a free but powerful filter. For a lot of special photographic effects, I usually turn to it first.

05-13-2006, 05:58 AM
Wow! I hadn't seen that one. I'll be downloading it when I get home!!

I have found this to be a somewhat fun action set:
Alienskin's Exposure.

Unfortunately, I can't boast a free download, so I lose here. This pack will run you just under US$200.00.

I have it, and it is very rare that I use it, since I tend to like perfect images, and only distort manually a small portion of the time. BUT, for the times I wanted to recreate my chemical darkroom in my digital darkroom, this can't be beat. Great film feel.


05-17-2006, 12:28 PM
You can try the free program from Google Picasa2 http://picasa.google.com

It is very fast and easy to do quick editing such as soft glow, blurring, bw/ colored effects, etc. I wish it had some more fine tuning such as ammount of sharpen (it's either off or +++ sharp) and a way to darken too bright photos (has controls to brighten).

I use it to spit out webpages of selected photos and you can even make a CD slide show program.

Best thing about this program is that you can edit your photos as much as you want and it will not affect your original images (they are left untouched). It will save the edited photos to a new folder.

- I am in no way a member of the program team - I wish I had a paying job like that :razz:

05-17-2006, 12:52 PM
Good tutorials.

05-18-2006, 09:43 AM
- Adjust the Blending Mode of the layer to whatever fits the best (Screen, Overlay, and Soft Light work nicely depending on the image)

I assume this is the soft-blur effect we're talking about here? I usually do the same thing, but go into CMYK so that I can apply the blurring to only the luminosity channel. (Though, admittedly, this often doesn't produce a noticably different result from doing it in RGB.)

But these "blending modes," what do they do?

05-18-2006, 10:27 PM
Im sure this is not the forum where I should ask this, but since it seems you are all awesome photoshoppers and since Im not, I have a question maybe someone can answer. Id be really happy and would prefer this than making a whole thread n.n

When I open a picture in PS, why do the image's colors change? Like the purple tuns blue and stuff.
If anyone needs, I can screencap.
My brother says maybe the adjustments are moved, but Id lie if I tell you I know where to put it normal again.

thank you very much.

05-19-2006, 12:08 AM
Sometimes the colours on your camera, may not match with the actual colour in the photo taken, which could be why there are differences in colour when you see the image on the computer, since the camera's screen can't output as many colours? That's what I've been told. So I'm not so suree :(

05-19-2006, 09:14 AM
When I open a picture in PS, why do the image's colors change? Like the purple tuns blue and stuff.
If anyone needs, I can screencap.

My first guess would be a calibration problem with your monitor. Are you using CRT or LCD? Mac or PC? The quickest solution would probably be to check your monitors control panel and see if you can change anything there, such as the color tempurature or monitor profile. If you have another monitor, use it and see if you have the same problem. If it looks different again, it's probably your computer settings.

There's a hundred other problems that could cause, this, though. If you're using an older point-and-shoot, you could have processing problems or memory corruption on your stick. Depending on how severe it is, you may just need to adjust your white balance (this would actually be my second guess). Under the lighting conditions you shoot, the eye will see a shade of blue or red, but the brain will tell you it's white. Photoshop does have an automatic correction tool for this, though you may need to use a more specific levels or curves layer to fix it. (Pretty much every serious photographer will adjust these things a bit, at least for some images.)

If it's a really horrible problem, though, go ahead and post. I think a new thread would be fine.

05-19-2006, 09:15 AM
Speaking of filters and tricks, anybody familiar with cross-processing?

05-19-2006, 10:12 AM

To me, it sounds like you are having a problem between color profiles. To me, it sounds like you're dealing with gamut differences between photoshop and your camera.

You need to find out what your PS workspace is in, and what your camera is recording.

Most often camera's are set default to record in sRGB. The other common gamut is adobeRGB. adobeRGB utilizes a wider gamut that is condusive to printing, whereas sRGB is more limited to the scope of monitors.

When you open the image in internet explorer (or firefox, opera, etc) does the color seem to be properly colored? If so, your workspace in photoshop is overriding your sRGB embedded profile.

Do my test, about opening it in internet explorer, let me know the results. If I am right, its a simple fix and I, or someone else can explain how to change your workspace cololr profile in photoshop.


05-19-2006, 01:36 PM
Speaking of filters and tricks, anybody familiar with cross-processing?

Alien Skin Exposure Plugin: One of the best photoshop plugins that will make your photos look like one of the dozens of real chemical cross processed images plus a bunch of other effects. It's not cheap though, $200.


Few sites with cross-process manual techniques:


05-19-2006, 05:55 PM
LOL AdamN, look about 9 posts above yours. lol.

05-19-2006, 11:44 PM
Do my test, about opening it in internet explorer, let me know the results.

Yueri's results are:
The image only looks weird on PS.

I attached an image that shows the difference n.n

Thanks everyone, Im sorry Im not talking about this subject... u.u.... but I really appreciate the help n.n

05-20-2006, 08:38 AM
Thats what I thought.

First thing I want you to examine is to see if youre working in a proof setup.

On the photoshop menu bar, click view. A menu will drop, and on that menu is 'proof colors'. Ensure that is UNCHECKED (no check next to it). If it is checked, it may cause the display of a different colorspace. So if it WAS checked, and you unchecked it, it may have solved the problem.

If it wasn't checked, or unchecking it didnt solve the problem, make sure it is unchecked now, and try this:

On the ps menu, click Image. The roll over "Mode". A pullout menu will pop up with a list of colorspaces. Make sure RGB is checked. If any other colors are checked, change it to RGB.

If RGB was already checked, or you have checked it and you still have a problem, try the next step.

Either way, RGB should now be checked, as well as proof (from above) unchecked.

NOW, try this, assuming youve done everything else above to no avail (Dont want to mess with your workspace unless others didn't fix it):

On the PS menu, click Edit, then down to "Color Settings". A window will pop up with your color settings.


There will be a pull down menu at the top of the window. Click on the pull down tab, you will see 'Web Graphics Default" as an option. Click on that. See if your colors look right in your picture. If they do, YAY, click 'OK'.

If they dont, pull the same menu down again. This time choose "U.S. Prepress Defaults". Are the colors right now? If yes, click ok. If no, click cancel.

Then come back to the forum and report.

Hopefully you come and tell me your picture looks right. YAY. If not, I will explore more options with you. Typically, though, this is the solution.

Good luck, and I look forward to hearing how it worked out for you!

05-20-2006, 08:53 AM
LOL AdamN, look about 9 posts above yours. lol.

Woops, feh, that's what happens when I just quick read at work. Oh well, anyways the other free cross-process stuff is good but takes some time if you want to do a bunch of photos.

05-20-2006, 10:46 AM
I can't stand making sharp pictures fuzzy =P Hehehe

If faced with dire backgrounds, I might end up putting on several layers with gaussian blur at different amounts. Then I use layer masks to keep the parts of the picture I want sharp, while also blending in the layers of blur to make it look smoother and more natural.

As for filters, I only really use one that's fun to play with:

"It creates a history state when it starts so that you can always go back to your original version. It also creates a layer set to hold the work that it does so that your document stays tidy. It has a single setting that you can change in the file if you want to (it basically allows you to change whether or not it does a time-intensive lens blur on the images). You can also set it to prompt you each time. See the comments. By default it is set to do the blur layer without a prompt.

To use scripts in PS you just go to File->Scripts->Browse and select this file once you have downloaded it. You can also put it in your PS scripts directory and it will show up in the Scripts menu."
- conceptDawg @ flickr.com

Oh, you need to have at least CS to have the script work. And it's very cool looking.

05-20-2006, 11:02 AM
T.T *cries*

u.u not working...

Thank you very much for helping me out! n.n
Im so angry my PS is the only one thats weird! ò.ó

Thanks again!

05-21-2006, 01:29 AM
thanks so much all!

I checked out the optikverve plug in... it's amazing!! :)