If you think that filters are all about making photos look as if they’ve been painted with a watercolor brush or drawn by hand, you’re only half right—Photoshop filters can do much more than create simple art effects. They come in handy for all sorts of photo-editing jobs—from giving a subject a makeover to drawing attention to the focal point of your photo. This article explains how filters work, introduces you to our 10 favorite filters for working with digital photos, and shows you how to use them. We’ll also show you how to find, install, and use some of the many thousands of filters available on the Internet.
Filters To Go
Like most graphics software, Photoshop comes with a range of filters already installed. These filters, grouped by category, are accessible from the Filters menu (and some are also accessible from the Filter Gallery). The Filter Gallery is a one-stop shop for many filters, displaying them in a format that enables you to try them out without repeatedly opening and closing dialog boxes. You can also apply multiple filters at once.
Most Photoshop filters require you to be working with 8-bit RGB images. If you’re working with a 16-bit image, many of the filters will be grayed out on the Filter menu and inaccessible. To convert an image to 8-bit, choose Image > Mode and select the 8 Bits Per Channel option. You can now apply the filter to your image.
Some filters aren’t available if you are working in CMYK color mode; you must be working in RGB color mode to use them. To convert an image from CMYK to RGB, choose Image > Mode > RGB Color.