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It seems to me that Photoshop offers an infinite range of possibilities for applying creative effects to any of your images. Of course the real challenge then becomes figuring out what you want to do and how you're going to do it. One of the key ways that you can apply a creative effect in Photoshop is through many of the artistic filters Let's take a look at an example of how you might apply a filter effect to an image. And I'm talking about just a single effect, just one thing that you are going to do to an image in order to change its appearance, potentially very drastically.
I have an image here that I'd like to add a distortion type of effect to. And so I'm going to start off by making a copy of the Background Image layer. The distortion effect I'll apply is certainly destructive. It's changing the position of pixels throughout the image. And so, I want to preserve the background image, so that if I decide later that the effect wasn't exactly what I wanted, I still have the original image to work with. I'll start by creating a copy of my Background Image layer. So, I'll simply click and drag the thumbnail for that Background Image layer, down to the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. When I release the mouse, you'll see that a background copy is created. I can then go to the Filter menu and choose any of the filters that are available for altering the appearance of the image. In this case, I'll go down to the Distort menu and I'll take a look at the Ripple Filter.
Now, there are many other options available to you and with time you'll become familiar with many of those other Filter Options, as well as the Filter Gallery which contains yet more Filters, but for now, let's keep it simple and just take a look at one single Filter. When I choose this command from the menu, the filter dialog will come up. Keep in mind that I am applying the filter effect to the background copy, so my underlying Background Image layer will be preserved. So any of the distortion effect I apply is really just happening to a copy of my image.
The original pixel values will be safely stored on that background layer. With most of the creative filters in Photoshop you'll have a variety of adjustments to choose from. Let's not worry about the particulars of which settings we might use for this particular filter and instead just think generally. You would probably want to play around with all of the various options for the filter that you're working with to get a better sense of what might be possible for the image. In this case, there is a size setting as well as an amount for the Ripple effect and, in fact, we can go with a positive or negative number if we'd like, but again, let's not worry about the particulars.
Just be aware that, for any given filter, there will. Will typically be some adjustments that are available to you. Ways that you can modify the effect on the image. In some cases, the filter effect will be previewed in the entire photo. In other cases, you'll only have a smaller preview in the dialog. It will just depend on the particular filter that you're using. Once you've established the settings for that filter, though, you can go ahead and click the OK button. In order to apply that effect to the photo. So as you can see, applying a single filter effect to an image is very, very easy.
In most cases I would work on a copy of the Background Image layer in order to preserve those original pixels. But otherwise just have fun playing with the various filters that are available. And seeing how you might use them to create an interesting interpretation of one of your photos.
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