advanced photoshop

Tips feature preview: 20 Pro photo effects

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Magazine previews, by Adam Smith

We spoke with 20 different artists to get their best tips for making your photos stand out from the crowd

Example tip
Irene Zeleskou,
Adjustment layers are perfect for this kind of style – or any edit for that matter – because we can always go back and dynamically change the settings according to our taste. To get this Lomo effect, I started with a Selective Color adjustment layer, which enables you to pick the colour you want to adjust and then use the sliders to increase or decrease that hue. The beauty with adjustment layers is that you can apply them on top of one another, so if the effect is too subtle you can just add an extra one on top. Try removing sky reflections from the ground to achieve a richer colour depth. You can’t go too mad with this process otherwise you’ll blow the values – small adjustments on many layers is the way to go. To add warmth, add a Levels adjustment layer to introduce some yellow and then add an empty layer at the top of the stack to further edit the picture. With a large soft airbrush, I used a brown to paint a vignette at the corners and also added some pale yellow on the central areas to boost the feeling of light. Adjust the opacity to get realistic results. A Black and White adjustment layer was added to the top – this fixes values and can give amazing results using different Blend Modes, for example Soft Light.

Example tip
Jasmin Junger,
I began by cropping the start image of the woman to a square ratio, with her body marking the middle of the canvas. During the next steps I also added a few layers of paint (with a soft round brush and a tablet) to mask out her legs. Next I added decay/grunge textures across the whole image (Blend Modes: Hard Light, Soft Light, Overlay, different opacities). I used layer masks (on Groups) to keep her arms and face clean. The red flowers were partly used in Normal Blend Mode (middle of the skirt, to appear solid) and applied like texture layers all across the skirt. Layer masks were used for soft transitions (using the Gradient tool). The colours were added using layers with Radial to Transparent gradients, set to Hard Light at a reduced opacity. I picked the red and blue from the canvas and decided to add the yellow to enhance the primary colours. The finishing touches were to paint on the glow using a soft round brush with the Opacity set to Pen Pressure. The very top of the many layers used here is set to Color Dodge to create that vivid light.

Read more in Advanced Photoshop 103, now on sale at and

Tips feature preview: 20 Pro photo effects