Photoshop is one of those software programs in which you can do so much that it’s simply hard to describe. From retouching portraits to completely changing the look of a bland image you took, everything is possible here. A large part of this process relies on the use of Photoshop filters and Photoshop Effects. Photoshop Effects, in particular, are great for making quick changes to images of different kinds.
These effects are not the same as Photoshop filters as those are not very customizable and don’t always work well. The effects we’re going to talk about can be altered however you wish because they rely on a series of actions that you perform in Photoshop to achieve a final result. So with that said, this article is a collection of 50+ of the best Photoshop Effects tutorials that you can start using today.
Photoshop Effects for Portraits
From cool Photoshop Effects that make portraits look like they were taken on a movie set to amazing Photoshop lighting Effects that overhaul a portrait photo, these are some of the best you can give a try:
Photo Editing / Retouching
If you’re a portrait photographer, you know the importance of photo retouching. It’s one of those Photoshop Effects that are almost essential in your workflow. This Basic Photo Editing Tutorial will teach you all you need to know for free and you’ll be creating professional portrait photos with little or no imperfections in no time.
How to Digitally Add Shallow Depth of Field
If you’re into cool Photoshop Effects, then this free tutorial will help you add a fake depth of field effect to your portrait photos, which is something that elevates portraits instantly. Usually, a shallow depth of field is achieved by using a lens with a wide aperture but you may not have access to such a lens especially if you’re a beginner. That’s where this effect comes in.
Retouch Images with Frequency Separation
Using the right photo effects in Photoshop can take a bland image and turn it into an amazing one, just like this non-destructive way of enhancing details and retouching your portrait photos. Many people who retouch photos in Photoshop end up negatively impacting the natural details of the model’s skin so this effect can be a great help to such photographers.
If you’ve been trying to use Photoshop photo filters to try and reduce the wrinkles in your portrait shots, try this Wrinkle Reduction tutorial instead. It takes less than five minutes and is super effective!
Creating The Gritty, Trendy, High-Contrast, and Desaturated Look
If the name of this Photoshop Effect tutorial does not give it away already, it’s great to achieve a very gritty look for your portraits. Unlike the Photoshop filters you may be using already, this also gives you more control over the final image.
How To Make A Cinemagraph
A Cinemagraph is a photo that has a small portion of it animated for a unique look. This is a great effect to try out on portrait photos to turn them into really attractive GIFs, and this tutorial is all you need to give it a shot.
Evil Photo Effect
If you’re looking for cool Photoshop Effects, then the Evil Photo Effect is one you have to try. It’s a very unique effect that can make your portrait turn evil. The results it can lead to are really quite amazing so be sure to give this one a try if you like being more on the creative side of the photography spectrum.
Create a Pop Art Inspired by Roy Lichtenstein
Using cartoon effects in Photoshop isn’t always the best idea to make a presentable portrait photo. Instead, try this Pop Art Effect to turn your portrait into a piece of graphic design art. In no time, you’ll be able to create photos that look like Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art pieces.
Surreal Stitched Portrait
As far as cool Photoshop Effects go, this Surreal Stitched Portrait Effect is right up there with the best. It turns photos into very unique pieces of art that have to be seen to be believed.
Porcelain Skin Effect
Turning your portraits into ones that make them look like they’re made in porcelain is made possible with the Porcelain Skin Effect. It’s a cool way of achieving a unique look for your photos without using Photoshop’s own filters.
Movie Style Effect
To give your portrait shot the Hollywood treatment, try the Movie Style Photo Effect that gives images a pop of color and deepens the blacks at the same time to give them a movie-style look.\
Creating a Smoke Effect in your portrait photos for some aesthetic enhancement is easy with this tutorial. It adds realistic smoke that can really add depth and character to some portraits, especially if you’re trying to achieve a more dramatic look.
Adding Reflections to Sunglasses
One of the reasons why using photo effects in Photoshop is so cool is because they let you add subtle changes to photos to make them pop more. One such effect you can try is to add Reflections to Sunglasses.
Airbrushing – Natural Smooth Skin
To remove imperfections from your model’s skin, you can use this Airbrushing tutorial which makes skin look better without losing any of its natural texture. This is not something easy to achieve, so the fact that you can learn how to retain texture in a free tutorial is great.
Make Up Effect
Do you want to add some fake makeup to your portrait? With this Make Up Effect tutorial, you can do that very easily and convincingly to add some more color into your image.
Effects for a Vintage Look
Photoshop filters and Photoshop Effects are used for many different kinds of looks by photographers but one of the most common look people want to achieve with Photoshop photo filters is the vintage look. Here are some of the best Photoshop Effects tutorials you should try to achieve an amazing vintage photo:
Making your photo look like Lomo Photography is very easy with this cool Photoshop effect. It’s quick and easy to apply to your photos and has a very convincing look to it.
Lomo Light Leaks
Want to add some Lomo Light Leaks to a photo? This tutorial will show you how. It’s a great way to make any type of photo look vintage, whether it’s a portrait or a landscape since light leaks are one of the characteristics of older film cameras.
Old Film Effect
To get a film-inspired look, some of the things you have to consider are desaturated colors, low contrast, and some imperfections in your photos. Old Film Effect will help you achieve exactly that if you’re searching for vintage Photoshop lighting effects.
Film Edge Burns
Nothing says ‘vintage’ more than a photo with Film Edge Burns proudly coming through as that is one of the characteristics of a retro photograph. Try this Photoshop Effect and you won’t want to use Photoshop’s own photo filters again.
Grungy and Dirty Retro Photo Effect
Visual imperfections were one of the main things you could see in film photos and that is also what added a whole lot of character and texture to images. To recreate that look, this Photoshop Effect’s tutorial is not to be missed.
Creating the Nashville Effect
If you’ve tried using lighting effects in Photoshop to recreate the ‘Nashville’ filter from Instagram, then this tutorial is just what you need to give your photos the highly cool retro vibe that the filter offers to Instagram users. This is especially useful since you can’t easily use Instagram’s own filters to save photos unless you post them to your account.
Light Leaks and Lomo Effects
For lovers of Lomo, here’s another tutorial that uses photo effects in Photoshop to give you a very trendy, yet retro Lomo-inspired photo with plenty of light leaks to add to the vintage vibe.
Vintage Toy Camera
If you’re more of a fan of the toy camera aesthetic, then this video tutorial is perfect for you. It uses various blending modes within Photoshop to create texture and light leaks, giving your digital photos a toy camera look.
Creating the Earlybird Effect
Another one for you Instagram lovers. The Earlybird filter is a great one to turn everyday photos instantly into vintage ones. That’s why cool Photoshop Effects like this one exist so you can recreate Instagram’s filters with ease.
Trendy Retro Effect
For a blend of modern and retro, use the Trendy Retro Effect. It doesn’t make photos look completely vintage if you don’t want it to, but rather adds enough of a retro feel to make any photo look really unique.
Vintage Black & White Effect
Turning photos black & white in Photoshop is pretty easy with Photoshop filters. But if you want to give them a vintage look and feel as well as making them black & white, then this tutorial is the perfect one for you to try.
Authentic Grainy Effect
Adding the Authentic Grainy Effect to your Black & White photos will completely change the way they look. It’ll add a subtle grain to the photos which is something common with old film photos. Grain not only makes photos look old but also adds a very interesting pattern and texture to them.
Lith Printing Look
Using the lithographic developer, photographers used to create very unique black & white images that had some warmth to them as well. With the power of Photoshop Effects, you can achieve a very similar with the Lith Printing Look tutorial.
The Vintage Yourself! tutorial is perfect for those who want a rich, warm vintage look in their photos. It adds a drastic change with lots of texture to portrait photos that is something very pleasing.
Grungy and Scratched Frame
This is a rather fun vintage effect that adds an old, scratched frame to your photos. It also edits the photos to make them look part of the frame, and it does a convincing job of it.
Effects for Highly Creative Photos
While most of the Photoshop Effects tutorials mentioned above are geared towards portraits, landscapes, and urban shots, the following ones can be used on any number of images to give them a completely unique look. These are effects to be experimented with to achieve highly creative results:
Cool Watercolor Effects
Want to turn your photo into a watercolor painting? With the Cool Watercolor Effects tutorial, you can add splashes of color as well as brush strokes to your images, making them look like cool artworks.
The complete name of this tutorial is ‘Design Vintage Artwork with Old Newspaprt and Watercolor Brush in Photoshop’ and there is no better way to describe it any further than saying that the effect it produces is pretty awesome.
Portrait Photo to Color Sketch
Want to convert your photo into a sketch but also want to retain its colors? The Photoshop filters won’t help you a lot in this case but the Portrait Photo to Color Sketch tutorial will. It’s a very impressive way to convert any photo into a colored sketch.
Dead Zone Blur Streaks Effects
A motion blur effect can really make any photo look like it came straight out of a movie. It’s a very cool way of adding a sense of speed to some photos while making others look very creative.
Partial Color Effect
The Partial Color Effect is great for images in which you want certain parts to be colored and others to be black and white. It can bring focus to a selected object in your frame or make for a very appealing and unique portrait.
Oil Painting Effect
You can use Photoshop’s photo filters to turn photos into something akin to a painting, but those effects aren’t very convincing. Use this Oil Painting Effect tutorial to create some realistic oil painting-photo hybrids that are sure to fool people.
I mean, why wouldn’t you want to turn a portrait of your best friend into a creepy-looking alien? That’s exactly what Alienize does and if you’re thinking it does a tacky job of that, you’re wrong. Try it out and see for yourself how great the end result looks.
Master Lighting Effects
Using Master Lighting Effects in Photoshop, you can do a lot of stuff. Adding textures, light streaks, a subtle glow, and using reflections to create a cool piece of digital art is made very easy with this tutorial. It takes a little time to get a hang of everything you can do, but the results are worth it.
This tutorial by Pete Harrison is all about using stock photos and Photoshop’s own tools to create epic lighting effects to turn bland photos into sparkling artworks. From color light spots and beam to the use of splatter effects, there’s a lot to learn here.
Worn Out Psychedelic Poster
Looking for cartoon effects in Photoshop? We’ve got something better. This tutorial teaches you how to make a cool, funky, colorful, psychedelic poster in Photoshop with the use of various tools within Photoshop.
Create a Circle Polyorama
Have you ever seen those images where the whole scene is converted into a globe floating in the sky? That’s called a Circle Polyorama and this tutorial will teach you how you can make one. It’s one of the best and most creative ways to convert a completely boring street or cityscape into a cool piece of art.
Photoshop Effects that can help create images that look like movie posters are very popular among users. That’s why this Dark Summoner Photo Effect tutorial is something you need to give a try. It can help you create an image where your model looks like the villain in a horror movie, summoning the dead from thin air.
Face Slice Wooden Effect
If, for whatever reason, you want the face of your model sliced into different pieces with wooden texture, then this tutorial can help you out with that. It may not be the most realistic result you’ll achieve, but it sure is something very jarring.
Ghostly Horror-Themed Photo Manipulation
Using the power of Photoshop’s adjustment layers and its various color grading options, you can get some serious photo manipulation done in order to create a horror movie poster. All you need is a smoke texture, and photos of a girl and some children and follow this tutorial to get started. The end result will be so great that you’ll understand exactly why Photoshop Effects are so useful for photographers.
Thermal Photo Effect
The Thermal Photo Effect tutorial is perfect for those of you who are looking for cool Photoshop Effects to try out on your portraits. Using different tools within Photoshop, you can easily convert a normal portrait into one that looks like it was taken with a thermal camera.
Animal Double Color Exposure
Photoshop is nothing if not a way to create highly unique and creative photos out of very simple ones. The photo effects in Photoshop are so extensive that you can use them in various combinations to get different results. This video tutorial teaching you how to merge a human portrait and an animal portrait into one while adding splashes of color to create a double exposure photograph is the perfect example of this.
Place Text Behind Object
If you like using Photoshop Effects to turn images into posters, then the ability to Place Text Behind an Object will be of great help to you. With this easy tutorial, you’ll be able to freely place the text anywhere in your photo behind any object you desire.
Portrait Sketch Effect
This Portrait Sketch Effect tutorial is great for those looking for cartoon effects in Photoshop. The reason is that this is not as tacky as most cartoon effects but rather the perfect blend of posterized and realistic. Use it to turn any portrait into a scribbled sketch with prominent pencil marks and splashes of color at the same time.
Typography Photo Effect
There are few things cooler than a combination of typography and a portrait photo. This is the kind of thing you can’t really do with Photoshop’s photo filters which is why the Typography Photo Effect tutorial is something you should try.
Cyborg Human Face
Want to make a Cyborg Human Face in Photoshop? Using various tools and manipulation techniques within Photoshop, you can do this very easily and convincingly. This tutorial will help you edit any portrait you want in this way, allowing you to develop cool artworks that are fit to be on a movie poster.
Day to Night
And last but not least, here’s a tutorial that helps you create daytime images into nighttime images. This technique, known as Day for Night, can come in handy when you’ve taken a photo of a beautiful street without people walking in it and some really nice buildings and elements like street lamps but you feel like the scene would look much better at night. Well, turning it into a night scene is as easy as three simple steps you can perform in Photoshop.
And with that, we conclude our list of the 50+ best Photoshop Effects Tutorials you can try. It doesn’t matter what kind of photographer you are. You can use these Photoshop Effects to enhance your photos, make them look different than they are, or completely change them if you so desire. Using such photo effects in Photoshop is how professional photographers create such awesome images that are used not only in their own work but in the work of other industry professionals like musicians and moviemakers. So what are you waiting for? Try some of these amazing effects for yourself and start making creative images!