The Photoshop Filter Gallery gets a bad rap. A rough application of a stock filter can quickly make a photograph look overdone or even passé, but it doesn’t have to. In 10 Tips for Photoshop Beginners, Aaron Nace shared some simple techniques you can use to make filtered images more interesting.
You aren’t guaranteed to get a good effect the first time you use a filter. As Aaron says, “It’s one of those things where you’ve got a pretty good chance of it looking horrible, but if you do it right it’ll look great.”
The trick to getting a filtered image to look great is to explore a combination of filters. Yes, you can combine them. Combining filters by applying one, then another, creates an entirely new effect that is more visually interesting and doesn’t feel generic.
“When you are in the filter gallery, I highly recommend clicking around — it’s going to give you a lot more options,” Aaron explains.
Simply swapping the order of your filters are will change the overall look. You can also control the intensity of each of the effects within the filter so you can really make a look that is totally your own.