Tuesday, February 9

CoffeeShop Editing 101 - Fun with Photoshop Photo Filters!

You have probably played with a Photo Filter adjustment layer in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements... They are a quick and easy way to add a faux filter effect to your photos without having to mess with putting actual colored filters on your camera.

Yes, I did this back in the day of film and it was a PITA at times trying to find the perfect color filter at the camera store, then remember to pack it for your glamorous photoshoot (out in the back pasture where you were taking photos of weeds), and get it on that annoying little contraption mounted on your camera.

Page forward to the digital film age and you can duplicate the look of most filters using Photoshop. Today I am going to show you how you can add a color AND contrast boost to you images using a single Photo Filter adjustment layer.

Recognize this photo... Yes, I know, I told you I was lazy. Well, maybe just busy chasing after my two boys and grabbing a photo on my desktop for this tutorial. :-)
Add a Photo Filter adjustment layer.
Here I have select a warming filter and set the density at 75%. Oh, that is a bit orange, but no problem!
I simply change the blending mode from Normal to Soft Light. Now I have some contrast boost AND a slight warming effect. See, many people put Photo Filter layers in Normal or Color Blending mode, and if they want a contrast boost they add another layer or do another step. However, if you want a slight color tint and contrast boost, this is a quick and easy method. You can also use other blending modes like Overlay or Hard Light and adjust the layer opacity.
Why not try a violet filter?
Or the Underwater filter. Innnterestinnng, I can't remember ever buying an underwater filter for my camera. ;-)
I have to try Deep Yellow.
And why not try Sepia? Not bad!

Remember, you can adjust the filter color and density "on the fly" while watching your image by add the filter layer and then double-clicking on the little layer Photo Filter image. You can also add a few different photo filters. I sometimes even duplicate the photo filter layer if I want more contrast/color boost. Or add one photo filter layer in Color blending mode, the second in Soft Light. Don't be afraid to play!

See how simple it was to get a color and contrast boost with one Photo Filter layer? Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and you are inspired to go out there and edit your photos. :-)

I have the most generous readers in the world! I want to thank all of you who have been donating to the CoffeeShop, especially in these trying times. Thank you so much!!! Ads and donations keep this blog going, so I really appreciate everyone making my hobby possible. ;-)

I also am going to try to get my little sis Heather to post over here sometimes. She is an amazing SAHM to two little kids, wonderful sister, and creative logo designer. One of these days I need to tell the story how she started working with me at CoffeeShop. I don't mention her much, but she is an inspiration to me (not to mention drop-dead gorgeous). I am so thrilled to be working with Heather, even though she lives hours away. At least now she has to call me more. ;-)

If you have any questions, please post them them in my CoffeeShop Flickr Group!


  1. Oh awesome! Thanks for sharing this tip, can't wait to try it out!

  2. You always have the best tips and tutorials for PSE users! Thank you!

  3. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your posts. They are so helpful and creative. I just wanted to say "THANK YOU!!!" for all that you share. I can't get enough! :)

  4. I've used the warming filter before but never even thought to try different colors! Also, funny you mention your watermark kit because I linked to it in my blog post today. Now that I finally have an "official" logo (thanks to Heather!) I've been using your Watermark Kit and I love it...anxious to see the new one:)

  5. you are the best! Seriously... i have used filters and they always looked so bad on my photos... well most anyways but ummm duh... change it from normal mode... how hard is that... why didn't i think of that... did I mention you are the best... the queen of photoshop!

  6. Rita--You seriously need to writer a book!!! Thanks so much!

  7. I would have NEVER thought of this! Thanks!

  8. Great! Thank you for sharing this! I'm going to have to try this! I was wondering... How do you get the screen shot of you working on PSE?

  9. You are the best! I'm PSE user, every day I'm trying switch to PSH but I have to learn from the very beginning and I'm stuck :-))))


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