For decades, photographers have used lens filters to improve and alter the look of their photographs. Filters are frequently used to change the intensity of color values and to lighten certain tones and darken others. In addition to using filters, photographers also rely on darkroom and printing techniques to create wonderfully creative effects.
But thanks to the advancements of digital technology, users don't have to fiddle with chemicals or additional camera equipment to enhance their photographs. The filters and effects included in Photoshop Elements go way beyond what's been possible in traditional photography. Many of these filters (such as the Sharpen filters) allow you to make subtle corrections and improvements to your photos, whereas other filters, such as Artistic, Stylize, and Sketch, can transform an image into a completely new piece of artwork. Photoshop Elements also provides effects you can add to your photos, including striking image effects (lizard skin, anyone?) as well as type effects and unique textures.
In this chapter, you explore the many ways you can use filters and effects to take your work to a whole new level. The Filter and Effects Galleries will help you visualize some of the creative ways you can apply these techniques to your own photos.