25 Most Useful Photoshop Effects

by Ryan Smith July 15, 2009

Perez Hilton

No, this first picture has not been altered. Hollywood blogger sensation Perez Hilton really does have pink hair in this photo, and sadly, yes, the black eye is real too. Back in June, after the Toronto MuchMusic Video Awards, Black Eyed Peas manager Polo Molina reportedly punched Perez Hilton in the face. Perez obviously needs some makeover help, so we used these 25 Most Useful Photoshop Effects to take the attention away from his black eye. These effects are great for any photos needing an image makeover and as an added bonus we have added a link where you can find the tutorial on how to create these effects on your own.

Crack and Peel


This effect can give you the impression that the picture is painted on rock wall somewhere and is slowly falling apart. This effect can make an image look old or fragile. It’s very striking and the tutorial can show you how it is done.

Changing Hair Color


This effect is so amazing that it may be hard to tell that anything has been changed. We thought Perez could use a little more color so our Photoshop hair stylist added some orange highlights.

Classical Portrait


After softening the edges and dimming the light this photo could be a piece of artwork hanging on your wall. If you want to give your photo that classical feel check out the tutorial for an easy way to do it.

Collage of Polaroids


This is a very cool effect that easily breaks a photo up into different parts and assembles them as a collage of Polaroids.  Check out the easy tutorial.

Color and Motion


With this effect you can easily add color and motion to your photo. It works best for still shots of something that is already moving but as you can see it can add a cool effect to a portrait as well.  Tutorial here.

Coloring Effects


There are many different coloring effects in Photoshop and the tutorial here will give you an understanding on how easy it can be.  In this case, we give Perez an excuse for getting into a scrape – see how sick he looks?



With the Darklight effect in Photoshop you can smooth out the color and give your photo more intimate lighting. Tutorial here.

Dave Hill Look


If you are a fan of Dave Hill’s amazing photos you can make your own with this Dave Hill Look effect, just for the step-by-step tutorial.

Dramatic Gritty Effect


The Dramatic Gritty Effect really brings out the details and makes them raw and more alive. Check out the tutorial to give your pictures a Dave Hillier than Dave Hill effect.

Eery Eye Photo


When you see this photo you might think differently about Perez’s story. Just looking at that fire in his eyes it can be easy to assume that he may have caused the fight himself. Very useful for making a photo look guilty.  You can add your own eery eye effect with the help of the tutorial.

Face Painting on a Cracked Wall


If you have always wanted your own fresco you can now be one step closer with the Face Painting on a Cracked Wall effect. This looks as if it came straight out of the Renaissance period.  Or from an ancient cave.  Become a caveman painter with this tutorial.

Fill a Photo with Photos


No it is not a bad case of acne, they are actually photos. If you look closely you will see that Perez has a bunch of faces on his face and in fact the whole picture is made up of tiny pictures. This is one very cool effect. This tutorial is for that the-whole-is-bigger-than-the-sum-of-its-parts look.

Filtering Out Colors


By far one of the greatest effects is the ability to filter out colors. Always wondered how it can be done? Well with this tutorial now you will know.

Ghosting Effect


Want a spooky effect to your picture? Try this ghosting effect and see what you may look like in the afterlife.  You might never want to look at Perez Hilkton again after this tutorial.

Good and Evil


Does Perez really need the good and evil Photoshop work, when he blackens one side “manually”?  Maybe not, but you can use this effect to show your dark side to people.

Making Image Awesome



Perez looks like he is enjoying himself at a crazy disco party. With this effect you can make any image look awesome!

Oil Painting


Want to give your favorite photo that oil painting look? Then try this Photoshop effect for a fast and easy way to create a unique piece of art online.  No painting lessons required.

Photo To Line Art


With this Photoshop effect you can easily turn any photo into line art. Check out the tutorial for step-by-step instructions to learn how.  This effect is ideal when you want an image to appear hand-drawn.

Puzzle Pattern


All the pieces are starting to come together with this effect. Turn your photo into a jigsaw puzzle. This effect helps make an image look like it’s just a picture, with a bit of 3D effect thrown in.

Rain to a Photo


It was a dark and stormy night… well even if it was a beautiful day this effect will allow you to add a little rain into your photos.  This effect is very useful to set a mood when Mother Nature was being uncooperatively sunny.

Retro Comic Effect


Want to be a comic book hero? Well the tutorial for this effect will make that happen. Cape and tights not included.  This tutorial is ideal when you want to tell a story with photos in a light-hearted way.

Stencil Art


Why pay money for the artist on the street corner to draw your picture when you can turn any photo into stencil art using this cool Photoshop effect.  This tutorial also can make the image look like it was taken from a newspaper.

Too Close to TV


To add a little technical surrealism try out this effect that resembles being to close to a retro television screen.

Watercolor Effects



With this effect you can turn your favourite picture in a watercolor painting in no time.

Water Reflection


This is a very powerful effect to add a water reflection to any picture and although it might not work as well with a portrait just think of what you can do with a landscape shot.  This effect can make an image appear more real, more three dimensional.

Ryan Smith
Ryan Smith was the former Director of Operations for McKremie.

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