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How To Use Filters in Adobe Photoshop

Lesson 6 of 6

Combing Filters and Features

Ben Willmore

How To Use Filters in Adobe Photoshop

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

6. Combing Filters and Features


  Class Trailer
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2 High Pass Filter Duration:13:40
3 Blur Filter Duration:05:59
4 Filter Gallery Duration:07:42
5 Adaptive Wide Angle Filter Duration:04:43
6 Combing Filters and Features Duration:04:45

Lesson Info

Combing Filters and Features

Now let's look at a few ways where we might combine filters with other features in Photoshop. In this case, what I'm gonna do is, I'm gonna take all the color out of this image by applying a black and white adjustment layer. And you're welcome to adjust these sliders if you want to control things, but that's fine for now, just the default. Then I'm gonna go back to the original picture and I'm gonna duplicate that layer by typing command J. I'm gonna move the duplicate on top. And then, I'm gonna try to get it to apply some of the color from that top layer, to what's underneath. And I can do that using various blending modes. I can come in here, if I just wanted to grab the color, I'd set it to color mode, but that looks pretty normal. I'm gonna try things like overlay and soft light, and I find that those are gonna give me a little bit more of a vintage-y feel. And, I'm gonna take top layer and blur it. But so I can control the amount later on, I'll first convert to a smart object. An...

d as I blur, we get a softer feeling. Click okay. So look at the sky that's in there, it's looking quite different. Now, I'm gonna take the end results, which are made out of two layers, the black and white adjustment layer, and the filtered copy, and I'm gonna select both of those layers. And just to organize things, I'm gonna put those in a folder. At the bottom of my layers panel, you'll find a folder icon, and if you have more than one layer selected at the time you click it, it'll move those layers into the folder. And then you can click the triangle next to folder to expand it and see its contents, and click it again to collapse it. Well what I don't like about end result, is that the dark part of the picture's too dark. Well, in a session that we have called Advanced Layers, I think that's what it's called, you'll learn about a feature that you can get to by clicking on letters FX, and choosing blending options. And if you get that lesson, which we haven't recorded yet, that's why I say if, then you could say, let's make the dark portions of this layer disappear, and therefore reveal what's underneath. And you could hold the option key, alt in Windows, and split this apart to control exactly where that happens, and get it back. So now we have a rather creative effect. If I turn off this eyeball, here's before, here's after. And it involves a lot of different features in Photoshop. What did we use? We used a black and white adjustment layer to pull all the color out to begin with. Then we converted a copy into a smart object, and that's only so that I could adjust the setting later, and we blurred it. That's what this layer is. And we also used a blending mode. We have an entire separate lesson on blending modes. And now I could modify that blending mode if I want a different look, and I could even double click in the name of the filter to change its settings. So you can get as fancy as you want with filters combining them with other features in Photoshop, it just takes some practice to be able to go in and do that. Now before we wrap up, I wanna mention a special list of filters that are found in Photoshop, two different lists. And that is first, this set. What's special about those, is those particular filters will use your foreground and background colors as part of the filter effect. And so that means, if you use the colored pencil filter, it'll use your background layer. That's what the letter B is for. If you use the one called fibers, it uses both your foreground and background. That's what F and B means. So therefore, you can have more influence over those filters. And if you think about the other lesson we had on blending modes, where a blending mode had some become a neutral color, where a certain color disappeared. It'll set your foreground color to that, and then use one of these filters. And it opens up a whole new world. (clicking) Then, another set of special filters are these. These are filters that can create something out of nothing. And that means you can start with an empty layer, or a layer full of white, and create some detail. And therefore, if you wanna create your own textures, start with this list of filters, and then modify by applying creative things on top of that. So that gives you an idea of how to think about filters in Photoshop.

Class Description


  • Add the illusion of motion to objects
  • Simulate the look of shallow depth of field by blurring a background
  • Enhance detail with sharpening
  • Understand the High Pass and Displace filters
  • Transform a photograph into an oil painting


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Photoshop and learn new features to help edit photos.
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Photoshop fixes.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)



Great class. Clear instruction. (There is a typo, however, on the title of the last section where it should say combining, not combing.)