Give Your Photos Super Quick Effects and Textures in PSE 12

Another tutorial, yay! This week’s lesson is so easy you will weep because it will be over so fast. You may even wish it were more of a challenge. It’s all about photo effects and textures. I LOVE (and I don’t use capitalization lightly) effects and textures when it comes to making art with my photos, things that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to hang in my house, or put in a photo book.

And it only takes about thirty seconds.

For real.

That’s why this tutorial is less than five hundred words. And less than three minutes on video, including all my explanations:

Go to PSE 12 Quick panel and select Effects on the bottom right part of your screen
Photoshop Elements 12 Quick Effects

So, let’s just verify that we are all in the same place. We’re still in the Quick panel (next week we’ll move up to the Guided panel! Eeep!), and we’ve selected Effects to populate the side bar, using the button on the bottom right of the screen. And we’ve also opened the picture that we want to alter.

Choose the effect you would like to apply to your photo via the photo samples on the side bar
Photoshop Elements 12 Quick Effects Options

In the effects panel, you will notice there are a bunch of mini versions of your photo–except they all have their own unique look. These are the effects you have to choose from. Click on the different options until you find one you like. If you determine you don’t like any, just push the reset button. For this photo I chose Vintage.

Change the panel view to Texture, and choose the texture you would like to apply.
Change the panel view to Texture, and choose the texture you would like to apply.

If you want to add a texture, just go to the bottom of the screen and select Texture instead of Effects, and do the same process again that you did with the effects. Keep in mind that textures have texture and color, and both will affect your photo. The way the colors and textures interact with your photo depend on the blending mode used on the texture layer, the color of the texture piece, and the colors in your photo. You will learn to alter blending modes in the Expert panel.

Final after effect and texture
Final after effect and texture

See? Do you see? It’s got that cool vintage color and texture. This could be printed on a canvas, or even just framed. And it doubles as memorabilia because I took the picture when we went hiking this summer. Two birds, meet Stone.

Photoshop Elements 12 Tutorial Quick Effects and TexturesQuick Effects and Textures Final

When you throw in a bit of strategic cropping, you end up with this piece of awesomeness. And on that day in the near future when we get to the Expert panel, the possibilities with effects and textures will be limitless. Limitless I tell you! Muahahahaha! That was an evil laugh, for those who didn’t catch on. Next week’s tutorial: World Domination.

Actually, its something even more exciting, the Photomerge tool. You can make the perfect group shot with no nose pickers. And you can make beautimus panoramic photos, too. If you have any tutorial ideas or requests, as always, I can accommodate. Just leave me a little message telling me what you want.

See you next Monday!

Quick Effects and Textures YouTube

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About the author

Cecilia Harvey

I'm a technological enthusiast with a completely unrelated degree in English Literature. I've also been known to dabble in photography and DIY furniture refinishing, with occasional stints of fitness sprinkled among all of the above.

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