What are the Different Types of Digital Photo Effects?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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Thanks to the easy manipulation of digital files, photos taken with a digital camera can be altered, shifted, and even dressed up through a variety of digital photo effects. Using different digital photo effects, users can fix flaws in the photo, change the size or shape, alter color levels, and use a variety of artistic effects to create a unique image. Digital photo effects are usually managed through image editing software, which can be installed on most computers and will handle most types of digital photographs.

Not everyone is a professional photographer, and even those who are make mistakes occasionally. Flaw-fixing digital photo effects help create usable photos despite an initial problem in the original image. One of the most common flaw-fixing effects reduces “red-eye” effects, which are caused when a camera's flash hits the subject's eyes in a way that causes them to reflect red light. Red-eye reducers allow the user to identify the eyes of a person or animal in an image, then darken them to remove the red tint.


For people who want to print photographs out, or use them as images on a website or in a photo album, image size shifts, cropping, and zoom options can help create the perfectly-sized photograph. These digital photo effects help frame the image correctly, or make it conform to a different size than the initial file. Image size shifting can change the dimensions of a photograph, and most editing programs include options that constrain proportions when changing the image size, so that distortion does not occur. Cropping and zooming allow the user to cut off extraneous portions of the picture and focus in on the desired details. These three options are frequently used together to reshape and reframe an image to a desired appearance.

The real-life color of an image may not always be reflected in a captured image; color-related digital photo effects allow a user to make a picture more closely resemble the original image, or to distort coloration for artistic effect. Changing the saturation alters how vibrant or rich the colors are, while altering color temperature allows the user to make an image appear more warm or cool in coloration. Color effects can also create a black and white image from a colored original, or allow unusual affects, such as having only one part of the image in color while the rest is black and white.

Artistic digital photo effects allow a user to turn a traditional photograph into an interpretive work of art. Many photo editing programs have a specific library of digital filters, or effects, and additional versions can often be downloaded from the Internet. With digital filters, an image can be made to look old-fashioned with a sepia tint, appear to be made from stained glass, take on the texture of a pencil-drawn picture, or even have the colors reversed. Playing with artistic effects can be a fun way to learn about a photo editing program, and can help burgeoning artists create a personal style.


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