40 Photoshop Add-Ons for the Avid Photographer
Adobe Photoshop is the most recognized name in image-editing software, but one of things that makes the program so powerful is the host of add-ons — also known as plug-ins — that are available for download. This list collects some of the most fun and helpful Photoshop add-ons for avid photographers, though it’s important to check that your operating system and software meet the technical specs required before you download them. Some are free, while others range in price, but they’re all designed to get the most out of your images:
1. AKVIS Retoucher: A great tool if you want to restore old photos and remove scratches or damage. Ideal for bringing new life to your archive.
2. Irridescent: This add-on lets you give a pearl-like reflection to your images.
3. Mask Pro 4: Used for masking backgrounds, or just objects you don’t want to appear in the final image.
4. Mosaic: This inventive add-on breaks your image into tiny chunks that make it look like a mosaic.
5. Local Contrast Enhancement: It’s a common problem for photos to lose details because of a lack of contrast in certain areas. This plug-in helps you restore those details.
6. Film Strip: A throwback to the pre-digital days, you can now add a filmstrip appearance to your digital images for a retro vibe.
7. Virtual Photographer: This sizeable tool comes with 200 preset effects you can enable with one click, as well as the ability to edit a batch of photos at once.
8. Luce: A great way to add realism to digital images or power to text is through volumetric lighting, which gives the appearance of light beams shining through an object.
9. 3-D Sphere Generator: Create realistic 3-D spheres within your images and tweak all the details.
10. Preset Viewer: If you’ve ever gone hunting for a custom preset brush or pattern, this is the Photoshop add-on for you. It lets you easily scan your presets and view them in a tabbed interface by type.
11. Photoshop Interface Assistant: This tool hides all floating palettes until you need them, keeping them safely tucked away on the edge of the screen to maximize the space you can use to design and work on your image.
12. Eye Candy Software: A great resource for textures to give your images a distinctive feel.
13. Photoshop Speed-Up: If you’re looking for a way to boost your performance without upgrading your computer’s hardware, consider this add-on, which disables certain plug-ins and presets you might not need. You can revert to the original settings at any time.
14. Photokit Sharpener: A handy way to sharpen your images without using the slightly more cumbersome route through Photoshop’s native tools.
15. Infrared and Elegant Tones: This set of tools lets you create dream-like images or sharp, colorful ones.
16. Magic Frames: If you’re looking to add custom frames to your digital images, Magic Frames is a wonderful resource, offering more than 3,000 frames and another 1,200 edges to give your pictures a special look.
17. Pro Canvas: Get more out of the canvas settings with this helpful add-on.
18. Light Machine: Make finely tuned adjustments to an image’s lighting with this plug-in.
19. ActionDex: It can get old sorting through all of Photoshop’s presets, so this tool lets you organize them the way you want.
20. Primus: Bevels are used in Photoshop to create shadows and dimensionality to text. This add-on offers a host of custom bevels if you’re looking for more than the standard set offered with Photoshop.
21-24. Filter Forge Freepacks: Every one of these free download packs offers a different set of tools. The Metals pack has seven different metal textures for images; the Photo Effects pack allows for tweaks like sunlight or tinting; the Frames pack has seven beautiful frames, including a rustic wooden one; and the Distortions pack lets you break up the image with waves, ripples, fragments, or more. A great set of tools for users at all levels.
25. Photoshop Edge FX: This free add-on lets you add a variety of custom edges to your images, from paintbrush strokes to clean white borders.
26. Album DS: Create a digital photo album from more than 600 available templates with this resourceful plug-in.
27. Transparency Effects: This add-on will easily and quickly let you remove black or white values, or make an area transparent.
28. Color Modification: Use this to subtly alter the colors in your images and create stunning works of art.
29. Lens Correction: A lot of zoom lenses create an inherent distortion in the image, which this plug-in helps you correct.
30. Xpose: It’s not uncommon to upload an image only to find that there’s a problem with the exposure, like too many shadows. This add-on solves that problem and adjusts the exposure to your specifications.
31. Night Vision: Make any image look like it was seen through night-vision goggles with this unique add-on.
32. Outliner: This is a really cool add-on that creates a sketched outline of your image. (Mouse over the sample image of the church to get an idea.)
33. Water Ripples: Create dazzling ripple effects in your images with this free plug-in.
34. Stereogram Lab Filter: Remember those “Magic Eye” 3-D images that enjoyed a popularity craze in the 1990s? This remarkable add-on lets you create hidden-image works like those from your own pictures in Photoshop.
35. Fur 2: Use this plug-in to apply a patterned figure, like a circle or a line, across an image to create an interesting distortion.
36. Chalkaholic: This add-on gives a charcoal or chalk touch to your images.
37. Dreamy Photo: Give your images a soft-focus look with this tool that adds a romantic blur.
38. Gradient Blur: By applying specific blurs to part of an image with this tool, you can focus the viewer’s eye on the main subject.
39. Greeting Card Designer: This collection of tools and presets will let you create high-quality greeting cards in Photoshop with your own unique images.
40. Artistic Grain: This add-on comes with 15 effects used to create a variety of grainy styles in images, giving them a smart artistic effect.
Filed under: Photography
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