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How to Fade a Filter in Photoshop Elements 11

Sometimes, you don’t want the full effect of a filter applied to an image within Photoshop Elements 11. Sometimes, fading a filter or dialing it down a bit softens the effect and makes it look less “digitized.”

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Here’s what you can do to dial down a filter:

  1. In Expert mode, choose Layer→Duplicate Layer and then click OK when the dialog box appears.

    Creating a duplicate layer enables you to blend the original image and filtered layer together as desired.

  2. Make sure that your duplicated layer is selected in the Layers panel and then apply your chosen filter to the duplicate layer.

    We applied a Palette Knife filter. (You can find it in the Artistic category.)

  3. Use the Blend modes and Opacity settings located on the Layers panel to merge the filtered layer with the original unfiltered image.

    The opacity of the image was brought down to 65%.

  4. (Optional) With the Eraser tool, selectively erase portions of your filtered image to enable the unfiltered image to show through.

    For example, if you applied a Gaussian Blur filter to soften a harshly lit portrait, try erasing the blurred portion that covers the subject’s eyes to let the unblurred eyes of the layer below show through. The sharply focused eyes provide a natural focal point.

Rather than erase, you can now also apply a layer mask to selectively show and hide portions of your filtered image.

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