Photoshop Elements 11 Filter Basics
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Corrective and destructive filters
Corrective filters are usually used to fix problems in an image. These filters fine-tune color, add blur, improve sharpness, or remove such nastiness as dust and artifacts. Remember that pixels are still being modified; it’s just that these filters don’t change the basic look of an image. They’re just intended to enhance its good points and hide the bad.
Destructive filters tend to obliterate at least some detail in an original image while they add special effects. They may overlay an image with an interesting texture; move around pixels to create brush strokes; or distort an image with twists, waves, or zigzags. You can often tell at a glance that a destructive filter has been applied to an image: The special effect often looks like nothing that exists in real life.