Corrective or Destructive Filters in Photoshop Elements - dummies

Corrective or Destructive Filters in Photoshop Elements

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

Filters in Photoshop Elements can correct less-than-perfect images by making them appear sharper or by covering up flaws. Although there are no hard-and-fast rules, most digital-imaging folks classify filters into two basic categories:

  • Corrective filters usually fix some kind of image problem. They adjust color, improve focus, remove dust or artifacts, and so on. Don’t get us wrong — pixels are still modified. It’s just that the basic appearance of the image remains the same, albeit modified, hopefully for the better. Two of the most popular corrective filters are Sharpen and Blur.

  • Destructive filters are used to create some kind of special effect. Pixels are also modified, but the image may look quite different from its original. These kinds of filters create effects, such as textures, brush strokes, mosaics, lights, and clouds. They can also distort an image with waves, spheres, and ripples.

All corrective and destructive filters are one or the other:

  • One-step filters have no options and no dialog boxes; select the filter and watch the magic happen.

  • Multistep filters act almost like mini-applications. When you choose a multistep filter, you specify options in a dialog box. The options vary widely depending on the filter, but most come equipped with at least one option to control the intensity of the filter. A multistep filter appears on the menu with an ellipsis following its name, indicating that a dialog box opens when you choose the command.