10 Cool Photoshop Ideas Everyone Should Try

Photoshop reigns supreme when it comes to image editing. Even after so many years on the market, the program is still so well known that it’s synonymous with the process of editing a photo. So much so that it’s become a verb itself.

Though there are still people who haven’t tried the software, many have at least a rudimentary understanding of Photoshop actions and effects and how to use them to create more visually interesting pictures. Whether you are a novice or an expert, here are some cool Photoshop ideas you can try next time you edit an image using the software.

1. The Droste Effect

Using Photoshop to create a Droste image can turn your picture from fine to fantastic. The effect draws the eye and can be super fascinating if done well. Though it may seem intimidating, it’s not a difficult effect to achieve—it’s a simple picture within a picture.

As with all the other effects discussed here, you can easily look up a ton of tutorials on YouTube for how to pull it off. Adobe Photoshop itself is also a great resource for tutorials among many other things, and it’s even testing out a free web version.

If you’re concerned about being a Photoshop beginner, there are plenty of free websites to browse that can make you Photoshop ninja.

2. The Double Exposure Effect


The Photoshop double exposure effect merges two images into one. You start with two separate photos, layer them in Photoshop, and adjust the layers until you create the best double exposure effect you can.

If you’re feeling particularly playful, you can layer more images and create a multiple exposure effect. After all, the more, the merrier. The more layers, the more interesting the image becomes.

It’s fairly simple and quick to do, and the result can be truly awesome.

3. Spherize Your Image

Spherize effect

Using the Spherize filter, you can create a spherical distortion. The Photoshop feature can make it seem like you’ve wrapped an image around a sphere; you can also do the trick with text. Whichever one you choose to do, the result can be pretty cool.

4. Liquify Your Image


As the name suggests, Liquify makes it seem as if whatever’s on your image is liquifying. Though it’s not a very difficult Photoshop effect to achieve, it requires practice and a steady hand.

You have to be patient and target the edges of the object in your image you wish to show the effect on, and do it in a way that would make it seem like it’s turning liquid naturally. Changing the brush size frequently helps, as well as increasing the smoothness in the end to refine the result.

Some previous Photoshop experience would definitely be handy. Don’t worry, though, the web is full of ways to improve your Photoshop skills.

5. The Dispersion Effect

dispersion effect

If you’re a Marvel fan, you’re likely familiar with the Thanos snap. Ever wanted to see yourself blinked out of existence post-snap? If yes, try the dispersion effect.

It’s a fun Photoshop effect that’s simple to achieve and can make it so your image appears to slowly turn into dust, much like what happened on screen for Earth’s mightiest heroes.

6. The Displacement Map

The displacement map in Photoshop helps you create water reflections. You can achieve subtler distortions or go all out and add water where there wasn’t water before. Say you have an image of a park but want to replace the grass with water, so it looks like a lake—the displacement map can do that.

You can also use Photoshop to create puddles scattered about your image.

7. The Inception Effect


The inception effect, as you might suspect, was inspired by the movie of the same name. It helps you bend and twist your image in peculiar ways. It may take you a while to distort it exactly how you want it, but it’s worth the time and effort.

It’s a very trippy Photoshop effect, and you should definitely try it.

8. The Synergy Action

Synergy Action

The synergy action is another trippy Photoshop effect. It surrounds the focus of your image in a psychedelic-looking bubble of bright colors and geometric shapes—much like a funky galaxy.

This Photoshop effect is perfect for taking your portrait from boring to eye-catching.

9. The Glitch Effect

Glitch Effect

The glitch effect is exactly what it sounds like. This Photoshop effect adds a pretty cool futuristic spin to your image. It’s also a fairly simple effect, and you can achieve it even if you’re a novice.

You can use this effect to glitchify images and text, so the sky’s the limit.

10. Surreal Miniature Portrait


Surreal portraits in Photoshop are already pretty fun to make and entertaining to view. But if you want to take the whole thing a step further, why not go miniature?

If you want to achieve the surreal miniature portrait effect, you’ll need some previous practice with Photoshop. So, it’s probably not the best for beginners as it might prove too challenging. However, if you have the time and patience, you can give it a bash, even as a novice. After all, the best way to learn Photoshop is by practicing different techniques.

If you can manage it, the image you end up with is worth the effort.

Photoshop Is Not the End-All Be-All

Yes, Photoshop is the reigning champion when it comes to image editing software. And as you just saw, there’s an array of cool effects you can create with the software. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the only choice available. There are plenty of competitors out there that are working to replace Photoshop as the industry standard, and some of them are free.

They might not have all the bells and whistles you can expect from Photoshop, but if you’re looking for something simple to edit your pictures with, you can find a free option to try at least once.

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