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Image Editing Tutorial - Gradient filter

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There are many filters in Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, most of which can produce truly appalling results if misused, or indeed if used at all. Many of them, such as Lens Flare, Glowing Edges and Bas Relief should probably be banned under the terms of the Geneva Convention, and should never be used except by trained professionals with the proper safety equipment (opaque goggles and a sick bag). Adding filters to a bad photograph will never, ever make it into a good photograph, and adding filters to a good photograph is usually unnecessary.



However there are one or two Photoshop filter effects that, with proper supervision, can safely be used at home, although as always it's a good idea to make sure pets, small children or those of a sensitive disposition are safely out of the room, and preferably in another building, and under heavy sedation.

The filters that it is safe to use are generally the ones that mimic the effects of traditional photographic filters of the type that can be attached in front of the lens, such as colour tints, soft-focus effects and today's subject, gradients.

A gradient is a tinted filter in which the filter effect is much stronger on one side of the frame than the other. In traditional photography they are often used to mitigate the exposure problems of very bright skies over darker landscapes, but can also be used to enhance sunsets or storm clouds. This is in fact exactly what we're going to do, using this photo as a starting point.



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