6 Effects Every Photographer Should Know About

If you are reading this post, you must love taking photos. Do you know how to make your favorite shots stand out of the hundreds of pictures you have? You must have stumbled upon advice to use rule of thirds, diagonals or negative space. But mastering these techniques can take years.

Do not worry, there is a special ingredient that can make any of your photos look outstanding. Change a picture’s color saturation, add a few shades or change the focus area and you will see that the photo has improved dramatically. Don’t worry, it’s really easy! You don’t have to master Photoshop or GIMP and spend hours working on a photo. Pho.to knows some trusted post-processing techniques, so this site will help you improve your photos significantly in a single click. We have selected 6 different effects, and each one of them can change your photos in its own unique way. However, the common traits of these techniques are their high quality and versatility.

Examples of photos processed with 6 popular photo effects


The strange word bokeh comes from the Japanese language where it means blur. It is a way to describe how lens render out-of-focus areas on photos. Have you ever noticed soft colorful spots in the backgrounds of pictures? Then you know what bokeh is. This effect looks really hypnoic when you make pictures at nighttime. The delicate lights that surround the pictures of your loved ones can give photos a romantic mood. Sometimes bokeh makes you feel sentimental and nostalgic. One thing we’re sure of is that photos with bokeh always look stunning.

An example of photograph with bokeh effect

It’s relatively easy to make photos with bokeh. We’ve got a whole blog post written on how to get a bokeh effect on your photos. If you have already read it and mastered this technique, you could aim for more. Try to make photos with custom bokeh shapes. Add hearts to a photo of your significant one, complement winter holiday photos with bright Christmas trees or ornate a portrait of your best friend with Batman logos.

You could argue that, first of all, you need a DSLR or a bridge camera to make a photo with bokeh. Second, it takes a special lighting. Finally, you just need some skill to achieve the bokeh effect. But you’re on Pho.to, so all the excuses are rather weak. If your photo didn’t end up with bokeh, you can create bokeh on our site like this:

  1. Find a section of Background Effects on Funny.Pho.to.
  2. Background Effects group on Pho.to

  3. Choose an effect with bokeh: Light Bokeh or Christmas Bokeh.
  4. Upload your photo or enter its URL and you’ll get a wonderful picture with natural and beautiful bokeh lights!

Here’s the image we’ve used:

Photo without bokeh effect

And here are the fascinating portraits Pho.to has produced:

Photo with Christmas Bokeh effect by Pho.to ”Photo


Vignetting is an effect which has existed since the camera was invented. You must have noticed soft shades at the corners of some photos. Many lenses have some vignetting effect, so you may end up with a vignetted photograph when you didn’t intend to, especially if you use professional lenses. If it plagues you, it might be useful to read why vignetting occurs.

Sometimes vignetting can be added on purpose. It’s a perfect natural frame for any photo. Vignetted photos have a sweet and romantic feeling because of the rounded corners. Vignetting draws the viewer’s attention to the center of your picture. Besides, it can make everyone believe that the picture was taken with a professional camera.

An example of photograph with vignetting effect

Though it may be possible to make a vignetted photo with your camera, it’s easier to add vignetting when you post process pictures. If you need to add vignetting to your picture, head straight to Pho.to and follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to Funny.Pho.to and find Vignetting among Stylized Effects.
  2. Stylized Effects group on Pho.to

  3. Choose the vignetting style. You could pick the classic dark shades or the unusual white ones.
  4. Types of vignetting photo effects on Pho.to

  5. Pick an appropriate photo. Remember that a photo should have an interesting object somewhere around its central area. That’s why patterns may not work that great. We have chosen this picture of a cupcake:
  6. Photo without vignetting effect

  7. Enjoy the result. We promise you will not be disappointed with it!
  8. Photo with Light Vignetting effect by Pho.to Photo with Dark Vignetting effect by Pho.to

Dave Hill

As you could have guessed, this effect has been invented by Dave Hill, a Los Angeles photographer. Needless to say, he knows the photography principles and he can tell a complete story in a shot. But Dave is famous for adding a pinch of magic to each image. People in his photos look radiant and real, you can almost catch them breezing and winking at you. Somehow they’re even a bit too genuine, too sharp and vivid for our world.

Finding the Key by Dave Hill

The exact techniques Dave uses to achieve this feeling are, sure enough, kept secret. The first step, obviously, is to take a dramatic photo. Dave usually uses at least eight light sources for his pictures to make everything in the picture pop out. Besides, his cameras are beyond compare. When the perfect shot is clicked, the magic begins. Post processing a single photo can take several days, but no one knows what exactly Dave does during this time. Photographers who try to solve the secret of Dave Hill suggest using the same methods you would use to create an HDR image, applying the unsharp mask filter, and playing with colors and light.

But you can use the magic of Pho.to to enhance your photo with a straightaway Dave Hill look.

  1. First, go to Funny.Pho.to and find the Fancy Photo Filters group.
  2. Fancy Photo Filters group on Pho.to

  3. Click on Dave Hill effect and choose your picture. To make the result look great, pick a catchy photo. We’ve got a shot of a rock climber. You could try using photos of other sports, interesting pictures of your friends having fun or any other eye-catching shots.
  4. Photo without Dave Hill effect

  5. Wait for your result to appear and enjoy an instant Dave Hill effect.
  6. Photo with Dave Hill effect by Pho.to

Color Isolation

Color isolation is a fantastic effect to make details stand out from the rest of your photo. Imagine a picture of a crowded downtown, where everything except a tree sapling is in black and white. A shot of a red heart-shaped lollipop lying on a table would also look better if everything around the candy were in black and white. Subjects of color isolation photos are almost unlimited. Flowers, butterflies, red lips, green eyes and blue aviator glasses – you name them.

An example of photograph with color isolation effect

If you wonder how to make a photo with this effect, we must say that there isn’t really a way to shoot a monochrome photo with a full-color detail. You can only add color isolation when you post process a color photo. That’s why you could take any image from your DSLR, point-and-shoot or cellphone camera as a source. If you have Photoshop, you could follow a fun tutorial on color isolation. But wait, there’s an easier way to do it! Just head to Pho.to and follow these simple instructions.

  1. Find the Color Filters group on Funny.Pho.to.
  2. Color Filters group on Pho.to

  3. Choose an appropriate effect for your photo. The first color isolation effect is Red Boost. It leaves shades of red and orange intact, while all the other colors fade away. It works like a charm for photos of girls with red lips.
  4. Photo without Red Boost effect Photo with Red Boost effect by Pho.to

  5. The Blue Only effect works great for the blue-eyed people, as well as for azure butterflies and turquoise ocean.
  6. Photo without Blue Only effect Photo with Blue Only effect by Pho.to

  7. Green only is the perfect effect to make green apples, plants or the green eyes of your cat look more fascinating than ever.
  8. Photo without Green Only effect Photo with Green Only effect by Pho.to


Many years ago sepia was a technique used to preserve black and white photos from fading out. If you have photos of your grand-grandparents, they must be in soft brownish shades of sepia. As a side effect, using sepia also worked like a charm for portrait photography. The first color film was produced in 1935, so black-and-white and sepia were virtually the only choices for photographers. Sepia gave human skin the warm shade it naturally has, while black-and-white made everyone look flat and grey. Further tinting turned sepia-toned photos into beautiful full-color shots.

An example of sepia-toned photograph

Nowadays we don’t need to dye digital photos to preserve them. But photographers and their models alike still appreciate sepia-toned photographs. These shots have a warm and intimate feel around them. That’s why they are very popular for family and wedding photos. Sometimes sepia-toned pictures look vintage or even antique.

It’s absolutely possible to create a sepia-toned picture without post processing it in a photo editor. The classic way to do this is to shoot photos with film and to add sepia toner when you develop a photo. But it can be dangerous, as the process involves toxic chemicals. Another way is to use color film and to attach a sepia filter to your camera lens. Of course, it requires a DSLR and an appropriate filter. That’s why the easiest and the smartest way to apply this effect is to go to Pho.to. And here are the instructions on how to do it:

  1. Head straight to the Color Filters effect group on Funny.Pho.to.
  2. Color Filters group on Pho.to

  3. Choose one of the many sepia-inspired filters: Bronze Sepia or Retro Sepia, Sunny Retro, Dramatic Retro or Dreamy Retro.
  4. Upload your photo. Our smart algorithms will take care of the rest!

See how the processed picture looks warm and washed-out. We bet that if you didn’t know Adele, you would think that this photograph is from the 1930s.
Collage of photos toned with sepia on Pho.to

Tilt shift

Tilt shift has become extremely popular in the last few years. It’s widely discussed among photographers and described in newspaper articles. This amazing effect makes photos look like intricate miniatures. It happens because shallow depth of field gives you an illusion that a photo has been taken with macro lenses and it shows scale models rather than real objects. Tilt shift has moved on from photography to video making, and there are websites devoted to the tilt shift technique alone.

An example of photograph with tilt shift effect

Tilt shift effect has been well known for years. Photographers used to make these pictures with special tilt shift lens. In fact, initially this lens was used for a completely different reason. It allowed photographers to make undistorted pictures of high constructions and trees. So the remarkable tilt shift look is just a side effect to the solution of this problem. We can’t pretend that we think it’s less important, though!

In the last few years post processing ordinary photos has become the most popular way to create images with tilt shift effect. Of course, you can do it in Photoshop or GIMP. But why bother if Pho.to will leave you with the perfect result with much less effort?

  1. Find Tilt Shift among the other Stylized Effects on Funny.Pho.to.
  2. Stylized Effects group on Pho.to

  3. Choose a photo you want to process. The key to success here is to pick the right image. To do so, imagine how you would take pictures of a scale model. You would be bending over it to give your photos a sense of perspective, right? So your fake miniature photos should have the same angle of view. You could also get some inspiration from a selection of beautiful photos with tilt shift effects. Here is the picture we have chosen:
  4. Photo without tilt shift effect

  5. Relax for a second and let Pho.to do its magic!
  6. Photo with Tilt Shift effect by Pho.to

We hope that these little tutorials will wake up your imagination and help you make new masterpieces out of your photos. Enough reading for today, head straight to Funny.Pho.to and create your own works of art!

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