How to add a special effect to your photo

Generally speaking, when shooting a scene, you are concerned with creating a realistic photo. The photo copies everything as an accurate representation of a subject. But sometimes, what we want is not a standard photo. We want a photo with a special effect. Such an effect makes the photo more eye-catching and impressive. This type of photo will stand out in the social media post and bring more social media shares. To achieve the special effects in Photoshop requires a great deal of technical expertise. It is very difficult for photographers to manipulate their photos to create the effects they want. This is when photo effect filter software comes in handy. If you are looking for an easy-to-use tool to help you add a special effect to your photo, please continue reading this article. In this article, I will walk you through two photo filter apps with which you can create a special visual effect in just a few clicks.

#1. Photo Effects by Vertexshare

Add a special effect to your photo with Photo Effects

With a suggestive title, Photo Effects by Vertexshare is a piece of user-friendly photo effect software. The app allows you to make stunning photos by applying various filters and effects to your photos.

After launching the program, you will be greeted by a sleek and clean window. It consists of three panels. The middle panel takes up most of the window. It works as a preview area where you can preview the changes you make. You can compare the differences between the original photo and the changed photo, zoom and pan the photo, and discard all changes. A collection of effect adjustment sections are located in the right-side panel. There are over 40 parameters in the sections for adjusting the photo effects. You can adjust the exposure compensation, exposure compression, lightness, saturation, and contrast. In addition, you can adjust the shadows/highlights, tone mapping, high dynamic range, and image sharpening. Other adjustable effects include local contrast, white balance, channel mixer, soft light, vignette, and vibrance. Besides, it is possible to reduce the noise level. 19 filters are located in the left-side panel, each with its small preview thumbnail. They are Aozora, Chesky, DarkMetropolitan, Fronzone, GlamourNude, GreenLily, Harmal, MateGrey, StrongHoney, TwoTone, BlackKokoro, and so on.

Overall speaking, Photo Effects is a free photo editor that enables you to enhance your photos by using a variety of parameters and decorative objects. Thanks to the simple layout and intuitive options, Photo Effects is suitable for both inexperienced users and professionals alike.

Let's dive into the part of how to add a special effect to your photo with Photo Effects.

How to add a special effect to a photo with Photo Effects

Step 1.

  • Drag and drop your photo into the drop box "Drag and Drop Your Photo here". Or click on "File"->"Add Photo" to import your photo. You can also load the photo into the program by clicking on the "Add" button. If you want to remove the photo, click on the "Remove" button next to the "Add" button.

Step 2.

  • Navigate to the left-side panel. There are a series of predefined filters. Choose one filter and you will see the corresponding effect added to your photo. Select the filter that fits your needs.

Select one filter in the left panel

Step 3.

  • Press "Export Photo" to export the photo to a desired location. You can also click on "File"->"Save As" to save the photo into a destination folder.

#2. Fotor

Add a special effect to your photo with Fotor

Fotor is a web-based multi-purpose photo processing application. If you want to obtain quick photo enhancements, this app is absolutely the go-to option. With the help of its photo editing utilities, you can change the brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness, fine-tune the exposure, highlights, and shadows, resize the image, adjust the image color, crop the picture, and add a vignette effect to the photo. What's more, plenty of photo filters give you the magic touch to adjust the photo effect in the way you want. Moreover, you can make your portraits beautiful with many portrait touchup tools. You are even given the possibility to stitch your photos to make a nifty collage. Furthermore, there are thousands of professionally-designed templates you can use to create social media covers, ad banners, and post cards.

All in all, Fotor is a feature-rich online photo editing app that delivers everything you need to make amazing images.

Let's see how to add a special effect to your photo with Fotor.

How to add a special effect to a photo with Fotor

  • Sign up and sign in the site.
  • Click on "Edit a Photo" on the homepage. You will be taken to a new webpage.
  • Go to the left pane and select "Effects". You can see a series of filter categories listed in the "Effects" tab, including Artistic, Returned, Classic, Warm Winter, Christmas, Festive, Cool, and so forth.
  • Click on one filter category and choose one filter effect in the drop down menu.
  • Drag the slider to adjust the intensity of the effect.
  • Click on the "Apply" button to apply the adjustments.
  • Press the "Export" button to download the photo.

Choose a filter and adjust the intensity of the effect

Some filter effects are for the pro users of Fotor. Applying them to your photos will watermark to your photo. To remove the watermark, you have to upgrade your free account to the pro account.


You want the photos posted on social media to catch the audience's attention. Adding special effects to your photos is a good way to make them more eye-catching. These effects transform your photos into pieces of art so that your posts on social media will go viral. The two special photo effect editors mentioned above come packed with a lot of filters. Take advantage of them to dress up your photo with the filter you like. This can be done within button clicks. I especially recommend giving Photo Effects a shot. It is user friendly and totally free for use. If you explore some other great photo special effect software in the future, please let me know by leaving a comment below.

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