How to apply a cool visual effect to your photo

When photographing a subject, you usually want the photo look as realistic as possible. The photo duplicates everything in reality. But occasionally, we do not want such a type of photo. We want a photo with a cool visual effect, which is far more impressive. After you post the photo on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it will catch viewers' eyes and the post will receive more social media shares. Honestly speaking, if you wish to get such a photo, it requires much technical knowledge to achieve it. It is especially very difficult for photographing beginners to create the special effect they need. This is when special photo effect software comes into play. If you are searching for such software you can use to apply a cool visual effect to your photo, please continue reading this article. In this article, I'll take you through two photo effect apps with which you can apply a special visual effect to your photo within just a few clicks.

#1. Photo Effects by Vertexshare

Apply a special visual effect to a photo with Photo Effects 

As the title suggests, Photo Effects by Vertexshare specializes in helping you acquire customized photo effects to create stunning photos. The app lets you manipulate your photo by leveraging a variety of inbuilt parameters and decorative objects.

After you launch the program, you'll be greeted by a clean window. It is composed of three panels. The middle panel takes up most of the window. It is a preview area to preview the effects you apply to the photo. You can zoom and pan the photo, compare the differences between the original photo and the changed photo, and discard all changes. A series of adjustment parameters are located in the right-side panel. There are more than 40 parameters for adjusting the photo effects. You can alter the exposure level by changing the exposure compensation, exposure compression, lightness, saturation, and contrast. Besides, you can fine-tune the shadows/highlights, local contrast, white balance, tone mapping, and high dynamic range. Other parameters include channel mixer, soft light, vignette, and vibrance. In addition, you are given the possibility to reduce the noise level and sharpen your photo. A rich collection of predefined effects are located in the left-side panel, each with its small preview thumbnail. There are 19 effects. They are Aozora, Chesky, DarkMetropolitan, Fronzone, GlamourNude, GreenLily, Harmal, MateGrey, StrongHoney, TwoTone, BlackKokoro, to name a few.

On the whole, Photo Effects is a professional photo editing tool that enables you to change the visual aspect of your photo to enhance the photo quality. Its layout is simple and options are straightforward. The application can be easily mastered by both less experienced users and professionals.

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

How to apply a special visual 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 add the photo into the program by clicking on the "Add" button. To remove the imported photo, click on the "Remove" button next to the "Add" button.

Step 2.

  • Go to the left-side panel. Click on one predefined effect and you will see the changes applied to your photo. You can click on and hold the "View" button to compare the original photo and changed photo. Or click on the "Compare" button to compare what the original photo looks like and what the changed photo looks like. Select one predefined effect as you prefer. To make further effect adjustments, make use of the parameters in the right-side panel.

Select one predefined effect in the left-side panel

Step 3.

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

#2. Adobe Photoshop Express

Apply a special visual effect to a photo with Adobe Photoshop Express

Photoshop is known to all photographers. But not all photographers know Adobe Photoshop Express. Adobe Photo Express is a lightweight online photo editor that allows you to post-process your photo in a super easy way. It comes packed with several one-touch utilities to help you make your photos look their best. You can resize the photo, crop and straighten the photo, rotate and flip the photo, remove the unwanted background from your photo, and spice up the look of a photo with creative effects. Overall speaking, if you want to take your photo to the next level, Adobe Photoshop Express is a go-to choice.

Let's see how to apply a special effect to your photo with Adobe Photoshop Express.

How to apply a special effect to a photo with Adobe Photoshop Express

  • Head over to the site and click on "Upload file" to upload your photo.
  • Navigate to the left pane and select "Adjust image". You will see a set of filters in the "Presets" tab in the right-pane. These filters are classified as Popular, Color, Creative, Vintage/Old Photo Filters, B&W, and Vignetting,
  • Choose one filter that suits your preferences. Go to the "Details" tab to fine-tune the effect. Pull the sliders to adjust the exposure, contrast, shadows/highlights, temperature, tint, clarity and so on.
  • Click on "Adjust image" to apply the effect to the photo.

Choose one filter

  • Apart from "Adjust image", "Art effects" is another utility to add a special effect to your photo. Click on "Art effects" in the left pane. Select one art effect from Oil Paint, Cartoon, Pop Art, Colorize, Stylize, Lens Flare, Invert color, Pixelate, Halftone, Color Halftone, Posterize, and Color Cycle in the right pane.
  • Click on "Apply" to apply the effect to your photo.

Choose one art effect

  • Press the "Download" button and a dialog pops up. Select JPG or PNG as the output file format and click on "Download" to download the changed photo.


A cool visual effect makes your photo more eye-catching and attracts more people to your work. Give the apps mentioned above a shot if you want to make wow-worthy photos that are enhanced by special effects. Do you know some other great photo special effect software? If so, tell me by leaving a comment below.

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