How to make your photo pop by adding a special effect to it

Normally speaking, when taking pictures, you wish to get a photo that reflects a realistic scene as much as possible. In other words, the photo you obtain is a copy of everything in the scene. But occasionally, we want a photo with a special effect rather than a standard photo. Such a kind of photo draws viewers' attention and generates a lot of social shares. To get the special effects in Photoshop is a daunting task for photo post-processing beginners. They have to master a great deal of technical expertise to create the effects you want. This is when special effect photo editors come in handy. If you are a beginner in manipulating photo effects in Photoshop and looking for a reliable photo special effect editor to handle the task, please continue reading this article. In this article, I'll introduce you to an easy-to-use app with which you can add a special effect to your photo to make your photo pop.

Photo HDR by Vertexshare

Use Photo HDR to add a special effect to a photo

Having a suggestive title, Photo HDR by Vertexshare is a piece of standalone software that aims to combine differently exposed photos into a single HDR photo. Besides, it comes packed with a wide range of parameters and decorative objects, allowing you to add different effects to your photo.

After opening the program, you will be welcomed by a sleek and clean window. Load three photos of the same scene with different exposures into the program and the HDR technique will be applied to them. Click on the "Next" button and you will be taken to a new window. The window consists of three panels. A bunch of predefined effects are located in the left-side panel. You can see small preview thumbnails of these predefined effects. The middle panel, which takes up most of the window, is the preview area. Here you can see the result of applying any change to the photo in real-time. A variety of parameters are located in the right-side panel. You can modify the exposure level by changing the brightness, saturation, and contrast. What's more, you can tone-map a HDR photo and narrow the dynamic range compression. In addition, you can adjust the local contrast, sharpen the blurry photo, and reduce the noise level in the photo. It is also possible to add a graduated filter to your photo, mix the color channels and use Lab adjustment to boost the colors and definition. Other parameters are vibrance, vignette filer, and soft light.

On the whole, Photo HDR is a simple yet powerful photo processing app. It has two functions. The first one blends the differently exposed photo to make a HDR photo. The second one enables you to use the built-in filters to enhance your photo's effect. Sporting a straightforward user interface and settings, Photo HDR should be suitable for both inexperienced users and professionals.

Now, let' dive into the part of how to use Photo HDR to add a special effect to your photo.

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

Step 1.

  • Drag and drop your photo into the working space saying "Drag and Drop Your Photo here". You can also import the photo by clicking on the "Add" button. To remove the imported photo, click on the "Remove" button next to the "Add button".

Step 2.

  • Click on "Next" and go to the left-side panel. The preset special effects in this panel include Begonie, Chrunchy, DynamicHollow, TheElder, Vacuous, Piazza, Reichstag, and Hagia. Select one preset effect and you will see the corresponding effect applied to your photo. Choose the preset effect that suits your needs.

Select one preset effect in the left panel

Step 3.

  • Press the "Save as" button to export the HDR photo to a desired location.

Super easy to add a special effect to your photo with Photo HDR, right? Photo HDR is a piece of commercial software. Thus, its free version leaves a watermark to the exported photo. If you want to get a changed photo without the watermark, shell out 29.95 bucks to buy a lifetime license. Maybe you wonder if there is a web-based app that can help you create an awesome special effect for your photo. The answer is yes. I'd like to introduce such an app to you in the part below.


Use PhotoMania to add a special effect to a photo

PhotoMania is a very nice special effect photo editor online that turns your photos into impressive works of art. With the help of it, you can make gorgeous photos with a single click. PhotoMania is totally free for use and no registration is required. Follow the steps below to use PhotoMinia to add a special effect to your photo.

  • Head over to the site and press the big "Edit Your Photos" button.
  • Click on "Upload a Photo" to upload your photo. Or click on "Facebook Photos" to import your photo from your Facebook account.
  • After the photo is uploaded, go to the left pane. You can see a series of options in the "Artistic" tab.
  • I suggest you choose "Filters" if your photo is a landscape photograph. Once it is selected, you will see a lot of effects for you to choose, like Paretro, Retrolga, Aria, Hana, Angie, Ruby, Eva, Orton, Sapphire, Creamy, and Venus. Click on one filter and you will see the effect applied to your photo in the preview pane. You can pull the "Intensity" slider in the "Fill" tab of the selected effect to adjust the intensity of the effect. Click on the watermark at the bottom right corner of the photo. Click on "Remove Watermark" to remove the watermark.

Select one effect of "Filters"

  • If your photo is a portrait photograph, you can also use the effects of "Pop Art". They are Warhol Dots, Che Guevara, Video Game, and Posterize. Choose one effect, adjust the intensity and remove the watermark.

Select one effect of "Pop Art".

  • When you are ready, click on the "Download" button above the photo to download the changed photo.


Photo HDR and PhotoMania are great choices for less experienced Photoshop users who are looking for an easy way to add special effects to their photos. If you want to achieve this purpose to make your photo into pop art, make the most out of them. Tell me which one you prefer by leaving a comment below.

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