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6 Best Photoshop Brushes for Photographers

Last updated on Sep 7, 2021 by Brenda Barron

As a photographer, you probably already know how useful Adobe Photoshop can be for sprucing up your images.

You can colorize black and white images, add filters to your images, and even get rid of annoying imperfections that you wish you hadn’t caught on camera. However, did you know that you can also unlock your inner artist with Photoshop brushes?

Brushes are some of the most fun and effective tools Photoshop has. They’re ideal for enriching your photos and can save you some serious time on editing. But which are the best Photoshop brushes for photographers?

Today, we’ll look at:

  • Lens flare brushes
  • Bokeh brushes
  • Grunge brushes
  • Fog brushes
  • Skin brushes
  • Cloud brushes

If you don’t have it yet, you can get Photoshop here from Adobe’s site.

1.     Lens Flare Brushes

Lens flares are a wonderful way to add some extra drama to your images or draw focus to a particular point on the horizon. Of course, you can’t always make a flare happen organically when you want it to. The good news is that you can create the perfect flare after the fact with these lens flares from Brusheezy.

Not only is this pack fantastic for creating professional visual effects, but it’s also one of many free Photoshop brushes for photographers on the market today.

A bright lens flare against an empty, dark background

2.     Bokeh Brushes

Some of the best Photoshop brushes are the ones that help you to create simple, but magical effects. The “Bokeh” look is formed through an out-of-focus background and a sharp foreground image. There are two ways you can get this look with Photoshop. The first is to simply blur the background of your image.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little simpler (And more artistic), you can try this selection of 92 Bokeh brushes.

An orange autumn leaf with a heart-shaped hole in the middle, in front of a bokeh background

3.     Grunge Brushes

A good way to stay versatile is to invest in a selection of effects so that you’re always ready to create a new kind of image. Grunge brushes aren’t something you’ll see very often in most wedding or portrait shots, but they can be a great way to add drama to an image if you want to do something different.

A grunge brush used subtly can also create a vintage effect, or make a photo seem aged. Here’s a fantastic pack of 10 free brushes available from Sivioco. These options are ideal for gentle effects.

A digital drawing of a car in front of a bright yellow background

4.     Fog Brushes

Want to add some mystery to an otherwise cloud-free day? The best Photoshop brushes can help you to transform an environment in post-production, turning a sunny day into a romantic atmosphere. This set of 106 brushes comes with plenty of ways to make the most out of your images using transparent and mystical overlays. They’re great for double-exposure portraits, wedding photography, and landscapes.

For commercial use, this set is free to use. But if you want to support the developer, you can also donate with the “name your own price” option. Remember that it’s possible to add color to your fog using your Photoshop tools too.

A forest covered in a dense layer of bluish fog

5.     Skin Brushes

At this point, we’ve covered a lot of Photoshop brushes for photographers that deal with the background in your image, but what if you want to improve the foreground subject instead? A pack of skin brushes can help airbrush out blemishes, change the skin tone, and make other alterations to people in your portraits.

While there are plenty of ways to get rid of blemishes and other issues with standard Photoshop tools as you learn more about the software, this kit of 3 brushes will help when you need a quick way to deal with issues.

A closeup of a woman's chin with a couple of small pimples

6.     Cloud Brushes

While a pristine blue sky looks amazing in some images, it’s always easier to add depth to your photos if you have a few clouds floating around. Clouds can also give extra emotion to some of the landscape photos on your portfolio, so they’re worth playing around with.

This selection of 9 cloud brushes from DeviantArt is hyper-realistic, so they won’t distract from the beauty in the rest of your image. There’s also a good selection between thicker, fluffier clouds and wispier misty clouds for a more mysterious look.

A sky full of clouds surrounding a small opening that light is pouring through

There you have it! Six of the best Photoshop brushes for photographers to help you start tapping into your artistic side. Are there any you think we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below, and remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips and tricks.

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