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6 Best Free Photoshop Plugins for Photographers

6 Best Free Photoshop Plugins for Photographers

by Brenda Barron on Sep 6, 2018

Looking for free Photoshop plugins for photographers? You’ve come to the right place!

Adobe Photoshop is easily one of the most powerful photo editing tools on the market. The service is packed full of fantastic effects and features designed to help you make the most of your snaps as a professional photographer. Whether you’re retouching wedding photos or setting up your portfolio, you’re sure to find a solution in Photoshop that can help.

However, after a few years working with Photoshop you may find yourself wondering if there’s anything else you can do beyond the basic features that come built in. In other words, what are the best free photoshop plugins for photographers you can use to enhance your skills?

Here we’ll look at:

  • The best free photoshop plugins for photographers
  • What they can do
  • Where you can find them

We’ve searched through the web to find some of the most popular photography photoshop plugins, so you can start sprucing up your pictures in no time.

1.     The Nik Collection (Google)

Published by everyone’s favorite search engine, Google, the Nik Collection is a stunning set of free Photoshop plugins that are great for giving your pictures a unique look. It applies effects and filters over your existing images to help transform your photos and give your portfolio more depth.

The Nik collection comes with seven plugins to choose from in total, which you can use to adjust the color in your images, sharpen lines, and apply filters to finished pictures. It’s a great way to upgrade your photoshop editing prowess.

A picture of the great wall of China with a filter over it, with the edge of other filters from the Nik Collection visible

2.     Old Photo (DeviantArt)

DeviantArt might not be the first website you think of when you’re looking for professional plugins. However, it turns out that the site is packed full of fantastic downloadable filters and extensions for photoshop users. The “Old Photo” tool from DeviantArt is excellent if you want to create a grungy or old-timey feel in your image, without going full sepia mode.

Old Photo allows you to adjust the contrast and color in your image for a nostalgic effect. Combine this effect with a light leak for a phenomenal picture.

A before and after example of the Old Photo Photoshop plugin, used on a picture of a man

3.     Blue Evening (Photographypla.net)

Most free photoshop plugins for photographers that attempt to bring nostalgia into an image focus on warm tones of brown and gold. However, Blue Evening takes a new approach to image adjustment by using shades of blue and purple. This stunning feature cools down your photo and adds a dose of fantasy to your photos. You can use it for images in a cold setting to give depth to your pictures.

This plugin can be great for solemn images, or romantic photos when you want to add some contrast into a winter wedding portfolio.

An example of the Blue Evening Photoshop plugin, used on an image of a girl sitting on a rock

4.     HDR Tools (DeviantArt)

Another item on our list of free Photoshop plugins that comes from DeviantArt, HDR Tools is a selection of four actionable solutions that you can use to transform dull background images with contrast and color.

The great thing about HDR Tools is that you can use it to transform an otherwise underwhelming or uninteresting image into something really eye-catching. For instance, you can turn a dull grey picture into a beautiful image with plenty of contrast. You can also decide how dense you want your image filter to be.

An example of the different HDR Tools density version compared to the original image, used on a picture of a town and a cloudy sky

5.     ON1 Effects

If you want to add highly professional effects to your photography, but don’t have a lot of money to invest into extra editing software, then ON1 effects could be the perfect set of free photoshop plugins for you. Technically, there is a price for the full product, but you can play around with the free trial first to see what the service has to offer.

ON1 Effects allows you to add complicated filters and upgrades to your images. For instance, you can adjust the contrast, add a unique HDR look, or bring nostalgia to your photos with a vignette effect. Not only that, but you can stack different filters on top of each other too, to create your own unique looks from distressed retro to magazine glamor.

An example of the ON1 Effects Photoshop Plugin, showing one setting applied to a photo of a woman's face, with small boxes showing previews of several other settings

6.     Ink

Sometimes, the best free photoshop plugins for photographers aren’t the ones that add extra effects to your images. Ones that give you more information about your photos while you work can be great too. Ink is a free tool that provides you with useful data about the design you’re creating, from pixel size to color codes and more.

If you’re working on a particularly complicated image or using color theory to balance your colors in Photoshop, Ink can give you an extra helping hand.

The Ink Photoshop plugin logo, with a white octopus on a dark grey background

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So, there you have it, 6 fantastic free photoshop plugins you can use to make your images more incredible. For extra tips and tricks for your photography, stay tuned with our blog, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter!

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