IN THIS CHAPTER
Destructive vs. non-destructive
Blurring and sharpening
Special Effects filters
Creating clouds and fire
When speaking about Photoshop, the immediate association for many is with the special effects and visual eye candy that it is capable of creating through its robust collection of filters. In most cases, the association is positive, and for good reason, as some truly spectacular visual effects can be produced when filters are skillfully combined. On the other hand, many first-time Photoshop users make a bee-line straight for the Filters menu and seem to do their darndest to see just how many effects they can squeeze into a single design — with nausea-inducing results. If you're reading this, congratulations are in order: You've already taken a solid first step toward ensuring that you don't end up in that group of filter-abusers.
Photoshop's filters can be loosely broken down into two categories — those that perform corrective image-editing tasks, and those that are used to create special effects. Coverage of these filters will be spread out over the next several chapters, although frankly, it would be impossible to cover every single filter that's included in Photoshop within these pages without significantly increasing the size of this already substantial tome.
Fear not, though — once you get used to using the filters that do receive coverage here, you'll feel comfortable striking out on your own and experimenting ...