A plug-in is, in fact, a program within a program that extends the capabilities of Photoshop and speeds up work in it. With the help of them, you can apply tinting to the photo, make a stylized effect, increase sharpness, and remove noise. Almost everything that plugins do can be repeated in Photoshop without them, but it will take much more time.
We’ve rounded up some interesting free Photoshop plugins that will help the aspiring photographer improve the quality of their photos in a fraction of the time, and we’ve tested them all ourselves to make sure they work.
A small plugin that recolors a photo in colors of the same shade. For example, red and orange, green or blue-blue. Suitable for toning photos and creating a certain mood. The good thing is that in one click it allows you to reduce the number of extraneous shades.
Of the minuses — the plugin repaints absolutely all colors. So, if you are photographing a portrait, the skin will also be affected. But this is easy to get around — just add a mask to the plug-in layer and use a black brush to erase the correction where it is not needed.
For information on how to use masks and what they are, read our detailed guide.
You can download the plugin from this link.
How to install the plugin
1. Download. Unzip it and open the abscolor12 folder.
There you will see two files — for 32-bit and 64-bit systems. Most modern computers now run on a 64-bit system, but it’s better to check it yourself rather than relying on statistics. For example, in the same Photoshop menu Help / Help — System Information / System Info. You need the third line from the top. It will look something like this: Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit. The last numbers will tell you about your system: 64-bit or 32-bit.
2. Depending on the bitness of your system, copy one of the necessary files (the author has absolutecolor1‑2 (64 bits).8bf).
3. Go to where your Photoshop is installed and find the Plug-ins folder there. Paste your file into this folder.
4. Done! Now you can open Photoshop. The installed plugin will appear in Photoshop in the folder Filter / Filter.
Turn a photo into a painted poster in a couple of clicks! This effect to stylize pictures is called “halftone effect”. Its essence is that shades are transmitted by separate dots painted in a certain color. Of course, the customer is unlikely to be happy if all the photos turn into cartoon illustrations, but if such an image is printed, it can be an interesting gift.
You can download the free plugin from the link.
How to Install a Plugin for Photoshop
1. Follow the link and find the Free Download button.
2. In the unpacked folder, find the file halftone.8bf (this is the plugin) and copy it.
3. Move the copied plug-in to the Plug-ins folder where Photoshop is installed. Most common address: This computer — Drive C — Program Files — Adobe — Adobe Photoshop 2022 (or whichever version you are using) — plug-ins. Ready!
A useful free plugin for a photographer that improves the sharpness of a photo. Sharpening will make the photo more detailed and clear, which will visually improve its quality. This is useful for photos in any genre — from landscapes and macro to family and fashion photography.
You can download the free plugin for sharpening here.
Free Photoshop Presets by ON1
The site has a whole group of plugins for photographers with toning, quick retouching, noise reduction. Unfortunately, you can only get a 14-day trial version of each product for free. But there you can download a set of 80 presets for Adobe Camera Raw, the official plug-in for Photoshop, for free.
The preset is in some way the “little brother” of the plugin. This is a small file that contains certain brightness and color settings. That is, it, like the plugin, allows you to quickly change and tone a photo.
The set from ON1 has presets that turn the image into black and white, increase saturation, tint it in different colors and antique, show shadows, etc.
You can download free presets for Photoshop here.
How to install a set of presets for Photoshop
1. Go to the site and click the button download.
2. You will be asked to fill out a short form. In it you need to specify your email, country and indicate whether you want to try their free Raw conversion program (of course, you can refuse).
3. After that, the onOne_Software_Perfect_Presets_for_Adobe_Camera_Raw archive will appear in your download folder on your computer.
4. Copy all the presets in the folder and place them:
- for Windows: C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Camera Raw\Settings
- for Mac: Library\Application Support\Adobe\Camera Raw\Settings
If it was not possible to install the proposed method, we suggest using the alternative described below.
1. Launch Photoshop, open any image and go to the Adobe Camera RAW plugin. It’s on the menu Filter / Filter — Camera Raw Filter.
2. In the panel on the left, find the tab Presets / Presets.
3. Find the downloaded archive with presets and select it without unpacking.
4. Presets will be loaded into the tab User Presets / User Presets.
5. Done! Now, to apply presets, just select them from the list and immediately see how they affect the image.
Adobe Camera Raw
Adobe Camera Raw is an official and free plugin from Adobe for Photoshop. Initially, it is used to convert images in Raw format, but it can also work with jpeg.
Here is a partial list of what the plugin is capable of:
- edit brightness;
- change White Balance;
- adjust saturation;
- convert to b/w;
- raise sharpness;
- remove noise;
- correct perspective;
- remove chromatic aberrations;
- recolor, change the brightness and saturation of individual colors.
Read about the effects that can be done with Camera Raw and the plugin’s capabilities in our material.
Typically, Adobe Camera Raw is provided by default and installed with Photoshop. But sometimes it is not included. In addition, Adobe regularly updates and upgrades the plug-in and, in order not to reinstall the entire program, you just need to download it separately.
The latest current and earlier versions of the plugin can be downloaded from the official Adobe website.