One of the most useful effects that you can apply to a photo in Photoshop is the matte effect. The effect will be subtle with most photos, but it can help to get a beautiful look, and matte effects can also work well with a wide variety of types of photos.
One of the free Photoshop actions that we offer is
Here is a look at the sample photo we’ll be using in this tutorial.
And here is a preview of the “after” version of the photo.
To get started, the first thing we’ll do is add a curves adjustment layer. To do this, click on the icon to add an adjustment layer, and then select “curves”.
Now, with the curves adjustment layer you can create a curve that resembles the one shown below.
You’ll adjust each of the end points of the curve, and the mid tones of the photo will be darkened a bit.
The curves adjustment will be responsible for the majority of the effect that we’re creating. Here is a look at the photo after just the curves adjustment.
Next, we’ll apply a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Click the icon to add a new adjustment layer, and then select “Hue/Saturation”. The only change we’ll make here is to the saturation. We’ll change it to -20 to give a soft desaturated look.
Our last change will be to add a photo filter adjustment later. Click the icon to add a new adjustment layer and select “Photo Filter”. Select the Warming Filter (85) and change the density to 15%. The impact of this adjustment is pretty subtle (you can use a higher density if needed), but it will give a slight warmth to the photo.
And here is a look at the end result of the effect.
While this is somewhat of a simple effect, it can be quite useful and versatile. You can create your own matte effect by following this tutorial and trying your own tweaks, or you can