There seems to be endless supplies of commercial editing products for photographers as well as just the average cell phone camera user. Overlays are often artistic images themselves that are placed over top of an image, much like a new Photoshop layer, rather than behind the image such as a background. In some cases they take the form of a cell phone filter and the quality is more for entertainment purposes rather than anything else.
In other cases, they take the form of PNG (Portable Network Graphics) file that often has a transparent background so that elements from the original image show through the final product. PNG files have many uses, such as an earlier post that I wrote relating to desktop publishing shown here JPegs and PNG files. Overlay files can of be found free on sites such as PNGtree or of course many be purchased through almost an endless supply of commercial sites. You can of course create your own PNG files directly from Photoshop as shown in this quick tutorial Transparent backgrounds.
But the real question here is for the photographer who may be into the artistic editing side with their images, are commercial overlays worth your time and in some cases, expense?
Well here are some positive points to these images:
Of course, almost everything has it's negatives:
Using overlay files in Photoshop is relatively simple. Steps are as follows:
Overlay files can be productive and inspiring as long as they are not overused!
Bob Barford is a published photographer based in Southern PA.