PhotoTools Free is a Photoshop plug-in supported by CS3, CS4 and CS5 versions. It includes a number of 26 professional photographic effects that can be added to your photos. Of course, Photoshop has its own filters, but as a professional photographer or a simple amateur who is into artistic photography, you probably appreciate every extra tool that can be available to you.
It is recommended to use the plug-in (File - Automate - Photo Tools 2.6 Free) after correcting colors, but before sharpening and resizing the photo. Some of the effects you can choose from refer to boosting color, super sharpening, obtaining a HDR look or a vintage one. All effects are explained in a separate column and some have their own options, as they can be applied in more than one way. Each effect can be applied to with a different intensity and the "fade" option allows you to adjust it. A list of keywords can help you in choosing an effect. For example, if you are interested in fixing tones and obtaining a modern look, you can choose "fix tone" and "modern" and the "turbo boost" effect will be offered to you. Several effects can be applied on an image.
If you care about details of your photos but you want the processing of your pictures to be a little quicker, then you will be glad to have new effects to use.