Lately I've been getting lots of questions about the Photoshop actions I use. I put together a super quick demo of some of my very favorite Totally Rad Actions! for you. For those of you who have never used a Photoshop action, it's basically a shortcut and a way to save time. You press "play" and the action runs your photo though a pre-made list of Photoshop steps. It's super helpful for people (like me) who want most of their photos to look similar and for people who edit lots of photos every day. You can create your own actions and save them or you can buy and install them. I have owned and used this set of actions for a few years and it's one of my favorites. ETA: To use these actions you need to have Photoshop CS2 or later.
Below you will see before/after photos and which action(s) I used. Some are more dramatic and some more subtle. The best part is, all of these photos were edited from Before to After with just a few clicks. There is an action for pretty much any look you want to achive, but these are a few that I often use...
For this photo I used Claire-ify + Punch Out!!! + Greetings from Paradise. This is a normal action routine for me to help muggy photos pop in just a few steps. For this photo I used Punch Out!!! + Lux (hard). I love Lux (hard + soft) because they give photos an airy look, without being too faded.
For this photo I used Punch Out!!! + Crush + Flare-Up (golden) at 40% opacity. I love all of the golden actions that TRA has, but they are usually a bit too yellow for me so I always lower the opacity before flattening my image. For this photo I used Punch Out + Greetings from Paradise. This is a basic combination that brings out color, while still keeping a natural look. For this photo I used Milk & Cookies (B+W). It's my favorite black and white. It's super crisp and bright. I really like using this one on photos of people.
For this photo I used Punch Out!!! + Greetings from Paradise + Brooklyn (B+W). Brooklyn is my second favorite black and white. It's a little bit more natural looking with some warm tones. For this photo I used +Contrast (Luma) + Pross Crossessed #1 at 20% opacity. More severe actions work for photos with landscapes or objects. For this photo I used Punch Out!!! + Wish You Were Here + Greetings from Paradise. This is another great combination of actions to run when you want your color photo to pop! For this photo I used +Contrast + Warm It Up, Kris!
All of the examples above are done with the TRA1- The Original and TRA2- The Revenge sets. If you'd like more info about Totally Rad Actions! hop on over to their website. They have Q+A and lots of examples, plus lots of helpful video tutorials.
Here's an example image from their site of the actions they offer... Here are a few of my personal tips... 1. When you get a new set of actions take the time to run every single action on a human photo and a landscape photo. This will help you learn which actions are your favorites and for what scenarios. When I get a new set I always make a list of favorites (with notes and nicknames) so that I have an easy reference until I memorize all the names. As you can see from my examples above I have a few favorites that I use on most photos and then special ones that I only use once in a while. 2. You can still tweak your photos before and after running actions, they just help speed up the process. 3. Even though I use my Photoshop actions every single day (they save tons of time) I sometimes take a break from them just because I don't want to forget how to do everything from scratch. :)
I hope that was helpful to those of you who have been curious about the actions I use. I remember how intimidated I was when I bought my first set, but now I could never go back! XO. elsie