Today is the first day of my four day weekend and it happens without me having to use any vacation time. That is like GOLD. So, that also means Photoshop starts singing a siren song in the wee hours of the morning, calling me from bed, “Come play…come play!”
As I was looking through my list of projects I want to work on this weekend, I found my favorite image from 2011.
It was accidental, one of dozens of shots that day, and I just happened on the right set of actions in Photoshop to enhance it. It also helps to have a gorgeous model. (I’m just a tad biased.)
Do you know what actions in Photoshop are? They are so cool. It’s like a Macro in Excel. You just do one little click with your mouse and all these magical things start taking over your photo.
Here is the image from above SOOTC – Straight Out of the Camera:
Not bad, right? I was happy with it when I transferred it from my camera. But then I started fiddling around with some actions I installed from Get Totally Rad. You can get them free by signing up for a subscription. Click here.
Once you receive the email with the actions:
1) Click the link to download the actions.
2) Double-click to open the zip file after it finishes the download. Double-click on the .atn file to open it. This should cause the actions to automatically load into your Photoshop program.
3) In Photoshop, click on Windows/Actions. This should open your Actions Palette and you should see the Totally Rad actions in the palette.
4) Play with it! Open a photo in Photoshop. Make sure your background layer is selected in the layers palette. Highlight the action you want to use and then, at the bottom of the Actions palette, click on the “play” button. (It looks like a little arrow pointing to the right.)
The actions will create their own layer in Photoshop so if you don’t like the result you can delete the layer and start over again.
So, from the SOOTC image, I then used the Troy action from the TRA2 Demo and this is what happened:
I liked it very much but I was still playing around with the actions and then happened upon the Dirt Bag action from the TRA2 Demo. It just adds a little grunge:
So from this:
I just loved the effect and, when all is said and done, it takes about 3-5 minutes from out of the camera to save for the web or print.
Most Photoshop actions are geared and priced for the professional photographer but here are a few additional websites where you can get free actions:
If you have Photoshop, give some of these actions a whirl. Let me know if you have any trouble and I’ll try to help. If you have Photoshop Elements, there are also free actions for that software but they are harder to find and install.
Actions rock! My only problem with them is that they’ve made me lazy about learning how to do my own edits. They are handy when you want to get something out quickly. They are perfect solutions for moms with gazillions of photos to process.
Not that I resemble that remark. Nope not at all. Let’s see…where is that other photo of the kids that I want to edit? I think it was #8,332…