Photoshop Actions

I always appreciate it when people post blogs about what kind of Photoshop they do and give out their ‘action recipes,’ so I thought I would pay it forward!  I use the Totally Rad Actions (both sets) and the Kubota Actions.


Here is the before.  I love this picture.  It is sharp, clean, I love the colors.  I don’t really want to change the look of it.


After.  Creamy, bold and yummy!

Daily Multivitamin

KDP Magic Sharp

Smooth-O-Matic @ 100%

Select-O-Sharp @ 75%


This is a pretty standard recipe of actions that I use on lots of photos to give them a little extra pizazz.  I love love love Daily Multi Vitamin.  I use it pretty regularly, because it just gives a bit of a punch to colors, deepens blacks and just adds some life without being too much.  Then I used KDP Magic Sharp and Smooth-O-Matic.  Smooth-O-Matic is also one of my favs.  I then went in and did ooooh so minor Select-O-Sharp sharpening to the eyes.


One of the things that took me a little bit to realize is that most of the time you should not run an action and leave it at 100%.  Changing the opacity levels can make the difference between a photo that is beautiful and a photo that just looks overly Photoshopped.

This photo straight out of the camera has a fairytale quality to it already.  I just wanted to minorly enhance that feeling.


I knew that I wanted to use Rusty Cage for it’s warm glowy feeling, but if I just ran Rusty Cage and left it, it would look like this – 

during_2For me, this is way too much, way too glowy, and way too dark.

So, I adjusted the opacities.  I took the whole thing down to 60%, then opened the drop down selection and reduced Rusty Cage Dark to 15% and ran KDP Magic Sharp over it.  Now it just enhances the inherent fairy tale feeling this picture already had without being too much.




I love black and white photos, and I love using Old Skool from the Totally Rad Actions.  Sometimes though, just running Old Skool is too strong for what I’m going for, and since I shoot RAW, all of the photos come out of my camera in color. So if I just reduce the opacity of Old Skool, the color underneath shows through.  What I do is run Boring old B&W first and then Old Skool on top  of that.  That way if Old Skool is too strong, I can reduce it’s opacity while maintaning a black and white image!  Here is an example – the first image was the RAW conversion.  The second had Boring Old B&W applied to it.  The third had Old Skool applied over that and then reduced to 60%




I hope that helps or encourages someone!


Filed under Photography

6 responses to “Photoshop Actions

  1. coloringlife2009

    Thanks for sharing your tips! This was a neat blog. Question: Do you know where to find overlay textures?

    • The Totally Rad Actions second set has some textures in it. I’ve also heard good things about Jesh de Rox’s actions with textures though I haven’t used them!

  2. Mike

    Just passing by.Btw, you website have great content!

    Don’t pay for your electricity any longer…
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  3. I read your blog for quite a long time and must tell you that your posts always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.

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