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!
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 –
For 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!