Every Friday will be Foto Friday, were I will share tips, tricks and other fun stuff related to photography. For the first week I thought it would be fun to talk about actions. If you haven’t already explored the world of action, now is a great time to discover what they can do and play around with them. There is a plethora of fantastic actions out there to purchase. The great thing about actions is that they are time savers, as well as helping to create a look for your work. What if you don’t know what look you want for your work? You’re in luck because many action makers offer free ones to try out! One site, www.thecoffeeshopblog.com, is a great place to start. It has many actions and other downloads for you to explore for free. Talk about some good karma coming her way! If you enjoy her work why not create some good karma for yourself and donate a little (if you can) to her site. Another site, and the place I downloaded the action I used for this tutorial, is MCP Actions. She is another rocking woman, and her blog is filled with so much good stuff. The link takes you to her Facebook page where you can download the Mini Fusion action for free, just by liking her. I told you she rocks. Also, go to her blog and visit her store. She has so many wonderful actions and you will be hooked after trying this one. Lets get started on working with actions.
Here is the before and after
Once you open your image in Photoshop make any exposure corrections to your image before you run the action. I always like to do a Curves correction to my images to give it a little pop. If you shoot in RAW like I do, the images are flatter and not as sharp as straight JPGs. Did you ever wonder why the image you saw on the back of your camera looks different then on your computer. It’s because JPG images have been slightly processed in your camera, unlike a RAW image, which is left pure. Create a new curves layer (press the black/white circle) and select curves. Pull the line up or down to your liking in the Curves panel. When your done, click back on the Background layer to highlight it.
Now for the fun part, watching your photo change before your eyes with one click of the play button. In a couple of seconds your Layers panel will fill with a bunch of new layers to play with. I like to start at the top and work my way down and then go back and make little tweaks here and there. First click on the layer you wish to work on and make your way to the opacity slider, then move it back and forth to see what it does. I also like to turn the layer on and off by clicking on the eye icon on your highlighted layer to see what effect it has on the photo.
You are going a long and you like what is happening to the trees, but not anything else in the photo. What to do? Layer mask time. A layer mask is built in to each one of these layers in this action, to give you more control over the look you are giving your photo. To use the layer mask, click on the white box and then select your paint brush having the color black. Next take your paint brush and paint over the area you don’t want the effect on. If you make a mistake just change your paint brush to white and paint back the effect.After you have gotten your picture the way you want it to look it’s time to flatten your image. After flattening, I would look at the image and do a final look and take care of any distracting elements. I didn’t care for the way a pole looked and used the patch tool to remove it. That is about it. Now go and have some fun with action!
Until next week, Olivia