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The Photoshop Blog offers the latest Photoshop news and software updates, Photoshop tips and tutorials, and random thoughts from graphic artist and Photoshop expert Jennifer Apple.
Free Photoshop Actions From Pioneer Woman
There's a blog called Pioneer Woman, and the other day there was a great post with some free Photoshop Actions that they were giving away. With permission, I've copied and pasted the post for you to read through, and here's the link to the page where you can download the free Photoshop actions!
Photoshop actions are addictive and so much fun, and I’ve been working for the past few weeks to put together a nice, lovely package of actions for all of you, my photography-obsessed friends, to enjoy. Developed in part by the brilliant, creative Doug Boutwell at Totally Rad Actions, the actions in this set will help you create a final image that’s whippy, zippy, and most importantly, all yours.
There are lots of things I need to explain about the actions, but I’ll save all my incessant chatter for the coming weeks, during which time I’ll explain the actions in more detail and show you cool ways to combine the actions in order to achieve some really cool effects.
Now, just a few things. First, this package of Photoshop actions does not work with Photoshop Elements. As I’ve said before, I’m working to put together a set of Elements-friendly actions and will keep you posted on their progress. In many cases, however, lots of the steps contained in these actions can be executed in Elements, and in the coming tutorials I’ll be sure to include Elements-friendly tricks.
Second, remember that Photoshop actions shouldn’t replace your continuing education/experimentation in Photoshop. Speaking from experience, actions can become a crutch if you’re not careful. Keep having talks with yourself about the importance of learning new steps in Photoshop, and make yourself learn new tools everyday. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go practice what I preach. Goodbye forever.
Third, as is the case with all actions, not all of the actions in this set will work with all photos. Some are more geared for landscape shots with lots of blue sky; some are more geared for people. So just play around and find the ones you like. To make it extra easy for you, I created a “Start All Over!” action at the bottom of the list, so you can just click it to undo the previous edits and start over on a new action.
And finally, these actions are designed to give you total flexibility over your final image. Select the different layers of the action and increase/decrease the opacity of the layer (see my previous lesson on Layer Opacity) to make each action really work for you. I hardly ever run one of these actions without playing with the opacity at least a little bit. And for you more advanced users, these actions contain lots of layer masks, so you can “paint” over areas you’d like to tweak. (Beginners, we’ll cover layer masks before too long.) Here’s a very brief/quick rundown of the actions in this set:
1. Fresh and Colorful: Clean & crisp; works great for shots with skies and color. It has a dialogue box that pops up, so just follow the directions and go. Contains some sharpening, so be careful about sharpening after the fact.
2. Lovely and Ethereal: Just like the name: soft, with a slight boost of color/contrast, and pleasing. Very nice for faces.
3. B&W Beauty: A nice, straightforward black & white conversion. Fine on its own, or combined with other actions (”Boost”, for example).
4. PW’s B & W: A black & white with a little more contrast, with some burned edges at the end. Play with the “Light” layer at the end to get the photo to the correct brightness.
5. Soft and Faded: Mellow, slightly desaturated, effect. Takes some playing around, but on the right photo it can be really nice.
6. Vintage: Old-time, weathered, aged look. It makes a pretty strong statement, so it’s usually not right for everyday snapshots. But used on the right photo, this action can be really dramatic. Also great at decreased opacity.
7. Boost: This is an awesome “pop” for just about any photo. Adds a “boost” in contrast and color, without overpowering the image. I run “Boost” after running many of the other actions in this set and I’m almost always pleased with the final result.
8. Define and Sharpen: Just like the name. Adds crispness and definition.
9. Flatten: I threw in this everyday “revert” tool to make it easy for you.
10. Slight Lighten: If the image is just a little too dark, I’ll run this at the end and it gives it just the brightness it needs.
11. Slight Sharpen: A mild unsharp mask action. Can be used twice in a row if needed.
12. Quick Edge Burn: Doug’s awesome burned-edge effect. NOTE: In many cases, the image needs to be flattened before running Quick Edge Burn or the action won’t work. So do all your other edits and save this for the end. Also, Quick Edge Burn works best when you adjust its opacity and allow the burning to fade into the woodwork a little.
13. Start All Over! Perfect for an indecisive middle child like myself who likes to try lots of different actions on one photo. Let’s hear it for no consequences–woo hoo!
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Adjusting Exposure in Adobe Camera Raw CS3
Photoshop CS3 Tutorial High Dynamic Range
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