This is an image I edited of the frozen Mississippi River from the Illinois side looking over into Missouri.
Here is the before image:
(The background is actually transparent, but it needed a color to display it here…)
(I made it just a little darker for this portrait so you could see it better! I would decrease the opacity just a tad more before showing it to a client!)
I was on the phone with a fellow photographer the other night and we were chatting. I am the Queen of Multi-Tasking so I can not just sit and do one thing. “Must. Complete. Nine.Tasks.” at least that is what my brain says to me.
(No, I don’t even sit and just watch tv or a movie. Multi-tasking. Always!)
Some people pace while they are on the phone. Some people doodle. Well, here is what I do…..
I go through my straight out of camera images and edit them randomly…just because. If I mess anything up or don’t like it, I don’t have to worry about it. If I edit it and I like it, well, it’s something new I can use in my editing process!
I wish I had a switch to flip that part of my brain off that needs to work and create……especially when I need to sleep! ☺
No, I didn’t have a little too much wine with dinner and accidentally scramble up my post title. This blog is going to talk about what happens after you get your camera and lights and take the image….and editing with actions.
If you don’t know what actions for Photoshop are, I am going to tell you…and show you.
Actions are actually designed to speed up a photographer’s work flow. Instead of manually going through a series of steps, actions are able to make the steps shorter and save a photographer time. Some actions can be used in any version of Photoshop and some can only be used in Elements. (Lightroom has presets which are the same thing, but actions are presets are not interchangeable.). If you are purchasing actions make sure they are compatible with your editing software!
Most actions are grouped so that you can tweak each little piece of it in order to achieve the look you are trying to achieve. Let’s say the photo you are editing needs a little work and there might be about 10 steps you need to do to get it to where you want it and you have about 40 of these images and will have to do it to each of them for a “consistent” look. Can you imagine the time it would take to do that by hand for each one? That time could be better spent doing other business related things!
Now I have heard people grumble that actions are “cheating” and the photographer isn’t really doing their own editing….and I don’t agree with that. I think there is a difference between using them to help your workflow and using them to try to salvage bad work. If the shot is just bad, don’t try to use actions (or even black and white) to try to fix it. Trash it and move on to the good ones.
Here is a photo I edited using actions from Hidden Beauty Photography. See how that really brought out the greens and just made this image POP?