Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Actions! Actions! Read All About Them!!!

I've been working with Photoshop night and day for 6 months straight! At the beginning, helping me tackle the not-so-intuitive program, were Kubota Actions and books by the great Scott Kelby. Can we say..."incredibly helpful!?!" I give you both big kisses!!! I then discovered TRA a couple of months ago and started with their free downloads. Love love love them! I finally bit the bullet and purchased them last week. I can't even begin to tell you the difference in my work! It's amazing! So now, with Kubota Actions and TRA I'm rolling happily along...but (as always) I'm still looking for help along the way. See, I really love the deep colors and personal style of both Jessica Claire and Jasmine Star! They are amazing wedding/lifestyle photographers and I'm hugely impressed by their work! So I keep at it, disregarding both my boyfriend and my dog Pogo, in search of elusive Photoshop perfection! I search blog posts, download youtube video tutorials...I pretty much roam the internet checking every nook and cranny! I've come across a lot of really great stuff and thank you to the bloggers out there that post their info...it's been incredibly helpful!! Now, in my quest to continue working on my post-processing techniques, I've come across some cool sites that have free Photoshop actions that I want to share! I know nothing makes a photo more yours than having the control you need to post-process your own pictures ~ and I know actions should not be your only answer...but let's face the facts...they are a great tool that should be utilized!!! My personal favorite set of free actions are from the Pioneer Woman website. They have a group of actions that I am in love with ~ as well as having a lot of information and examples for photo enthusiasts! "Boost" has been a real keeper and "Soft and Faded" is really great as well ~ so much freedom and creativity within the layers...go check it out! As I mentioned before, I've just started with Totally Rad Actions and am enjoying the ease of use and control. I'm working a lot with "Yin/Yang" and I really enjoy their "Green with Envy" and "Big Blue" and "Snap it" for color saturation. They also have some free downloads like "Superfun Happy" and "Troy" that I suggest you take a look at! Also, a huge SHOUTOUT for the "Pro-retouch" action from TRA (not free but worth the money!)...thank you thank you thank you for bringing into this world a totally outstanding action!!! I've also come across MCP Actions ~ I haven't purchased any actions yet but I'm loving the great high def sharpening action and will continue to play around until I can afford more! Another great website to take a look at for free actions (donations accepted) and great tutorials is Coffee Shop Rita Take a look at her blog and you'll get lost for hours checking out all her info! Above you'll see before and after photos of me (thanks to Dianna Ippolito for the shot!). I ran the TRA pro retouch, then I ran "boost" from the Pioneer Woman free action group twice, as well as the MCP Action "High Definition Sharpening." There was a bit of color correction for my chest (it's always a bit red) but other than that I just made sure to sharpen the eyes separately and touch up my roots! Well ~ back to camera!