My Blog List

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Photography Lesson - Actions

Actions are tools that you use in processing.  The ones I'm going to talk about here, The Essentials Set from Paint the Moon, can be used with both Photoshop and Elements; and will make a huge difference in your shots with just a few clicks of the mouse. 

Here we have a shot I took at a recent clinic.  It was shot in raw and isn't too bad.  A little dark, but it's alright.

The composition is good and everything is in focus.  Now watch what happens when I use the "Punch it Up" action from the Essentials Set.

Now we're getting there, but still it could be a bit better.  So I'm going to use the "Luxe Color Boost" action.

To do this took me all of five minutes.  Without the actions, it might have taken me hours. 

Now let's go outside.

Our original.

Once again, not too bad. Interesting composition.  In focus.  But I think it's a little too blue.  So I'm going to use the "Warm it Up" action.

Hmm, getting there, so I'm going to use the "Paint on Vibrant Color" action and lower the layer opacity to about 30%.

Now I like it. 

This action set costs $45 and will make a world of difference in your pictures.  They load right into Photoshop and I'm guessing they load right in to Elements as well.  Now I can just hear you guys thinking to yourselves, "Actions, Smacktions, Maia would you please speak English.  I have no idea what you are trying to tell me here.  The Paint the Moon website has great tutorials which will explain exactly what an action is, what a layer is, and how to use them.  Do yourselves a favor and take a look. You won't be sorry.


  1. Maia- I have been using Picnic and I love it- but it is shutting down on April 29th. I was going to ask what everyone else uses- could you tell me a little more about what you use?

  2. I guess I am a traditionalist - do it all from scratch in Photoshop, when I need to. No purchased add ins, sometimes if I am feeling frisky I will download some free action sets from Adobe and use them but that's about it - doesn't take me hours though - been doing that stuff so long it takes me about 5-7 minutes to process a photo, but I have been doing it from scratch for 14 years now. Now if the picture needs some major work - I could spend 10-20 minutes on it - if I have to mimic the effects of a digital graduated filter or something... it just depends sometimes I spend more time thinking about it than doing it LOL.