Lights, Camera, Actions! Photoshop Actions, that is.
Yes, ACTIONS. Photoshop Actions. What are Photoshop Actions you ask? Actions are a little used and under promoted feature of Photoshop that I’m personally thrilled with these days. My new favorite among all Photoshop workflow techniques is the Photoshop Actions feature.
Actions are like scripts that automate repetitive post processing tasks. Photoshop actions record, REPLAY and APPLY all your steps in a post processing routine. And Actions can also help you ramp up your own creative processes if the Action author added messages to the Action – the defined steps that literally walk you through the post production process. Photoshop Action are really an awesome tool for you.
Photoshop Actions can do most everything you do in Photoshop. The can create new layers, adjust brightness and contrast, change colors, sharpen, apply filters, strokes and keylines, resample, select…the list is pretty huge!
Are you beginning to get curious yet?
If you’ve used Photoshop Actions before, you know how powerful they are, but did you also know that you can run an Action on an entire folder full of images? This is another awesome feature of Photoshop Actions.
Last week I was working on a series of 50 images for a large website. All the photos had to be resized to fit the site, saved for the web at 72 dpi – medium compression, and in addition to all that, I had to add a white border with a keyline! I’m sure you can imagine how long that would take me if I had to do them all as individual images.
But I simply set up an Action to do it all for me. I ran the Action, went for a coffee and when I was back at my desk 15 minutes later, all my nature images had been processed.
Photoshop comes with a handful of Actions already installed; some are useful, some not so much.
Kevin Kubota, named one of the world’s Top 10 Photographers by Popular Photography Magazine, has a kick a** line of Photoshop Actions I love.
While not free, they are very affordable considering all you get. Kubota Image tools were the first set of Actions I bought, and I have never regreted it.
With names like “Lord of the Rings” that aims to mimic the deep, romantic feel of the movie. It adds color richness, a soft glowing effect, and contrast. Ooooh, so dreamy!
See some more of my “Kubota’fied” images here. (coming soon)
If you’re a professional wedding or portrait photographer you’re probably aware of several makers of commercial Photoshop Actions. These are awesome tools for adding efficiency to your Photoshop workflow and impressing you clients with ultra cool effects. See how Photoshop Actions work. (Opens in a new Window)
However if you’re not fabulously wealthy photographer pro just yet, it’s hard to justify the cost of some of these Actions – full professional Photoshop Action sets can run you about $500 – $700!
Now, if essentially your clients are paying you for it, this is not too big a hit. But what if you’re just starting out, or, what if, like many of us who visit this website, you’re NOT a wedding or a portrait photographer, you’re a NATURE photographer?
Yes, there are inexpensive Photoshop Actions for us nature photographers as well!