FREE PHOTOSHOP ACTION – Get it here! Touch of Light | Touch of Darkness

Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

FREE PHOTOSHOP ACTION – Get it here! Touch of Light | Touch of Darkness


Have you ever wanted to just lighten the face in your photo? Have you ever wanted to just lighten a part of a photo you did not expose properly?

Have you ever wanted to add emphasis to part of the photo by darkening the surround area but leaving the subject lighter?

If so, I have a special treat for you. It is an action called “Touch of Light | Touch of Darkness.” It will help you achieve this look! I have been getting requests to make and sell an action like this for months. But I have decided as a gift to my loyal MCP Actions Blog Readers to make this a FREE action.

In exchange for the free action, I would love for you to spread the word about my blog -tell your photographer friends to come get the action here too. This is a Blog EXCLUSIVE. This one will NOT be going on my regular website.

Click here to download this action – compatible in Photoshop CS and up and Elements 5 and up.


Here are step by step details on using this action:

1. Start out by unzipping and installing the action – details available in my video tutorial on how to install and use actions.

2. You can use this action any time in your editing process. Just make sure no solid pixel layers are above this. Adjustment layers can be on top of this however. I usually do all of my editing before using this action, unless I need major lightening help. Then I may run it earlier on. This action works exceptionally in conjunction with my Complete Workflow Actions Set and with the Quickie Collection Actions. When you are ready to use them click PLAY button.

3. The action will run and leave you with 2 layers. One called “Touch if Light” and one called “Touch of Darkness.” Make sure to select the layer you want to work on and that the mask is selected to, as shown.


4. Now select your brush tool – make sure to click back to your default colors (black and white). White reveals the effect, black conceals the effect.


5. Make sure to vary your opacity of your BRUSH as shown below. You do NOT want to use it at 100%. You will want it way lower. You will want an airbrush soft round brush and will want to vary the hardness. Do not use this at 100%. You will want to use the brush at 0-50% hardness. In areas where you want it feathering out, you can keep it at “0.” In areas where you do NOT want a halo effect, for example if you are darkening close to a person to make them stand out, you will want it between 30-50%. I will still feather but there will be less of one, so less chance of a halo around your subject(s).


6. Last step is to actually paint on the Light or Darkness. Often you will want a little of both. This usually is my last step in editing a photo but it can be used anytime. You can see the masks and how I revealed and concealed light to emphasize my twins riding their bikes. This photo was shot in full sun in the middle of the afternoon. Yet with this set and proper exposure it does not have that noon sunlight look at all.


7. Enjoy this action. Please use the SHARE ME button below to share this blog page so your photographer friends can download the action. Also, if you find this tutorial useful and are happy with the action, please leave a comment. Thanks and enjoy the fun freebie.


Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™
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  1. Tonya P
    May 14, 2008 at 7:16 pm —

    What a great share. Thanks so much.

  2. May 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm —

    Thanks Jodi! I can’t wait to try it out!!!

  3. May 14, 2008 at 5:06 pm —

    Thank you so much for everything you do Jodi!!

  4. Tracy YH
    May 14, 2008 at 4:56 pm —

    Wow, thanks so much! I can’t wait to try this one… thanks for the instructions too!


  5. Missy
    May 14, 2008 at 4:46 pm —

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I can’t wait to try it out! And I’ll share your site too!

  6. May 14, 2008 at 4:34 pm —

    Thank you so much!!

  7. Gina
    May 14, 2008 at 4:27 pm —

    I am always bragging about MCP!! I will continue to do so!

  8. Kandis
    May 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm —

    Very Cool….Thanks. I’ll definately share your site!

  9. Laura
    May 14, 2008 at 12:19 pm —

    Another great tutorial Jodi!

  10. Rhonda
    May 14, 2008 at 12:04 pm —

    Thank you so much, Jodi

  11. Jenny
    May 14, 2008 at 11:53 am —

    Thank you for sharing this Jodi!!

  12. Niki
    May 14, 2008 at 10:48 am —

    Thanks Jodi!! It’s exactly what I needed for photos of our Mothers Day hike.

  13. May 14, 2008 at 10:32 am —

    Thank you so much, Jodi – you are so generous. I can’t wait to try these out. I’ll definitely spread the word about your blog.

  14. May 14, 2008 at 10:08 am —

    Thanks Jodi……..I just used them and you are a lifesaver!!! As I have said before….Jodi’s actions are absolutely “the best” out there!

  15. Julie Cook
    May 14, 2008 at 9:42 am —

    wow Jodi, this is very cool! Thank you! I will download and share this after I get my dd to school.

  16. May 14, 2008 at 9:24 am —

    Thanks Jodi! This is awesome!

  17. May 14, 2008 at 9:22 am —

    Wow thanks Jodi! Can’t wait to play with this!

  18. Christina
    May 14, 2008 at 9:10 am —

    Thank you, Jodi! I’m off to play with this now!

  19. Adrianne
    May 14, 2008 at 7:20 am —

    Jodi ~ Thank you so much for the action and the detailed instructions on how to use it! You da bomb, babe! 😀

  20. gina
    May 14, 2008 at 2:25 am —

    thank you for the free action… i will share your site!!

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FREE PHOTOSHOP ACTION – Get it here! Touch of Light | Touch of Darkness