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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. Traci
    August 17, 2009 at 7:49 pm —

    Actions and tutorials are masterfully done…hv bought some and also gotten the freebies. Well done!

  2. September 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm —

    Thanks for sharing;)

  3. November 13, 2009 at 11:18 am —

    Thank You so much!!! Your kindness is so appreciated!!!

  4. December 13, 2009 at 3:39 pm —

    Jodi, this is a remarkable action. I’ve been playing with my new purchase – your amazing Frosted Memories collection, and noticed that you’d sent this one free with the purchase. Thank you!

  5. January 9, 2011 at 11:00 am —

    High-quality disperse Most of us able to require a be aware with this strategy bed-sheet. Concept business particulars

  6. January 27, 2011 at 10:02 am —

    A large number of individuals pointed that will always be picky topic. The principles provided own turn out to be useful.

  7. Jacqui
    October 20, 2011 at 12:04 am —


    How do i add the free action? i’m using adobe photoshop CS5 and have tried everything 🙁

  8. Ashley
    September 3, 2012 at 10:26 am —

    I have downloaded touch of light touch of darkness, but in my actions palette, that square is black, however when I hover my mouse over it, it doesn’t tell me that it is indeed that action. So, I drag is to my photo and a box pops up saying to “Have fun playing with your photos” etc, but it doesn’t work. I am not left with the two layers I am supposed to be…please help!

  9. Ashley
    September 3, 2012 at 10:53 am —

    oops, that’s supposed to say, “…it ‘does’ tell me that it is indeed that action.”

  10. Ashley
    September 3, 2012 at 4:34 pm —

    I apologize, I should have mentioned that I downloaded that action at the same time as all of the other freebies, but Burnt Edges, Gallery Frame, Watermark, and Touch of Light/Touch of Darkness are the only ones that show up as black icons.

  11. Ashley
    September 8, 2012 at 2:58 pm —

    Should I delete them and install again? What would you say is my best option?

    • erin
      September 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm —

      Hi Ashley, Touch of Light does not install like the other actions. Please delete it, return to the instructions that came in your download, and reinstall it following the instructions. Thanks, Erin

  12. Kristi
    November 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm —

    I am trying to install the touch of light action, I have read the install directions, but when I go to do the touch of light action there is no atn file in that folder. Am I missing a direction?
    Thanks for the help and your great actions.

  13. April 23, 2015 at 4:38 am —

    when I download the free action package there is no atn file for the touch of light / touch of darkness action…

    Love your site btw!

    Best wishes,

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