Blueprint: Add Drama to Your Edits

Sometimes I like to have a bit of drama in my edits.  I would say that I add drama by bringing out details and adding contrast simultaneously. For this Blueprint, I wanted to create a really moody effect.

  • Cropped 1st – yes – often you will hear that you should crop last.  But rules are meant to be broken and since I did not like the composition, and since I knew what aspect ratio I desired, I cropped first.  I wanted to take her out of the center and add space where her eyes looked.
  • Then I started using actions. I turned to the “All in the Details” photoshop action set for this edit. I started by playing the “Urban” action.
  • Next I ran “Burnt Out” from this same action set.  It adds a custom vignette.

Believe it or not, that is all I did.  Yes – the 1st image looks more natural.  I could easily have edited this 5-10 different ways for different messages.  Remember as you work in Photoshop that you create art and a message with every image. Make it say what you desire.


Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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  1. 1

    That worked out nice, seems some actions really benefit from a darker image as there starting point.

  2. 2
    Rick O says:

    Nice job Jodi – FWIW I always crop first :)

  3. 3

    […] 2 votes vote Blueprint: Add Drama to Your Edits Sometimes I like to have a bit of drama in my edits.  I would say that I add drama by […]

  4. 4
    elena w says:

    the tones are really cool and dramatic – beautiful edit!

  5. 5
    MegganB says:

    I like to crop first too most of the time – it helps dictate pping :)

  6. 6
    Christy Lynn says:

    Stunning Edit! Love the crop, really defined the emotion.

  7. 7
    Alexandra says:

    Wow. These are stunning.

  8. 8
    Pam says:

    I love your edit on this one. The crop, the actions you selected – really frame the subject well. It actually looks like something from the Anthropologie catalog!
    Thanks for sharing this simple, yet dramatic blueprint.

  9. 9
    Krista says:

    When you crop early, like you did in this instance, what size or aspect ratio to do you usually use?


  1. Blueprint: Add Drama to Your Edits - [...] 2 votes vote …
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