Photoshop actions for digital photographers… Often controversial… Time saving… Helpful… Image enhancing…
Angie Monson (of Simplicity Photography) has images with very unique, vibrant color. While this highly color popped look may not be for everyone, it is extremely popular right now. And her photos and editing are stunning. She sent me an urban photo, so that I could illustrate to you how to get vibrant color using Photoshop actions.
For this image above, here are the steps I took to achieve more contrast and bolder color:
- Started with Magical Clarity from the Bag of Tricks set – this photoshop action gives a crisp look to your photos.
- Next I used Magic Mid-tone Lifter at 64% opacity (also from Bag of Tricks) – this photoshop action brightens the midtones.
- Now for the rich, vibrant color using Photoshop actions… I used the Magical Color Finder Brush action with the layer set to 100% (again from Bag of Tricks). I painted everywhere at full opacity except on skin and hair. I then changed the brush opacity to 45% and painted on her hair.
- Next I wanted to add a little bit of contrast. I used Magical Contrast (yep – Bag of Tricks again), opened the folder and used low setting at default opacity.
- The photo still looked a little dark, so I ran Magic Mid-tone Lifter again. This time I used the opacity at 54%.
- Even though I love her freckles, I still used Photoshop actions to get brighter, smoother skin. I used Magic Skin and adjusted the opacity to 48%.
- Though this was a distant shot, I wanted to lightly enhance the eyes so I used the Eye Doctor, a Photoshop action to enhance eyes.
- Now it was time for some selective lighting and darkening to finish the photo. I ran the Free Photoshop actions, Touch of Light, Touch of Darkness. I painted with a 25% brush to lighten specific areas and a 35% brush to burn certain areas. I prefer this to the dodge and burn tools, as those work directly on pixels, versus this which works on adjustment layers.