Editing indoor natural light studio shots using Photoshop Actions

Thanks to Karen Gunton of Smile, Play, Love Photography in Australia, for sending in this Blueprint.

Karen wrote: Here is a photo from a recent studio session. Even with a huge window, because I use natural light for my studio shots, my backdrop always comes out grey. I use MCP actions “bright white spell” to get my backdrop nice and white, which I think makes it look more professional and suits my clean, modern style. here are my steps for this complete photo edit:

  1. Did a white balance adjustment in RAW – then opened the photo in Photoshop
  2. Used Noiseware to reduce noise at default settings (using natural light means I set my ISO quite high, so I love the ease and excellent results of the Noiseware plug-in – which I heard about on the MCP actions blog, by the way!)
  3. Used the MCP bright white spell” from the Bag of Tricks Photoshop action set – changed opacity to 75%.
  4. Did a defog using unsharp mask – set to 14, 40, 0.
  5. Used the MCP actions Eye Doctor Photoshop action to enhance eyes. I only needed the sharpening step on her eyelashes and also used on her lips, set at 50%
  6. Did a few custom curves to increase the midtones and to add slight contrast

After my editing was complete, I saved the image as a TIFF file with the layers intact so that I could go back and tweak it if necessary. Then I flatten the image and run it through an action to resize and sharpen my image for viewing online, as well as adding my logo and a bar. I love that my photos are not just watermarked, they clearly match the brand I use in every interaction with my clients. MCP’s Finish It set inspired me to do this for my images.
natural light studio shot
natural light studio shot edited in Photoshop

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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