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The Best Photoshop Actions for Macro Flower Photography

The Best Photoshop Actions for Macro Flower Photography

There are so many ways to edit your macro flower images.  You can opt for a soft, vintage look, or a vivid, crisp and colorful style . You can use a clean post-processing in Photoshop or add textures for a fine art, hand crafted look.

To start editing your flowers, decide on the look you want. Though I appreciate a more vintage, fine art look, my own style is very bold and colorful.  I love finding hidden color and natural texture from within each flower. To get this this look, I use a combination of Photoshop actions.

Today and again next Friday, I will show you edits of flowers, photographed by the talented, award winning, Mike Moats, I will show you how to take a beautiful flower shot and turn it into a colorful masterpiece.

Bladder Campion flower: Gorgeous macro shot. I see a lot of hidden color and texture that I want to draw out in my edit.

weeping flower before 600px The Best Photoshop Actions for Macro Flower Photography

Step-By-Step Blueprint:

  1. To pull out rich colors from the image, I started by using the Photoshop action, Magical Color Finder Brush, from the Bag of Tricks action set. This set is now available for both Photoshop CS2, CS3, CS4, and CS5 – and also for Elements (PSE) 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.
  2. The image, at this point, was very rich, but a little darker than I wanted it.  I used Magical Midtone Lifter, a Photoshop action that brightens the midtones, also from the Bag of Tricks.  I set the layer to 100%. I wanted to brighten it a bit more so I ran it a second time and set the opacity of the second layer to 60%.
  3. Next I wanted to bring out detail in the flower. I used the Magical Clarity actions – this Photoshop action that pulls out contrast in the midtones, adds dimension, and draws out natural textures.
  4. The last step was sharpening. For the print version I used the Free Sharpening action, High Definition Sharpening. For the web version, I used Crystal Clear Resize and Sharpen, also part of the High Definition set.

Here is the final result after using the above steps:

weeping flower after 600px The Best Photoshop Actions for Macro Flower Photography

 The Best Photoshop Actions for Macro Flower Photography

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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11 Comments

  1. 1
    Marylin says:

    What a great way to show what can be done to salvage an image. Just goes to show that no one has the ‘perfect’ image sooc. Thank you for reminding me of this! :)

  2. 2
    ingrid says:

    Wow, I’m always amazed at how much better a photo can be made with your actions!

    I’m looking forward to next Friday’s macro blueprint. I was wondering can you or have you done the same thing for photographs of food? How to make brown food interesting, yummy looking? :)

    Happy Friday!
    ~ingrid

  3. 3
    Denise Armbruster says:

    the transformation is remarkable, from drab to absolutely stunning.

  4. 4
    wowtisa says:

    What a transformation of colors! This is just great! I’m always amazed of Photoshop can do things like this but to be frankly, I’m most amazed on your technique to do this kind of thing. Great!

  5. 5
    Kelly says:

    Whoa Nelly! This is stunning. I have the Bag of Tricks. I’m trying this when I get home!

  6. 6
    Jovana says:

    Awesome results!

  7. 7
    jeni says:

    love the flower, of course! but really what caught my eye was the beautiful colors in the background that really came out and set the flower on fire! they were non-existent in the first photo! WOW! thanks for a great blueprint!

  8. 8
    sprittibee says:

    I have deleted a lot of pictures that looked like that first one. :) Cool tips – maybe I should go back through my archives to salvage a few.

  9. 9
    Amy Taracido says:

    While I like the colors you’ve “brought out”, I tend to prefer something more “halfway between” because I think the original is beautiful in its own natural way…the super-soft lavender/blush color of the flower etc….and I think the smaller buds above it were overdone a bit. I prefer the smoky soft dark lavender of the original buds. JMO.

  10. 10
    tricia nugen says:

    Amazingly Beautiful!

  11. 11
    Sherri says:

    WOW this is amazing !!
    I’m buying your action set ” Bag of Tricks ” asap
    had my eye on that set for a while now – this image REALLY sold me on it with all that vibrant color

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