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

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.


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  1. gina
    May 14, 2008 at 2:25 am — Reply

    thank you for the free action… i will share your site!!

  2. Adrianne
    May 14, 2008 at 7:20 am — Reply

    Jodi ~ Thank you so much for the action and the detailed instructions on how to use it! You da bomb, babe! 😀

  3. Christina
    May 14, 2008 at 9:10 am — Reply

    Thank you, Jodi! I’m off to play with this now!

  4. May 14, 2008 at 9:22 am — Reply

    Wow thanks Jodi! Can’t wait to play with this!

  5. May 14, 2008 at 9:24 am — Reply

    Thanks Jodi! This is awesome!

  6. Julie Cook
    May 14, 2008 at 9:42 am — Reply

    wow Jodi, this is very cool! Thank you! I will download and share this after I get my dd to school.

  7. May 14, 2008 at 10:08 am — Reply

    Thanks Jodi……..I just used them and you are a lifesaver!!! As I have said before….Jodi’s actions are absolutely “the best” out there!

  8. May 14, 2008 at 10:32 am — Reply

    Thank you so much, Jodi – you are so generous. I can’t wait to try these out. I’ll definitely spread the word about your blog.

  9. Niki
    May 14, 2008 at 10:48 am — Reply

    Thanks Jodi!! It’s exactly what I needed for photos of our Mothers Day hike.

  10. Jenny
    May 14, 2008 at 11:53 am — Reply

    Thank you for sharing this Jodi!!

  11. Rhonda
    May 14, 2008 at 12:04 pm — Reply

    Thank you so much, Jodi

  12. Laura
    May 14, 2008 at 12:19 pm — Reply

    Another great tutorial Jodi!

  13. Kandis
    May 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm — Reply

    Very Cool….Thanks. I’ll definately share your site!

  14. Gina
    May 14, 2008 at 4:27 pm — Reply

    I am always bragging about MCP!! I will continue to do so!

  15. May 14, 2008 at 4:34 pm — Reply

    Thank you so much!!

  16. Missy
    May 14, 2008 at 4:46 pm — Reply

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I can’t wait to try it out! And I’ll share your site too!

  17. Tracy YH
    May 14, 2008 at 4:56 pm — Reply

    Wow, thanks so much! I can’t wait to try this one… thanks for the instructions too!


  18. May 14, 2008 at 5:06 pm — Reply

    Thank you so much for everything you do Jodi!!

  19. May 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm — Reply

    Thanks Jodi! I can’t wait to try it out!!!

  20. Tonya P
    May 14, 2008 at 7:16 pm — Reply

    What a great share. Thanks so much.

  21. May 14, 2008 at 8:02 pm — Reply

    Thank for sharing Jodi. off to try this out now!

  22. May 14, 2008 at 8:09 pm — Reply

    Thanks Jodi! You ROCK!

  23. May 14, 2008 at 8:14 pm — Reply

    You guys are all so welcome – let me know how you like it!

  24. May 14, 2008 at 9:34 pm — Reply

    Thanks, Jodi..what a nice treat for us..

  25. Valerie
    May 15, 2008 at 12:42 am — Reply

    Thank you! Very generous!

  26. May 15, 2008 at 1:19 am — Reply

    THANKS JODI, You’re the best! 🙂

  27. Annie H.
    May 15, 2008 at 2:51 am — Reply

    Thanks Jodi. Can’t wait to try it.

  28. May 15, 2008 at 7:29 am — Reply

    Thanks so much Jodi I love your eye/teeth actions so much!

  29. May 15, 2008 at 8:25 am — Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  30. May 15, 2008 at 8:32 am — Reply

    Thank you Jodi for another wonderful action. I have your skins, dentist and eyes and love them! Can’t wait to try this one! Thanks again.

  31. Phyllis
    May 15, 2008 at 10:43 am — Reply

    Thank you Jodie!

  32. May 15, 2008 at 10:52 am — Reply

    Jodi you are awesome!!

  33. Rene
    May 15, 2008 at 10:58 am — Reply

    Jodi, Thanks for the action. I have purchased a few of yours. I’m off to your site to check out a few more. You rock girl!!!

  34. Kristy
    May 15, 2008 at 9:40 pm — Reply

    Thanks Jodie!! You are da bomb with your actions and tutorials. I’m learning so much from you. Love love love your blog.

  35. Kait
    May 16, 2008 at 10:50 am — Reply

    Thanks for the great action. Off to look at the examples, etc.

  36. Beth
    May 16, 2008 at 11:07 am — Reply

    Thanks Jodie. Appreciate the freebie 🙂

  37. Suzanne
    May 16, 2008 at 11:50 am — Reply

    Thanks Jodi! I have to correct a recent photo and this is just what I needed. You’re awesome!

  38. May 16, 2008 at 12:25 pm — Reply

    Jodie – you’re the best! I can’t wait to try this action. I think I’ll write a little blurb about your and your actions on my blog and show some examples of my favorite things that you offer. Is that ok?

  39. May 16, 2008 at 5:19 pm — Reply

    I love using your actions!! Thanks for the freebie!!

  40. christy Burrows
    May 16, 2008 at 5:45 pm — Reply


  41. Marieke
    May 16, 2008 at 6:33 pm — Reply

    Thank you very much for sharing. I’m planning on editing some pics this weekend and will certainly try it out!

  42. May 16, 2008 at 7:51 pm — Reply

    Thanks Girl! You are AMAZING!

  43. charleigh
    May 17, 2008 at 4:15 am — Reply

    thanks jodi! i purchased your workflow actions – but your crackle examples look so good i might have to get the quickies too! 🙂

  44. May 17, 2008 at 9:06 am — Reply

    Glad everyone is loving this.

    I would love for you all to post examples on my flickr group (link at the top of each post).

    And a few of you mentioned “Crackle” – yep – “snap, crackle and pop” but especially “crackle” have become my favorite go to actions for photos that are really good SOOC but need a boost. It is amazing. Sometimes it, plus this free one, complete an already well exposed, well focused photo.

  45. May 17, 2008 at 12:52 pm — Reply

    Such an effective action! Thank you for the chance to use it. As with all your products, top notch.

  46. May 17, 2008 at 7:01 pm — Reply

    Thanks so much that is great!

  47. Teresa Pomerantz
    May 17, 2008 at 10:10 pm — Reply

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!! You are my hero!

  48. May 19, 2008 at 10:09 am — Reply

    Thank you for the touch of light/touch of darkness action, I will try it out today!

  49. May 21, 2008 at 1:53 am — Reply

    Thank you! Can’t wait to play! 🙂

  50. kellie
    May 26, 2008 at 1:50 pm — Reply

    Thanks !!!!!!! I’ve purchased a few other action sets only to go unused(for the most part) I wish I had
    found your site before wasting all that money!!!! Your stuff is really great !!!!

  51. Christine
    May 30, 2008 at 12:53 pm — Reply

    Looks so cool. I cant wait to try it out. Thanks a ton for sharing!!!

  52. June 6, 2008 at 6:34 pm — Reply

    Thanks so much for all your help, Jodi! Can’t wait to use these actions! 😀

  53. Lydia
    June 12, 2008 at 6:33 pm — Reply

    Thank so you much I cant wait to purchase all your actions!

  54. Paige n
    July 14, 2008 at 12:42 pm — Reply

    Jodi thank you so much for this action and the detailed instructions! I just love your actions! TFS

  55. French mom
    August 1, 2008 at 2:58 pm — Reply


    It’s really nice from you to share it for free!

  56. September 29, 2008 at 9:44 am — Reply


    Thank you so much for this wonderful treat!!! I can’t wait to play with them.
    Have an awesome week.

  57. October 28, 2008 at 3:28 pm — Reply

    I’m so new in this whole thing….I have to say, I just love your actions! You make my life SOOOO much easier. My kids thank you!

  58. […] FREE PHOTOSHOP ACTION – Get it here! Touch of Light | Touch of Darkness | MCP Actions Blog […]

  59. Kevin
    October 31, 2008 at 7:56 pm — Reply

    free action why not! Trick or Treat?
    Thanks for the action!

  60. […] video will teach you new ways to use the FREE Touch of Light | Touch of Darkness Photoshop Actions.  Download these actions at this past blog post and […]

  61. November 5, 2008 at 8:17 am — Reply

    Cool! Thank you!!

  62. Chi-Girl
    November 6, 2008 at 12:20 am — Reply

    You have amazing before and after photos, Jodi! And your detailed explanation is great for beginners. Thank you.

    THe only problem……Does this action work in PSE? (I have 6.0) With most of the actions I’ve tried in PSE, a box comes up once the action is clicked and says there is no “xxxx” command (“Make” or something to that effect). So although the action is loaded and shows up in a layer, it can’t be adjusted. Would LOVE to know. Thank you. Colleen

  63. November 8, 2008 at 4:45 am — Reply

    COol, thanks a lot 🙂 I’ts working for me

  64. JerryG
    November 10, 2008 at 11:42 am — Reply

    Thank you for this action. It looks like a great process

  65. Tatang Soeganda
    November 18, 2008 at 1:42 am — Reply

    Thank you for this information and this action, it’s special working for me

  66. Victor
    November 18, 2008 at 9:32 pm — Reply

    you’re the best! I can’t wait to try this action.

  67. Lisa Groeneweg
    November 24, 2008 at 5:27 pm — Reply

    Thank you for the action and the info. I can’t wait to get going!

  68. Kristin
    November 30, 2008 at 6:50 pm — Reply

    Thanks! Looking forward to finding out more about your actions

  69. December 4, 2008 at 6:01 pm — Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us Jodi!

  70. A. Michelle
    December 17, 2008 at 4:07 pm — Reply

    Thanks for the free action. I look forward to using it. I found your blog on the Adobe exchange website. I would like to know if I can link your site to my myspace page? Feel free to contact me thru my email address. This blog is just what I have been looking for. I’m a newbie photographer. Thank you for all your time and effort in advance.

    • December 17, 2008 at 4:26 pm — Reply

      yes – you may link to my site and blog. Thanks for asking.

  71. January 2, 2009 at 3:26 pm — Reply

    Your site/store is just what I’ve been looking for! So excited to work towards making purchases on your site here. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to link to you from my blog as well. Thanks!!!!

  72. carrie
    January 11, 2009 at 8:46 pm — Reply

    Thank you so much! I just bought some actions, and was so delighted to learn that there are also some free ones! This will keep me buying more from you and telling everyone I know about your actions! I feel really good about spending my hard earned money with such a generous person!

  73. lia
    January 31, 2009 at 11:35 am — Reply

    thank you for sharing,Jodi. Your free action are really good. Looking forward to buy!

  74. March 23, 2009 at 9:02 am — Reply

    love it! Thanks for sharing.

  75. […] of Light | Touch of Darkness (Please visit my blog tutorial here to learn to use this action […]

  76. April 1, 2009 at 2:07 am — Reply

    Oh Darn! I fell for it! April Fools indeed! But I did download the burnt edges action. I’m going to give it a whirl.

    Thank you!

  77. […] Photoshop, you can use Touch of Light/Darkness (free here) or Hide and Seek (which is in the MCP All in the Details set and is a more powerful […]

  78. Jan
    May 8, 2009 at 2:18 am — Reply

    Thank you so very much. I look forward to using this very much.

  79. June 25, 2009 at 12:38 am — Reply

    Great action. Love it. Thanks for sharing. Love all your actions.

  80. tajicat
    July 6, 2009 at 2:23 am — Reply

    Thanks so much! 🙂

  81. July 8, 2009 at 6:54 pm — Reply

    thank you so much Jodi!!

  82. July 8, 2009 at 8:51 pm — Reply

    Thank you for sharing. You are such a fun tutor, and I am thankful for your sharing heart :).

  83. August 4, 2009 at 6:42 am — Reply

    Thank you for sharing JODI!!!!

  84. August 14, 2009 at 3:01 pm — Reply

    I love your work, and thanks for the great free actions! You are great! 😀

    I will also buy som actions from you, but I must decide which one first! 🙂

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

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

  86. September 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm — Reply

    Thanks for sharing;)

  87. November 13, 2009 at 11:18 am — Reply

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

  88. December 13, 2009 at 3:39 pm — Reply

    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!

  89. January 9, 2011 at 11:00 am — Reply

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

  90. January 27, 2011 at 10:02 am — Reply

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

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


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

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

    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!

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

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

    • September 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm — Reply

      see the installation instructions. you have it installed
      in the wrong place. That’s why.

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

    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.

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

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

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

      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

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

    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.

  97. April 23, 2015 at 4:38 am — Reply

    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