Using Photoshop for Stunning Beach Photos

Have you ever wondered how to process your beach photos in Photoshop?  When I saw this shot by Jennifer Rose Hewes of Jennifer Rose Photography I was in LOVE. These girls and this shot – just stunning.

Honestly this is one of those shots that look so pretty straight out of the camera – it was hard to improve upon.  I did two plays on it.

I would love to hear if people prefer the original or one of the other versions.  Details on what I did are at the bottom of the post.

beautiful beach portraits

Play 1 (Frosted Memories) – this edit used the MCP Frosted Memories photoshop action set. I started with the Pink Lemonade action from the Hazy Days section of the set.  I set the pink lemonade layer to 20%.  Then I ran Faded Edges at 53%. And lastly used the Pinstripe Suite at 30% and Sandcastles at 100% from the Textured Memories part of the set.

Play 2 (Quickie Collection) – this edit used the MCP Quickie Collection photoshop action set. I started with the Finger Paint medium action – and painted on the water sky and ground.  Then I ran the Dreamy Color Action.  I finished things off with the Free Action called Touch of Light/Touch of Darkness.  I used the “darkness” layer and painted with a 30% opacity brush on the water and sky. Then I painted on the girl on the right.  Her hand and part of her arm were paler than the rest.  So brushing on touch of darkness evened her skin out.

And to display the before and after shots I put them in the Magic Blog It Board and used a left side branding bar.

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  1. July 17, 2009 at 9:04 am — Reply

    WOW…so beautiful. I like the quickie collection the best. But, wow..they’re all nice! Love your stuff so much, Jodi!!

  2. Katy Geesaman
    July 17, 2009 at 9:16 am — Reply

    SOOC is great, but I love the quickie dreamy look.

  3. July 17, 2009 at 9:46 am — Reply

    Beautiful. Love all 3!

  4. July 17, 2009 at 9:48 am — Reply

    I actually like the SOOC best – shock horror!!! I normally love pumped up colour but in this case I find the extra colour distracting. My eyes just want to focus on the girls.

  5. July 17, 2009 at 9:48 am — Reply

    WOW! I love them both, but love the quick collection.

  6. July 17, 2009 at 9:51 am — Reply

    I love the SOOC too – it is stunning! I like the plays but this is truly one of those pictures that is amazing SOOC.

  7. July 17, 2009 at 9:56 am — Reply

    I’ve got to agree, I like the SOOC best. What a beautiful capture! My fave of your plays is the frosted memories.

  8. July 17, 2009 at 10:38 am — Reply

    I love the quickie collection one as well…although I would be just as pleased with the SOOC shot.

  9. July 17, 2009 at 10:51 am — Reply

    Jodi! I love your plays! Thanks so much for using the photograph of my twins. Actually, this shot was not at the beach. It was taken atop a beautiful mountain in our area. I love this location so much!

    You are the best. I do like the Quickie Collection….

  10. July 17, 2009 at 11:18 am — Reply

    I love the quickie collection version.

    I agree this was a breath taking photo to begin with!

    Hope your Twin is feeling better.

  11. July 17, 2009 at 11:26 am — Reply

    Wow! I think the shot looks fabulous without any changes.

  12. July 17, 2009 at 11:35 am — Reply

    I love the color pop in the Quick Collection version, but it looses some details in the white dresses on the girls from the SOOC version.

    She did a fantastic job on the original version!

  13. July 17, 2009 at 11:36 am — Reply

    Love the SOOC, but of the other 2 – my fav is the frosted memories. Love the old memory feel on that one.

  14. July 17, 2009 at 11:41 am — Reply

    Yes, the SOOC is fantastic, and would serve well all on its own. I love the Frosted Memories…it has that classic look to it. The Quick Collection, I think adds too much color and contrast for my tastes on this type of shot. Can’t wait to see more!

  15. July 17, 2009 at 11:47 am — Reply

    love the sooc! and that is rarely my thought! but i just love that you can see the detailing the the clothing and fabrics and you loose some of that in the edited versions. : )

  16. Penny
    July 17, 2009 at 1:02 pm — Reply

    I love the sooc. The other two are gorgeous as well, but I love the stronger detail of the dresses in the first shot. Just a beautiful photo anyway you look at it!

  17. July 17, 2009 at 1:06 pm — Reply

    I think the SOOC is really a great shot, but man, I LOVE the second fix – the Quickie Collection one. I use your Touch of Light/Touch of Darkness on almost every single photo I edit, but I’m gonna just HAVE to go get some of your other actions too. Love the richness of this edit and the dreamy look of it….so soft…so perfect!

  18. July 17, 2009 at 2:28 pm — Reply


  19. July 17, 2009 at 2:43 pm — Reply

    I actually like the SOOC the best, but I also like the play 1

  20. July 17, 2009 at 8:48 pm — Reply

    I would go for the SOOC, the frosted memories is too light and the quickie collection too strong in color for my taste. Gorgeous picture Jennifer!

  21. July 18, 2009 at 12:02 am — Reply

    I love the look of the frosted memories! It just gives it a dreamy quality so perfect for this image!

  22. July 18, 2009 at 1:26 am — Reply

    ooooh, I love the quikie collection edition, the colors are so soft and beautiful!

  23. July 18, 2009 at 3:54 am — Reply

    Lovely photo, but I really liked det original the best! 🙂

  24. Adrianne
    July 18, 2009 at 9:53 am — Reply

    While I’m normally a color pop person and I do like the Quickie Collection for the colors, I think it loses a lot of the sharpness with that play. Some people might like the dreamy look of it but I think, in the main, it will be looked on as OOF rather than dreamy, imo. I would have loved to see just a bit of a color pop and defog on it. It’s a strong image sooc so it doesn’t need a whole lot. I do love to see how different people approach processing different images.

  25. July 18, 2009 at 10:53 am — Reply

    i really like the last one with the quickie collection actions used. i love the vivid color. and, yes, it was hard to improve on that first shot – it’s gorgeous! thanks for the step-by-step. i have both the frosted and the quickie and have not used either one yet. maybe i’ll try them out now :).

  26. July 18, 2009 at 1:30 pm — Reply

    I love the original but frosted memories is my pick of the plays.

  27. July 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm — Reply

    The original on this one, with frosted memoires 2nd. What a great OOC shot!!

  28. Amy Carroll
    July 19, 2009 at 4:11 pm — Reply

    LOVE the quickie collection!

  29. July 20, 2009 at 12:14 pm — Reply

    I love it both ways. The frosted has got …like a poster look. Like billboard. And you notice the scenery as a whole. And the quickie way has an elagant look that you really see its beauty.

  30. January 22, 2016 at 7:57 am — Reply

    Beach is the perfect place photo shoot all the elements on there show good viewing.

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Using Photoshop for Stunning Beach Photos