Blueprint: Add Drama to Your Edits

Free Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets by MCP™

Blueprint: Add Drama to Your Edits

Sometimes I like to have a bit of drama in my edits.  I would say that I add drama by bringing out details and adding contrast simultaneously. For this Blueprint, I wanted to create a really moody effect.

  • Cropped 1st – yes – often you will hear that you should crop last.  But rules are meant to be broken and since I did not like the composition, and since I knew what aspect ratio I desired, I cropped first.  I wanted to take her out of the center and add space where her eyes looked.
  • Then I started using actions. I turned to the “All in the Details” photoshop action set for this edit. I started by playing the “Urban” action.
  • Next I ran “Burnt Out” from this same action set.  It adds a custom vignette.

Believe it or not, that is all I did.  Yes – the 1st image looks more natural.  I could easily have edited this 5-10 different ways for different messages.  Remember as you work in Photoshop that you create art and a message with every image. Make it say what you desire.


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  1. December 18, 2009 at 3:43 pm —

    When you crop early, like you did in this instance, what size or aspect ratio to do you usually use?

  2. December 18, 2009 at 2:31 pm —

    I love your edit on this one. The crop, the actions you selected – really frame the subject well. It actually looks like something from the Anthropologie catalog!
    Thanks for sharing this simple, yet dramatic blueprint.

  3. December 18, 2009 at 2:13 pm —

    Wow. These are stunning.

  4. December 18, 2009 at 1:33 pm —

    Stunning Edit! Love the crop, really defined the emotion.

  5. December 18, 2009 at 12:18 pm —

    I like to crop first too most of the time – it helps dictate pping 🙂

  6. December 18, 2009 at 9:53 am —

    the tones are really cool and dramatic – beautiful edit!

  7. December 18, 2009 at 9:04 am —

    Nice job Jodi – FWIW I always crop first 🙂

  8. December 18, 2009 at 10:52 am —

    That worked out nice, seems some actions really benefit from a darker image as there starting point.

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Blueprint: Add Drama to Your Edits