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Brighten Colors and Deepen Shadows using Photoshop Actions

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I am a big fan of MCP’s newest Fusion Action Set and so I was honored when Jodi asked me to contribute as guest blogger today and share a blueprint of a favorite shot from one of my recent sessions. MCP’s Fusion Action Set contains several bonus enhancers that allow you to add vivid color and deepen shadows with more control by using the brush tools to paint on the color and shadows where you want them and adjust the opacity to your liking. There are several actions from this set that I use frequently and love! Today, I want to share with you a before and after shot from a vintage inspired session I recently shot and the blueprint for how I obtained the dramatic color pop and deep shadows.

 

Before:

MCP-Before-Image2 Brighten Colors and Deepen Shadows using Photoshop Actions Blueprints Guest Bloggers Lightroom Tutorials Photoshop Actions Photoshop Tips & Tutorials

 

I always start by doing some basic adjustments in Lightroom to fix White Balance issues and adjust exposure if necessary. There are lots of ways to edit this image but I wanted to make some of the orange color in the background standout and deepen some of the natural shadows that are already in this image. To do this, I used the following Photoshop Actions in Elements – all from MCP’s Fusion Set.

  1. Ran One Click Color action and adjusted the the opacity of the “Edge It” Layer to 100%
  2. Ran Magic Markers and used a white soft brush at 100% opacity and Painted on color in the background, around the edges and on some of the rust spots on the truck. I adjusted the overall opacity of the layer to 30%.
  3. Ran the Shade (Selective Darkening) Action and used a white soft brush at 30% opacity to paint over some of the natural shadows and used it to burn the edges.
  4. Used the spot healing tool to clean the fuzz off the back of her dress.
  5. Finished by running MCP’s Free Photoshop action: High Definition Sharpening, which is also included in the Fusion Action Set at default opacity.
After:
MCP-After-Image Brighten Colors and Deepen Shadows using Photoshop Actions Blueprints Guest Bloggers Lightroom Tutorials Photoshop Actions Photoshop Tips & Tutorials
The Magic Marker and Shade actions are two of my favorite MCP Actions, among others, for creating dramatic color and shadows. I highly recommend the Fusion Set for anyone who loves vivid color and contrast. It works beautifully on all my vintage inspired and urban style sessions.
Jamie Rubeis with Jamie Rubeis Photography is a new photographer in the Las Vegas area specializing in Family, Children, Maternity, & Newborn Photography.

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  1. michelle white on April 2, 2008 at 10:38 am

    thanks for sharing this information. it has helped me to re-evaluate my value and what i bring to potential clients.

  2. Amy N. on April 2, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    SO VERY VERY true! I am a firm believer in “you get what you pay for”. My dd soccer pictures turned out to be very much like your last year shots! Out of focus and underexposed. I only spent $10 for the team photo but that was a waste! I would love to see them actually hire someone that knew what they were doing for next year!

  3. Missy on May 1, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    That is definitely something to think about. I’m just getting going into going more professional and I want to keep things cheap for people…but at the same time I spend a lot of time on these photos. I need to know that it’s ok to charge more if I do a good job! 🙂

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