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Editing Landscape Images Using Actions in Photoshop

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At the beginning of June, I attended a Photography gathering in Banff, which is in Alberta, Canada. It was absolutely breathtaking.  Snow covered mountain tops everywhere.  And since I live in Michigan, it wasn’t like anything I get to see often.

I took this shot from the hotel.  Yes, this really was our view! This photo is beautiful, but the trees in the foreground were dark and the photo lacked contrast.

banff-trip-before Editing Landscape Images Using Actions in Photoshop Blueprints Photoshop Actions Photoshop Tips & Tutorials

Above is the original photo, straight out of camera.  It just needed a lift.

Here are steps I took to get from the before to the after using Photoshop actions and layer masks.

  1. To enhance the color of the sky, I used “Sky is Bluer Illusion” – a Photoshop action that makes blue skies even bluer. This is included in the Bag of Tricks action set. It was way too intense for the look I wanted so I adjusted the opacity to 34%.  I could have created a really crazy, intense blue sky otherwise, but I still wanted it to look real.
  2. I wanted some contrast, but with flat photos like this it’s very hard to add contrast. What happens usually… the dark areas get even darker, almost like a blob. So, I needed to just affect the mid-tones.  I used “Magical Clarity” from the Bag of Tricks set – this action adds mid-tone contrast in Photoshop.
  3. I did not love the color of the trees in this image.  I felt they were too deep green.  I used the “Grass is Greener” action from the Bag of Tricks, to paint on a richer, more vibrant color green. The layer opacity was at 67%, but I only painted the green on at 16%. The effect was subtle, but added to the photo.
  4. The last things I wanted to do all had to deal with lightening and darkening. The tree area looked too dark. I fixed this by using “Peek-a-Boo” from the Complete Workflow set.  This action finds the shadow areas and lightens them. I lowered the opacity of this layer to 64%.
  5. Then I used the free Photoshop action, “Touch of Light/Touch of Darkness” to finish the photo. With the lightness layer selected, and using a low opacity brush, I painted on the trees, one side of each to add dimension. Then with the darkness layer selected, I painted on the sky to deepen the color a bit.

The whole edit took about 3 minutes. And the result is below:

banff-trip-after Editing Landscape Images Using Actions in Photoshop Blueprints Photoshop Actions Photoshop Tips & Tutorials

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No Comments

  1. Joel on September 17, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Bravo! Nicely done – this is beautiful work 🙂

  2. Clipping Path Service on September 18, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Awesome! it was really nice post :)Thanks a lot for sharing..

  3. Image Clipping Path on October 29, 2011 at 4:53 am

    WOW! What a lovely piece of work! Very much happy to see this. Thanks for sharing…. image clipping service

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