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Removing the “Dull” From Your Photos Using Photoshop Actions


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Removing the “Dull” From Your Photos Using Photoshop Actions

Most photographers will find that even when they nail the exposure in camera, there may be a slight dull look to their images. This can easily be fixed with just a few steps in your post processing workflow.  Today’s before and after Photoshop Actions Blueprint, by Stephanie Reeder Photography, will show you how she accomplishes this.

First and foremost, the best way to achieve the greatest images are to be creative in your photo sessions with clients and/or family members. The next step will be to find a workflow that works best for your images and style. I personally start my workflow by trying to get the correct exposure in camera, so that I don’t have to do too much in post processing. As seen here (and mentioned above), the original photo is correctly exposed however needs a little help in clearing the dull factor from the bridal image. When post processing, my all time favorite action sets to use are MCP’s “All in the Details” and “Bag of Tricks.” I enjoy these two most, because for the longest time, I was doing similar editing by hand through long and tedious steps. Now with one simple click, it’s done and looks great! Ok so how do I use these actions? Well here are just a few simple tips to get you started…

First thing I do with all my photos is run a unsharp mask to give a bit more sharpness to the photo. From there, depending on my exposure I will bump the curves just a bit and run my actions accordingly. In this photo, I use two different actions to give just a little kick to the color and soft glow to the overall image.

  • MCP All in the Details : Soft color 50% opacity
  • MCP Bag of Tricks: Pot of gold 20% opacity


DSC_0192or1 Removing the "Dull" From Your Photos Using Photoshop Actions Blueprints Photoshop Actions Photoshop Tips & Tutorials


DSC_01921 Removing the "Dull" From Your Photos Using Photoshop Actions Blueprints Photoshop Actions Photoshop Tips & Tutorials

As you can see in the photos above, when paired together the “soft color” adds to the image just the right amount of color, but does not overpower details. The “Pot of Gold,” for me is always a nice finishing touch when you are working with light (sun) to add that extra glow to the skin tones and highlights. With both actions, I lowered the opacity so that the combination wasn’t overbearing and still looked very natural to the eye.

I encourage everyone to play around with each action and use what works best for your style and workflow. I hope these tips help to give you a little easier step in processing your photos. Good Luck and Happy Editing!


No Comments

  1. Shelly Loree on January 14, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I use bag of tricks all the time. I should dust off “All in the Details” and play a little bit. Thanks.

  2. Janneke Marquez on January 14, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Beautiful before and after! Love to see how actions can still look natural.

  3. Brenda Gembarski on January 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    very nice!

  4. Digital Paradise on January 14, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Your actions are amazing. I just used your Simply B&W and High Def sharpening in a photo and linked to you: goal is to purchase these two actions mentioned in this post as soon as I can afford it. 🙂

  5. Bob Wyatt on January 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    I am guessing that the unsharp mask use to start processing the image was the “defog” settings that we have learned of. Try and get some details about this from the original poster as others may want to know about this also. Nice column BTW and nice images!

  6. katie on January 15, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    sign me up

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