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Using Photoshop Actions to Bring Out Beautiful Spring Color


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As a photographer, my personal style is bright and colorful so I love when spring rolls around and color starts to emerge! We’re starting to see the grass and trees turn green in Idaho and I use a few tools to really enhance that color.

My workflow is pretty simple and I keep it consistent so when clients view my site, they immediately see my style and whether or not we’re a fit.

Here’s a quick overview of my workflow with my outdoor sessions:

1. I shoot in RAW, so I make any necessary adjustments. I’m an obsessive gray carder, so I didn’t need to make any initial adjustments in my color balance.

2. With a curves layer, I do a very slight s-curve, raising my midtones and deepening my shadows.

3. I then use the Magic See Saw action from MCP’s Bag of Tricks to do a check on my color. My color values told me that I needed to lower my cyan a touch, so I made those adjustments.

4. Next, I use the Color Finder action from the same set of photoshop actions, MCP’s Bag of Tricks, to really enhance all the color in those trees! In this photo, the sun was behind my client and I was really able to bring out the yellows and oranges caused by the sun. I loved the effect of it because it really tied in the mustard yellow color in the little boy’s pants.  I did just a tiny bit of color enhancement on the grass. Saturating the color too much made it look fake to me and I prefer a more natural look. I reduced my opacity to about 40-50%.

5. Finally, I use the free Photoshop action, MCP’s High Definition Sharpening, to sharpen the picture, erasing back the hair so it is not over-sharpened.

These simple steps really made this classic family portrait pop and enhanced the spring colors beginning to show!

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Melissa Gephardt is a military wife and mom of 3 who specializes in children’s portraiture. Currently residing in Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, she looks forward to their next adventure in life as they move to another military base this summer! Her work can be found at or on Facebook at Melissa Gephardt Photography .


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