A Colorado Canyon, Three Ways

My photography has come a loooong way since I first started Midwestern Belle back in February 2011. It’s still a work in progress, and I still cringe when I come across my early shots, but I’m slowly learning about the importance of using bright, natural light and other not-so-little details.

Oh, and Photoshop helps too!

Ever since I got Photoshop for Christmas, I’ve been burning the midnight oil editing photos I’ve taken recently as well as photos from my dismal pre-Photoshop days.

Take for example this picture I took while winding through a canyon in Colorado. I’d already done some light editing to get the photo to this point, including enhancing the color of the sky and editing out part of the car dashboard.

Next, I used Photoshop actions to make adjustments automatically rather than making them one-by-one.

For example, here I applied an action called “Fresh & Colorful,” and with the click of a button, it bumped the colors up a bit and added definition and brightness.

I downloaded this action for free from The Pioneer Woman. There are a number of actions available for purchase online but the three actions I’m showing you here are f-r-e-e free. Yay!

Here, I intensified warmth with an action called “Golden Afternoon” from The Coffeeshop Blog. I love this one because it really plays up the colors in the rocks – pinks, tans, browns, ambers. So pretty.

This one is also from The Pioneer Woman. “Seventies” fades the photo and discolors it a bit. It’s the least true-to-life action of the three, but it’s amazing on the right photo.

With all of these I dialed the opacity (the strength of the action) down a little, so the effect would be subtle and not overpowering. On the Seventies version, for instance, I dialed the opacity down to 70% (how ironic!)

If you’d like to get in on the action(s) – sorry couldn’t resist – here are links to download free actions from The Pioneer Woman and The Coffeeshop Blog:

The Pioneer Woman’s Free Actions

The Coffeeshop Blog’s Free Actions

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3 thoughts on “A Colorado Canyon, Three Ways

  1. Visit Clarksville

    I like your latest close up photos too. The pancakes, measuring cups, & snow globe pictures show a great use of depth of field. Depth of field is a measure of how deep your photo remains in focus in front of or behind the point in focus.

    Depth of field is controlled by your camera’s F-Stop, which ultimately controls the size of the camera’s aperture, the hole in the lens that lets light through.

    The higher the F-Stop #, the smaller the aperture, but the larger the depth of field. The smaller the F-Stop #, the larger the aperture, but the shorter depth of field.


    At F-22 most objects in the picture will be in focus regardless of their distance from the camera or focus point. This is usually great for getting everything in focus in landscape photos.

    At F-5.6 Only objects the same distance from the camera’s focus point will remain in focus. This is usually great for close-ups, & portraits, where only a primary object remains in focus and the foreground and background gets fuzzy.

    There are some interesting depth of field effects in photoshop as well.


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