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: