Friday, February 17

New photo actions!

It was quite some time ago that I downloaded my first Photoshop actions - the two free sets that Pioneer Woman has available on her website.

Since then I've used them heavily, and gradually learned that actions are best applied like makeup - you want them to subtly enhance a photo, without being too gaudy and overdone. Also, they're best used in combination at varying levels.

After gaining a thorough understanding of PW's actions, I got the itch to add a few more to my collection. I tried downloading some free ones from random sites, but they just didn't cut it and I ended up deleting almost all of them.

So when I saw that My Four Hens Photography was offering a sale on her action collections, I decided to go for it - after all, I have some money in the bank from recent portrait sessions, so I decided to reinvest.

The photo at the top of this post is straight out of the camera, one of many from our Valentine's Day shoot. The photos below are just a few with actions applied - the set came with about 24 different ones.

Although the original photo is technically correct, and would have been good to go with a little lightening and a few tweaks, I like that added drama that actions add to a portrait.

I suppose the next step will be to learn to make my own actions, but for now I'm delighted to have a whole new set to work with, and to use in conjunction with PW's.

Right now a popular style of portraits is to be a little 'vintagey,' and that's what most of these actions do, and I'm ok with going along with the fad. I like it. :-)

I made this pillow for Levi from scrap fabric in my sewing room, and stuffed it with old t-shirts. Now that I made one for him, I might have to make one for each kid on their first Valentine's, and repeat the portrait sessions each year with individuals as well as the whole group of them. I think that would make for pretty cute Valentine's. :-)

I tell you what though, Levi is a willing model, at least so far. At this point he's not quite crawling yet, so I better get my portrait practice in before he starts moving, because we all have the feeling that once he starts moving he won't stop.

All the actions are just applied at 100 percent across the board on these photos, which I normally wouldn't do, but I ran them all at full strength just so I could see what they could do.

I'm excited to keep using them - I have another portrait session scheduled this Sunday, so it'll be a prime opportunity to use both my new camera lens and my new Photoshop actions.

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