Choosing Action Sets to edit photos in Photoshop...

Not every picture is perfect.  Some, yes, are perfect without editing, as they depict a certain event or moment in time and don't need photoshop or a change in the brightness to make them more appealing.

But most of my photos, since I'm still learning, sure do need editing.

I downloaded Photoshop elements in July, and LOVE it.  (I used Picasa from Google until then, which I think is still a great free editing tool). I'm still learning Photoshop though.  If you ask me if I've had a class or read a book on my camera or the software, I'm sorry to say I haven't.  I know I know... I just like to play and learn.  Hands on kind of girl...

So, once I got Photoshop, I learned that there are these things called Actions.  In short, they make your pictures look bea-U-tiful with a click of a button.  You still have to know how to use Photoshop, but this makes it much easier.  What was once an "ok" picture, turns it into a more vibrant image... as it was intended.  It does take a while to edit each image, to make them look just right, but in the end, it's so worth it.

Some Actions are free..

Pioneer Woman offers amazing actions that are really all you need, if you're a beginner photographer.  Click here for a full tutorial and a free download.  Be sure to get both sets.  They're amazing.  The sharpen tool, fresh color tool and the edge burn are my "go to" actions.  Oh and I love the seventies tool.  All amazing.

This photo was processed with Pioneer Woman b&w beauty.  I do love this action.  It's a soft black and white.

And this is the before and after of sweet Lily... using Pioneer Woman's Fresh Color Action.  Both great images of her, just one is more vibrant.


But I'm to the point where I want the official Actions.. the ones you pay for.  And I know I seemed crazy asking for Actions for Christmas... but how much fun will it be when I can really do some cool stuff with my photos I take?  So cool.

Here's the hard part.  Where should I buy Actions from?  Or Plugins?  What do you use?

I'm torn between Florabella (this image is from their website, which shows what their Actions do... and I love the treatment on this photo... I love their website too.  Check them out!

Or RadLab, which is a Plugin to photoshop and immediately shows you what your images will look like after running the edits.

The great thing about RadLab is that you can download a free trial on their website.  And if you "like" them on facebook, you can get a code for 10% off your first order.  Pretty cool if you ask me.  Price is kind of steep for the RadLab... $149, but as I read reviews, it's worth every penny.

Here's what I've edited so far with my free demo last night.

This tree was just a "testing light" photo, and to be tossed out... but after processing it through RadLab, it's a total keeper!

This photo was also processed with RadLab.  I used four different treatments for this image and I love it!  I love the softness, since they are so sweet together.  I thought it just worked for them.

Do you have a favorite action or plug-in in Photoshop?  Give me ideas on which way to go! I have a hard time making decisions...


Candace said...

What's a plugin? Really... I have so much to learn. And the computer side of things makes me a little crazy. I think I need another Sarah to Shreveport tutorial- turkey sandwich style! :)

megb said...

I want rad lab!!!