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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Best Face Forward {a word about photoshop actions}

I don't usually like showing off my raw, straight-out-of-camera (sooc) images.  Its not that they aren't good, its just that, while digital photography is moving by leaps and bounds towards the quality of image you get with traditional film photography and its chemical processing (as well as the additional control brought about by dodging and burning in a dark room) digital images still have a tendency to come out of the camera looking, well, a little dull.  This is where photoshop and post-processing techniques come in.

I don't advocate photoshop as a crutch to counterbalance less-than-adequate photography.  Rather, I see it as a way to enhance the quality of what is already there...much the same way we girls rely on our mascara and foundation to put our best face forward before leaving the house for the day.  Used wisely, it can enhance a person's natural beauty.  Used too much... well, we've all seen what happens when makeup is abused.  It isn't pretty. Its the same with photoshop, all the way.

We all have our favorite actions.  Some are drastic, some are subtle.  Given the volume of images I process I've realized that, like makeup, less is more. Running too many actions not only ends up making your images over-photoshopped, it also steals away your valuable time.  The best thing to do?  Find a great all purpose action and let it do the hard work for you.

Here's a before and after of one of Abby's bridals.  The one on the left is straight out of camera, completely untouched.  The one on the right has been processed with Nichole V's "Essential Color Pop Indoors" action.  And. that. is it.  Nothing else was done to this picture.

See what I mean?  Subtle, yet effective.  Exactly what I wanted, with very little hassle. (Plus try the "blown highlight fix" from her "PhotoFix" set.  works wonders on blown out white wedding dresses!)

Now if they only had laundry actions so I could have my clothes washed, folded, and put away with one click.

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