I am going to start doing more picture plays for you guys where I take an o.k. image and turn it into something I would be proud to have hanging on the walls of my home.
I always strive to get an image right straight out of camera and use actions created by other minimally for two reasons. The first is that I actually enjoy editing – it is one of the many things that drew me to photography and I enjoy learning as well so I find it more relaxing and enjoyable to edit images than to use actions. The second reason I use actions minimally is because too many photographers use actions as a crutch and their work begins to look too similar to others.
I typically only use actions created by others to determine if I like the look of that style of editing or to learn a new way of editing. One of my all time favorite Photoshop action writers is Rita over at the Coffeeshop Blog. She offers all of her actions for free and often posts full tutorials on how to do the action on your own.
The matte look is very trendy right now and I haven’t looked into the style too much because like most trends it too shall pass but today when Rita posted a new action for the matte look I decided to give it a whirl and I must say I was very happy with the results!
Here is the before straight out of camera . . .
This is the before image. I was using my speedlight and while the flash was recharging I snapped this one of my little princess so it was very underexposed. I do almost all exposure adjustments in camera raw then open it up in Photoshop.
Here are the afters in color and black and white.
The afters are a combination of my own retouching along with the soft velvet matte photoshop actions – oh and did I mention the other great thing about her actions is that you can also run them in Elements so if you don’t have the full version of Photoshop you can still use it!
So what do you think? I personally am partial to the black and white – I just love how black and whites remove all the distractions and really pull you in to the moment that is being captured.
Do you enjoy seeing the before and afters? I hope so because you are going to start seeing more and more of them 🙂