Photoshopping Made Easy

Being a designer, I need to work with Photoshop sometimes. I’m no pro, but I thought I could try my hand at color correcting pictures. When we hired our wedding photographer, I didn‘t want him to do any color corrections because I figured I could do it myself (and save extra $$$ at the same time). Little did I know it isn‘t as easy as it seems.

At the beginning of the week, Mrs. Lemon introduced me to Totally Rad Photoshop Actions. Actions are recorded steps you can use in Photoshop. You can use these actions to improve/color correct your photos. They are extremely easy to use, all you have to do is click the “play” button.

Here is a picture from our after wedding photo shoot that I absolutely love. I attempted to edit it, using one of their sample actions called “super fun happy”:

Before:
After:

I played with it a little after I ran the action, and I think the outcome is great!

If you visit their website, you can see tonnes of before and after shots. Here are other before and after pictures, -you can really see the difference. The action adds a WOW factor.

Before:
flam.jpg

After:

flam2.jpg

Before:
flam3.jpg

After:
 flam4.jpg

If you have Photoshop (CS2 or higher) and would like to experiment with these awesome actions, visit their website for samples. But if you want to plunge in the world of hours and hours of fun and easy editing, I would suggest you purchase their action kit.

Totally Rad recently won the Bludomain Actions Of The Year contest, and to celebrate they are putting all their awesome tools on sale through midnight 8/3/08. You can save up to $25!

Will you be attempting to color correct your own photos? What tools will you be using?

Image source: Totally Rad

BLOGGER

Mrs. Flamingo

Location:
Montreal, Canada
Wedding Date:
June 2008
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comments

  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Brooke, Guest @ 7:05 pm

    Hey there Miss Flamingo! Like you I’m a graphic designer specializing in print, but I did my own wedding color correcting, and here are a few quick and easies that make a gorgeous difference. Open a picture, cmd. j to duplicate the layer, switch the blending style to soft light (or hard light if you’re looking for maximum contrast) and then change the opacity to suit your preference of “oomph”. And for a little extra, you can add a gaussian blur and erase some of the blur to restore clarity to a portion to add focus. These helped a lot in my corrections, and for such quick steps they sure give maximum impact!

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Blissful Bride, Guest @ 7:56 pm

    That’s amazing — thanks for sharing! I’m really impressed how something seemingly so small can make such a drastic difference. The photo of the two of you is beautiful and that last photo you posted is just stunning!

  3. Member
    HappiestOne 132 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:59 pm

    I’m a graphic designer too – also working in print (I often work with photography for national brands) and I’ll be color correcting our photos! If you know what you’re trying to do and you know your way around photoshop, there’s no stopping what you can do!

    PS. That photo with the skinny gal in the pinchy dress looks like it hurts!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Ray, Guest @ 9:45 pm

    Hi! Sometimes its hard to work with photoshop…but i love your work..

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    jtg, Guest @ 1:41 am

    I love the photos you took! The ‘shopping, however, me no gusta. Perhaps I just don’t know what to look for, but to my eye and on my monitor it appears that you overly saturated the color of the photos. Luckily, its more important that you took a great photo to begin with!

  6. Member
    NearlyMsSubrosa 288 posts, Helper bee @ 4:19 am

    Thanks for the hint… I am totally checking that out ;)

  7. Member
    avocado 1538 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:37 am

    I haven’t given Totally Rad a try yet, but how would that photo of the two of you look with some type of “modern antique” action applied? Take down the saturation, bring up the blue and reds slightly….

    I love trying to create my own actions, but they never seem to turn out. I need to learn how to use mask and layers a little bit first. I love that someone else figured out a way to do all of the hard work for us so we can play!

    Have you been taking your photos, running an action, saving a snapshop, going back to the main layer, and then running the action over again? Most of the pro photogs layer their actions on top of each other, and when you play with the opacity of the different layers you can see some pretty amazing things happen. As you can tell I am kind of a photoshop junkie, so I’m open to sharing tips and tricks anytime!

  8. Member
    avocado 1538 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:39 am

    and by “running the action over again”, I meant “running another action on top of it”

  9. Member
    Jay 3 posts, Wannabee @ 9:30 am

    I like your original picture too! The edit is nice, but I must say I’m getting tired of seeing so many over-processed, over-”actioned” pictures on photographers’ blogs. Everything ends up looking unnatural, which I guess is some people’s aesthetic, but it isn’t mine. For example, the bride on the beach in the last shot–won’t she always know that her wedding day was sunny? I’d feel like a fake if I had that picture hanging up, knowing that the sky really looked nothing like that on my wedding day.

  10. Member
    Sweeney2Be 1490 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:03 am

    I really like the original dress with the sky behind you – the sky is so blue in the original, in the color corrected one it looks like it was a dark day and it’s not as bright. JMO – I’m a designer too and started out working in a photo lab, hand color correcting photos on machines – so maybe thats why I see the color as being “off” in that one.

    Have fun playing! And thanks for the links!

  11. Guest Icon Guest
    Courtney, Guest @ 2:29 pm

    Not to jack this, but those pics below her own are from the Boutwell’s. I hope you got permission from them to post.

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    Courtney, Guest @ 2:31 pm

    Also, actions don’t fix things. They can enhance, but do not correct a bad exposure, etc. So I would let the pro’s do their (our) jobs. Its not as easy as it sounds.

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Corey, Guest @ 3:16 pm

    Luckily I am a Photoshop Junkie (I was a graphic designer for 10 years) AND a photographer so I get the best of both worlds!

    I adore the TRA actioins, they are fun and simple to use. I also really adore Kevin Kubota’s actions as well. There’s a TON out there that are really spectacular.

    The edit of your image is nice but I’d probably run Ying/Yang on top of that to clear out the dark circles and shadows on your faces. :) You can’t see your hubby’s eyes.

    One thing I did learn from going from editing graphics to editing pictures is that they are two entire different animals. Just because you can logo just about anything or design a webpage in no time flat doesn’t mean you can edit your pics. :) Also remember to get your monitors calibrated if you plan on self-editing. You don’t want to get pictures back where you look like an oompa-loompa because your colors were off and you never knew it!

  14. Member
    flamingo 1365 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:02 pm

    Thanks everyone with the suggestions. I dont have the actions and only tried out the sample set (so I dont have the ying yang actions) and I agree its a bit much. But it was just to inform you and introduce you this website. Sharing my knowledge thats it.

    That being said, @Courtney: I grabbed the images from the Totally rad website. I sourced the pics. Hope thats okay.

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    kaykay, Guest @ 5:13 pm

    Informative post, thanks Flamingo. Does anyone know of a website where you can alter & improve images if you do not own photoshop?

  16. Member
    flamingo 1365 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:17 pm

    @kaykay: Try http://www.picnik.com/

    Its not as flexible as photoshop but its a great start! ;)

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    Corey, Guest @ 5:58 pm

    @ Mrs. Flamingo – I hope that I didn’t upset you! I thought you had the set and I know when I got it I was a bit overwhelmed! I had no idea what did what and so forth. It does look nice on that image, I was just hoping to suggest something that would make it even more amazing :)

  18. Member
    flamingo 1365 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:10 pm

    @Corey: Oh no you didnt upset me what so ever. I agree with you. I saw the tutorials on the Totally Rads website and the ying yang is awesome.
    I want me the set too…. ;) thanks for the suggestions.

  19. Member
    mrsbee 3235 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:39 pm

    i totally just bought this and it is totally rad!!!!!!

  20. Member
    suzanno 2683 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:19 pm

    Ummm, the “enhanced” photos just look out of focus to me. Some of the options that soften focus in the background are interesting to me, but just softening the focus on the whole picture, not so much. And actually on the first picture, the “corrected” version is starting to look a little over-exposed to me. The line of the top of your dress has sort of disapeared into the white-white that is your shoulders… sure, you get a little less shadow on Mr. Flamingo’s face… And that, IMO, is always what is often to be wrong with the auto-correct options in the amateur version of the program. What you normally really want to do is to correct contrast or brighten in selected portions of the photo, rather than applying an auto-correct to the whole thing.

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    mamamiya, Guest @ 2:57 pm

    Thank you for this heads up!!! I am also a designer, and photoshop is not my forte!

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Photoshop Actions » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 5:12 pm

    [...] Flamingo blogged about Totally Rad Actions last year because she was editing her own wedding pictures. I purchased [...]

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    Charliekits, Guest @ 5:57 am

    I am starting to plan my wedding and as a graphic and web designer I want to edit my own photo’s (and save some $$$). Do you think its wise for me to edit my own photo’s or should I leave it up to the photographer?

  24. Member
    quiche 3150 posts, Sugar bee @ 3:47 pm

    Purchasing this program! :)

  25. Member
    flamingo 1365 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:53 pm

    @Charliekits: Sorry about the late response, but I would say go for it. Its time consuming, but glad I saved the money. :)

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    I’m Not a Photographer… » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 4:49 pm

    [...] over 400. Now, I’m in the process of editing them. That’s the long part… but with the Totally Rad Photoshop Actions, it’s a [...]

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