So, last night, I spent hours teaching myself the basics of Photoshop Actions. (Then, I dreampt I was in a high-pressure photoshop situation; I had to photoshop motorcycle scenes or lose my life. Yikes!) Anyway, here’s the scoop:
Actions are like pre-designed orders of operations performed on a photo in Photoshop (CS or Elements). For a few seconds, it seems that some unseen force has taken over your Photoshop program and does what you may wish you could do on your own much more quickly and effectively–especially if you are new to the program.
Actions are files and can be purchased or found for free. I, of course, found a bunch of free ones online:
TheCofeeshopBlog: There are some free and purchasable actions here. I found several free actions, as well as some backgrounds and links to brushes, too.
MCPActions: This site has actions that are searchable by the type of Photoshop you have. She also has many actions that are pricey, but look excellent! Don’t skip over her tutorials; she explains how to install actions here.
Just go to any search engine and type in something like “Free Photoshop Actions” and you’ll find a bunch of links. Just be sure the actions are compatible with your photoshop program.
Here’s a sample of what I’ve done with some actions; I made no other changes from my SOOC (straight-out-of-the-camera) image: