Irene wrote a wonderful tutorial about her post processing techniques, which got me thinking about the last time I wrote a tutorial. Lets just say that it has been awhile, sorry about that. Shinade, and my hubby, asked me how I post processed my ginko photos, and I have one simple word for you, actions.
I use actions probably more than I should. I have written my own, but sometimes it is just easier to use someone elses. Where do you get them? How do you use them? Well, I'm glad you asked because I was just about to tell you :)
Where do you get them? These are some that I use, and they are free!!!
MulletGod's Actions (these are some of my favorites, his vignette is nice and soft, the vintage actions are great, I love the color burst action, the grunge action, and the sharpen your pencil is a great sharpening action. They all come together so you can try them all out)
Coffee Shop Actions
Glass House Actions (I think you have to join the Flickr group to download these)
The Pioneer Woman Actions
Large Selection of Actions
Another Collection of Actions
Now what? Download the actions you like. I save them to a seperate actions folder. Then I open Photoshop. Go to File>Open, find the folder with your actions, and then open each one. Now you need to go to Window>Actions, and the Actions toolbox will open. Click on the action you want to use and press play.
I usually duplicate my image first, just in case I don't like the action. Go to Image>Duplicate, ta dah.
Try using more than one action together for cool effects. The nice think about some actions is that they create separate layers, so you can turn some layers off to get a different look. That is what I did for the Ginko pictures. I used the Vintage Gold MulletGod action, and then turned off the desaturation layer so that the colors were bright.
Try it out and let me know what you come up with. If you know of any other great Free actions leave me a comment and I will include it in the list.
I would totally recommend looking at what the action you use is doing. Click on the triangle next to the action and it will give you a list of what the action does. You will learn a lot from doing this, and you can come up with your own post processing techniques in the process. I recommend actions, but I also recommend taking the time to learn what they do and attempt your own techniques.