As a blogger, and graphic designer, photo editing is not only something I do every day, but it’s a necessity to be successful at what I do. Having used Adobe Photoshop for over 20 years I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on all it’s ins and outs and how to make things like photo editing better and easier. After creating a blog I have really come to rely on Photoshop actions so that I can’t wait to pass on some of those tips and tricks to you guys! In this tutorial I’m going to teach you how to simply create bright and cheery photos easily using Adobe Photoshop as well as create an action to make future photo editing easy. If you don’t know what an action is, it is a way to automate a process in Photoshop so that it makes it easier in the future to get the same look easily. I have a number of different actions that I have created to create different looks on my photos or that work better on different types of photos. The edit that I’m going to teach you is to create super bright photos with a heavy shadow. You can easily modify this to suite your look!
This is going to be a two step process. Before you create your action you’ll want to walk through the editing once to get familiar with it, then repeat it and create the action.
After opening your photograph in Adobe Photoshop you will want to duplicate the layer. To open your layers pallet go to Window –> Layers. If it’s already checked that means that your window is already open. Mine is located on the right side of my screen with all my other palettes, but depending on how your workspace is setup it might be in a different area. Just look around, it shouldn’t be hard to find.
Once you find your Layers palette, go to the top right corner of the palette and click on the tiny 4 little lines, that will open an additional menu. Select “Duplicate Layer”.
On your layers palette there is a small drop down menu that says “normal”. Click on that and select “soft light”.
Duplicate your copied layer again (not the background layer) using the same steps as above. This time, change the filter (drop down that now says “soft light”) and change it to “screen”. If you like how your photograph looks then you’re done! If you feel like it needs a little further adjusting, you can change the opacity on either of your layers to slightly change it. Congratulations!
Step 4. Creating your action.
We are going to start over to create your action. Select your two duplicate layers that you just created and drag them into the trash icon on the bottom of the palette OR click on the little lines at the top of the palette and select “delete layers”. First, you will open your Actions Palette, Windows –> Actions. At the bottom of your palette click on the page icon. Name your action, I named mine Blog Bright. Click “Record”.
You are now “recording” your action. So, repeat the steps 1-3. Then, click the square at the bottom left of the actions palette, this stops the recording. Yay! You now have your first recorded action! In the future, to play your action, just open your photograph, click on the action name and select the play button at the bottom of the actions palette. Your layers will automatically be created in a snap!
As you can see, this will make your photo editing so much easier in the future and your photos will all have the same filter on them. As you get more experienced you can create additional actions to create different looks.
Send me an email or comment below if there are any other tips and tricks in any Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator that you would like to see on the blog!
Don’t have Adobe Photoshop? It’s only $9.99 a month (totally worth it!) and you can download a free trial here.