Friday, May 2, 2008

Photographers- When Was The Last Time You Got A Little Action?

Or a lot.

I am not talking about that kind of action (get your head out of the gutter man!)! I am talking about your tool arsenal for processing images...your photoshop actions!

While we don't use actions for everything, or even most things, they are a nice tool to have when you want to do a little something special with an image.

After what felt like forever and a half riding the fence over Boutwell's Totally Rad! Actions I took their launch of their new and improved site today as a sign that it was good and time to add a cool new tool or two (er...46) to my work flow!

While I have not had more than a half an hour to play with the rocking 46 (count em, fourty-six!!!) cool new tools since the whole family went to watch my husbands little brother Brett do an AWESOME job emceeing for his high school's Spring Dance Show...but I can tell you this already...these rock!

Heres a before shot of Mirabella on my Mom's sofa, SOOC:

And here is the after image- I quickly added a little drama and fun by using Prettyizer and Derelict *yes, most of the actions have fabulous names to go with their fabulous functions!*:

And thats just a quick pass leaving out the staples like "Magic glasses" and "Yin Yang" or the really funky "Rusty Cage" or any of the other fun goodies.

Heres a quick panel of a few of the cool b&w actions offered too! These are called "Magical" "Awesome" and "B*tchin". See? What did I say about the names?
Pretty slick huh?

Now, if you have google, or clicked the link above- you probably figured that part out on your own. Theres a ton of examples of what these actions do just waiting for you to play with them. What may boggle your mind though is that they are easier to use than you think! Doug Boutwell's actions provide an amazing amount of control (at least as far as I have messed with so far) and they are so incredibly easy to use! If you can use basic layers and have a general understanding of the tools available to you in photoshop- you are good to go! And if you don't....well watch the amusing tutorial and solve the problem.

At about $150, its just a smidge more than a very affordable $3 an action. The support is awesome- with entertaining tutorial videos, a forum and well documented manuals available, its pretty hard to go wrong.

More awesome still, these actions all play nice together for the most part, and with the amount of control you are given no two photographers will use them exactly the same way. By changing the order, opacities and layer masks, these flexible tools have unlimited possibilities, and really could fit into just about any photographers look (including ours).

Look for us using some of these handy new actions in a few of our images on upcoming sessions. Our bright, fun, look is not going away by any means (again we don't use actions for a lot of it and we love our look- thats why we do it!), but look forward to seeing a whole new side to some of our images too!

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