My Favorite Photoshop “Action”

I am shooting pretty much 100% digital now. And as a rule I find most images that come from digital cameras are a bit flat for my taste. I prefer an image with some “snap”. Most of the time I spend a fair amount of time “working” an image once I get it into Photoshop. But sometimes I just want to get a quick image out to someone and I want it to have that “snap”. But quite honestly, I use the following “action” on a lot of my images even if I am spending a lot of time on them…

Give your Image a Quick “Snap” (Increasing Contrast… in a snap)

1.) Have your image open in Photoshop (For this we are assuming it has only one layer)
2.) Duplicate the layer (Layer > Duplicate Layer – Click “OK”)
3.) With the new layer selected in the Layers Palette ( this happens by default) Click on the Blending Mode Menu (that little drop-down menu in the layers palette – below the word “Layers” – that by default says “Normal”) and select “Soft Light”
4.) Click on “Opacity” – just to the right of where it now says “Soft Light” – and either adjust the slider or type in a numeric value that will give you a pleasing effect. Most of the time I use 25% – 35% but on some images I have used 50% / 75% / and even in rare cases 100%! It’s whatever looks good to you!
5.) Flatten your image ( Layer > Flatten Image)
6.) Save your image

That’s it!

A quick little increase in contrast to give your image a little extra punch.

1 thought on “My Favorite Photoshop “Action”

  1. Another good addition to that tip is that if you find that maybe you like what the shadows are doing with your new Soft Light layer, but it maybe over exposes the highlights, I then right+click or option-click my layer > blending options, then option+click the highlights slider on the bottom of the dialogue and scale back the half-slider to effect how much of the layer it reveals. It’ll give you the same effect of the layer while being able to control where your layer is applied.

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