I always liked Photoshop Actions. Even if don’t use them during my shots post production, because I prefer to work with my hands and not using other’s, I’ve always been fascinated by the great number and variety of Photoshop actions available for free online. Also, because they’re a great way to learn new post production process to achieve creative effects.
However, even if I don’t use them, I think they are really useful tool if you want to spice up your friends/holiday photos with funny and creative effects, but you don’t know anything about photography post-processing.
If you don’t know what a Photoshop action is, you may want to know that Photoshop gives you the chance to record some processing “steps” (such as image resize, curves, merging layers…) in a set called “Action”, that you can play every time you have to repeat those steps automatically. It is a time-saving option, and you can create your own actions easily.
Today, internet is full of Photoshop actions Sets, that you can get for free or for money. Many of them are really interesting so I’ve decided to make this post to test and show you some of the actions I’ve found.
These sets are FREE, this means that you can easily download them without paying anything, but remember to CREDIT THE AUTHOR if you use them. As test image, I’ve decided to use this shot I’ve made and I’ve never considered (I don’t know why!). This is a macro shot of a water drop, with a bit of raw post-processing.
So, I’ve applied every action using this image as starter, each time I’ve merged it with the Background to have only one level. Here below you can find the results and my considerations.
sa-cool actions 2.06
This is the set I liked the most during the review. But I had a problem with action 1 and 5 because PS returned me an error: “layer not available”, and it seems there’s no way to resolve it. However I like the results too, even if I don’t know if the action completed its process. What I didn’t like about them is that during the process they don’t give you the chance to edit the image adjustments to adapt them better to your photo. However the results are good. My favourites are 1-4-5-7! You can download this set [HERE].
sa-cool actions 2.07
This set includes more actions than 2.06 and it seems that colour effects are more stronger here. I had the same problem “layer not available” with actions 1 and 4. Again, those actions don’t give you the chance to adjust the parameters for your photos. My favourite is action 3. You can download this set [HERE].
What do you think about this sets? Which action is your favourite?