Before I got my PSE9 (and wouldn’t you know it just like with anything else electronic a new version came out not that long after I purchased it) I used another photo editing program.  And before that it was just how it came out of the film and my first digital cameras.  Photography is a never ending learning curve as far as I’m concerned.  New cameras, new lens, new editing programs, new techniques…there is always something new.  That is not to say that all things new are better.  Sometimes oldies and tried and trues are still the best.  It just depends on you and what you want to achieve.

Photoshop is going to be a never ending lesson because there is just so much to it!  Some things you can do with it I have no desire to learn but a lot I hope to,  albeit slowly.  I’ve been exploring different websites lately and a recent thing I finally decided to give a go is actions.  My portrait photographer friend told me about them and where she got hers a year ago but sometimes I take a lot of time trying something new.  Well I did try something else new and I am having fun with it.

Actions – for those who do not know – are basically pre-recorded steps that someone makes to achieve an end result in photo editing.  You can make them yourself but I am not that savvy, thank you very much.  Some actions will do just whatever they were recorded as and some let you tweak along the way.  It is a major time savor for those who do batch editing.  While searching the net to find free ones to try, I came across this wonderful persons site and well….yippee!!  Rita has some awesome stuff on her site and let’s just say I will be doing a lot of reading here.  Muchas gracias, Rita! (Rita of

Not every action/effect  is for me and being new to the technique I am only dipping a little toe into the action waters, but here are some examples of what I have tried so far.  I love learning new things.  Oh, and yesterdays daisy picture? That was an Orton effect action that was used to achieve that oh so soft and dreamy outcome with a wee bit of tweaking by me.  So here we go…same daisies but different effects.  What do you think?

Color Pop action which brings out the colors of the original image (can be adjusted to pop to ones own preferences)

Again, Color Pop action but with black and white filter added

Black and white with a “chocolate” tint to it action

This action is called Pink Glow.  Can you guess why?  😉

(Since this was first posted I have gone way further with PSE and am now using Lightroom and presets.  Will talk about those one day soon)

About imagesbytdashfield

Fine art photographer who loves to see and capture the amazing things in this world. Owner of Images by TDashfield photography.
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17 Responses to Actions

  1. It would easily devour hours of my time if I could allow it. I love playing around with photos. Very cool effects here!!

  2. bulldogsturf says:

    Great effects obtainable

  3. I agree with you 100% on the Photoshop front. It’s amazing what you can achieve with just a few little tweaks. And every few months I learn something that completely transforms the way I look at pictures, which is just amazing. Still lots to learn for me as well although I use it daily now and have been for a while.

  4. Actions are so much fun! What I love to do, is look at the steps that the action went through to achieve the final look, and that’s how I’ve learned a lot about photo editing. I agree – it IS a neverending process, no one will ever know everything that PS or PSE can do, that’s why I love it so much, there’s always something new to try! I love all your edits here, each one with a very pretty and unique look! Have you checked out the actions available on “The Pioneer Woman” website, or the “Coffeeshop Blog”? They have some pretty nice ones available for (free) download.

    • I got these actions from Rita over at Coffeeshop Blog! A happy stumbling upon indeed. I will go check out Pioneer Woman, thanks. I tried to follow the steps and hope to try to create them myself one day, but as a newbie to actions I’m a little lost. I will continue to go with the pre-made ones in the meantime and learn how to tweak those until I’m ready to advance. They are teaching me more about the things you can do in PS/PSE and that is great 🙂

  5. ChgoJohn says:

    I learn something new here every day. 🙂

  6. tedgriffith says:

    I love Rita’s actions and have many of them installed. I love how the flowers came out with the B&W filter added. 🙂 (I looked at upgrading from PSE6 to 10, but decided that the changes made were not worth the learning curve yet)

    • Isn’t she awesome with her site and actions? You can always give the 30 free trial of PSE10 a try like I did. I tried it and decided to stay with my PSE9 a little while longer 😉

      • tedgriffith says:

        Yeah, I tried the trial and just decided there wasn’t enough difference in what I do to make the upgrade worth it (yet).

  7. dhphotosite says:

    Wow, The way you guys are learning the abilities of PS I feel like I live in the dark ages…I had better catch up…or at least make it to the starting line LOL. Nice effects in these photos!

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