Photoshop is a great editing and designing tool that has a very powerful feature: actions. Both Photoshop Elements and Photoshop CS allow you to create and save your own actions, or to upload pre-made ones. If you are new to Photoshop Actions, please read What are Photoshop Actions and How Do You Use Them first. Photoshop actions save the time and simplify our everyday workflow.
Although there are many Photoshop actions out there, most of them free, you have to remember that not every Photoshop action will work well with each photo. You will rarely see the same action applied to more than one photo. That’s why I’ve picked one photo and applied different actions to it so that you can see the difference. Results vary from one photo to another but that does not mean the action itself is not very good, it just means that it was made for a different type of photo. Which one, you wonder. You will have to find that out yourself.
This a virtual community center for all digital artists out there. DeviantArt is a community of artists and those devoted to (digital) art who create and share their digital work with the world. It is a great place to find diverse Photoshop actions as every user offers his or hers own personality and the art vision. Some of the actions are available for free, some require a purchase. A random selection of free Photoshop actions is below.
- Photoshop Dream Blur Action by Josh Janusch
- Sunny action by EliseEnchanted
- Sweet Sunset PS Action by Papercrownn
- HDR Tools by Forfie
- Black and White ps actions by Ameliethe
- Portrait Action by Provity
Photoshop Tutorials is a website dedicated to Photoshop tips and they have a small but nice selection of Photoshop actions. By downloading the Faded Film Action Set, you receive 12 faded film actions that can load all at the same time and let you pick the one you like the best on your own photo.
- Faded Film by Photoshop Tutorials (Edition Faded)
- Faded Film by Photoshop Tutorials (Nashville Faded)
Finally, Rita’s Coffee Shop Blog is probably the best place to find free Photoshop actions for both Photoshop Elements and Photoshop CS. If you think of the Internet as a giant retailer, think of Rita as a local small business. She is creating all of her actions herself, in her Texas home, and offering free. You can support her by purchasing a bundle of her actions or you can simply enjoy her creativity by downloading one action at the time for free. Her blog is well worth visiting.
- Coffee Shop Boost by The Coffee Shop
- Coffee Shop Tiny Tiny World by The CoffeeShop Blog
- Coffee Shop Matte Color by The CoffeeShop Blog
Of course, you always have the most fun when you run more than one action on the same photo and from different sources. Which doesn’t necessarily mean the photo will have the best edit ever. :)