I have never used any photo-editing software, other than doing some basic cropping or red-eye removal. As part of my quest to improve my photography skills, and after being inspired by seeing the photos of other bloggers, I decided to take the leap into photo-editing. I purchased Photoshop Elements (PSE) 8.0 for my new Mac laptop as a Christmas present for myself.
It was immediately clear to me that one can get completely sucked into this photo-editing stuff and spend several hours playing with photos. I happen to have a lot of time to experiment with photos as I wait for kids at lessons, rehearsals and practices. I have experimented a lot with PSE and have found that while fun, it can also be completely overwhelming.
Luckily, out on the web, there are many generous bloggers who have developed “actions” for PSE that they share with others at no cost. Once downloaded (which can sometimes be a challenge in itself), these actions allow you to quickly apply the photo effects of the action by simply clicking on the icon in the Effects area of PSE.
Last week, I took this straight-out-of-the-camera shot of a bee pollinating our crabapple tree.
I loved the picture, but wanted to see the bee a little closer, so I first cropped it down. I also boosted the color a little by using the “soft light” effect and then sharpened the image with the “unsharp mask.”
Then I started having fun trying out the free PSE actions from Pioneer Woman. Below are some of my favorite results…
Once downloaded, all these different effects are achieved by the simple click of a button.