Final Assignment Due Date and Some Action/Preset Love

Hey there, free beginner photography class.  Our year is coming to a close now and you all have grown so much.  I have about 5 posts left on the agenda and two of those are showcasing the remaining hardcore member’s class projects (ahem).  I’ve got a big project in the works for the beginning of January, so  here’s the remaining class schedule:

January 14th: How I would edit an image both in Lightroom and in PSE. Step by Step.

January 21: My Final Project (it totally ended up something completely different than I thought it would… and I really need to get a few more shots to complete it).

Technically I just need one person to turn in on this day.  I’m totally nominating Amber because most of her project is up already and she’s having a baby very shortly.  You hear that, Amber?

January 28: Showcase of Amber’s Final Project

February 4: Showcase of Teddy’s Final Project

February 11: Showcase of anyone else who wants to jump back in (Jessica? Teresa? Andrew? Olivia Fulmer—I know you read these… get out there and shoot for me)

February 18: Showcase of anyone else who wants to jump back in (Jessica? Teresa?  Andrew? Olivia Fulmer—I know you read these… get out there and shoot for me)

Any other Tuesdays I might need for your final projects… and then I’ll close out with some final thoughts.  If you’re just now stumbling onto this class, I’m planning on reworking and re-releasing this for 2015.  I’ll likely get a whole ton less wordy for that go round :-p

Editing Software on Automatic

So I promised I would share some of my favorite actions and presets for those of you who wanted to do somethings on autopilot.  So here’s my favorite sources and much loved actions in my unusually small arsenal.


How to Install Actions

This post should cover how to install actions in Photoshop Elements and in Photoshop Creative Suite.  Click your version and enjoy!

Favorite Free Actions


Everyday Elements (my favorite is InstaClean)

Coffee Shop (I don’s use a lot of hers now that I’ve developed my own style… but there are some great ones here!)

MCP Actions Freebies (Facebook Fix is a Must have for me)

Paint the Moon Freebies (My Favorite is no longer free, but if you like her style, these are so fun!)

Pure Actions Freebies (My favorite is Baby Max BW and Taste of Pure No Ordinary Slumber)

Favorite Paid Actions

I have and love MCP Newborn Necessities (more the retouching actions than the effects actions), but I think Complete Workflow looks amazing for a beginner wanting to invest!

I’m pretty sure I would love Everyday Essentials (but I’m committed not to buying anything action related)

Lightroom Presets

Keep in mind I have only had Lightroom for about 2.5 months at this point.  I haven’t amassed a lot of presets because I knew what I wanted out of Lightroom and just invested quickly in what I needed.

How to Install Presets

Great post by Pretty Presets on how to install presets.

Free Presets

Besides the Black and White Film Presets I talked about in the Black and White Post: I have used some of these.

Presets Heaven Project 365 has some great black and whites.

MCP Actions Freebies: I love some of these very much.

Paid Preset

The only set I own is Erin Tole’s Big Sky Presets.  I’m not a fan of her black and white because I’m a black and white purist/snob who doesn’t like toning. 😉  But some of them are amazing if I turn off the toning/coloring.  I love the color ones though.  If I nail exposure, sometimes all I have to do in PSE is smooth the skin and heal any blemishes.  That was the time saving that I bought LR for!

To be fair, I could NOT get white balance in this mixed lighting room.  It was insane!  About to test out a coffee filter trick...

To be fair, I could NOT get white balance in this mixed lighting room. It was insane! So I made a huge white balance adjustment in Lighroom. About to test out a coffee filter trick…

Pretty Presets is one I’ve heard amazing things about if you want to invest!