Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets are great for helping you to achieve a particular look or style with your photos, but where they really can prove to be valuable is in the amount of time that they can save. Let’s face it, post processing can be quite time consuming. If actions and presets are able to reduce the amount of time that you spend in Photoshop or Lightroom they can have a big impact by freeing up more of your time.
At Shutter Pulse our goal is to create actions and presets that will be highly useful and practical for photographers. We want you to be able to get great results as quickly as possible. Let’s take a look at 3 ways that our actions and presets can save your time.
1. “Run All” Photoshop Actions
Our sets of Photoshop actions come with an action that will run all of the actions in a given set, which makes it very easy to compare the results of all the actions in a set without the need to run them all individually. For example, if you are want to use one of our Cinema Photoshop Actions but you are not sure which one will look best with your photo you can click on the “run all” action in the set of Cinema Actions and it will apply all 20 of them.
Let’s take a look at how this works and how you can use it to save time. Here is a sample photo that we will be using:
Now, in the Cinema Actions I’ll select the “run all” action and click the play button.
Once you click play it will one all of actions in the set. With the HDR actions it may take a few minutes for all of the actions to run, most of the other sets are pretty quick. Let everything run and when it is finished your layers palette will look like this:
Each action creates a folder/group and all but one of them will be hidden. You can click the eye icon next to each group to show or hide the effect.
Try them one at a time and you can compare the look created by each action. When you decide which one you like you can delete all of the other groups/folders.
This will be much quicker than running all of the actions one at a time. In the situation where you know specifically which action you want to use, or you want to compare just a few actions, run them individually instead of using the “run all” action. But in many situations you won’t know exactly which action will look best, and that is when the “run all” action can be a huge time saver.
2. Use the Actions and Presets as a One-Click Solution
In some cases an action or preset may be all you need to complete your work with a photo. In these situations the actions and presets can be a huge time saver compared to creating the same effect manually.
Let’s take a look at an example. I will be using the sample photo shown below and I would like to apply a vintage-film effect.
Since I know what I want I can open the Film Actions and run the “Old Film” action. The result is shown below:
This action gives me exactly the look I am after in just a matter of seconds and my work on this photo is complete. The same thing can apply to Lightroom presets when the preset creates the exact look that you want.
3. Use the Actions and Presets as a Starting Point
In many cases the action or preset will get you close to the look that you want, but you may need to make a few small tweaks to get it working perfectly with your photo. In these cases the action or preset can save you time by acting as a starting point even if it doesn’t complete the project. Let’s take a look at an example.
I’ll be working with the sample photo below:
I want to give it a matte effect, so I’ll turn to our Matte Lightroom Presets. I’m going to apply the “Matte – Strong” preset, which gives me the matte effect that I want, but the skin tone in the photo is a little red and saturated.
To correct this I can change the settings for Vibrance and Saturation to -5 and -10.
Here is the result:
Another option would be to edit the saturation of Red, Orange, and Yellow in the HSL settings instead of changing the overall vibrance and saturation.
Although I still had to make a couple of tweaks in this scenario it still saved me time as compared to creating the matte effect from scratch.
If you’d like to start saving time with Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets please see the different packages that we offer.