Ah, That’s How They Do It

I’ve long admired those artsy photogs who manage to capture the beautiful nuances of film through color tones and light quality. Do they simply shoot film? No. Fancy camera? No. Hours of post processing? No. Photoshop action or Lightroom preset? YES.


Photoshop actions are simply put, a series of edits compressed into a single button. Instead of clicking through a billion steps to get a certain effect, people create and share free actions that you can download. You can read a more articulate explanation here. You can also download some of your own actions here, although be warned, I have yet to try this site.

Above are a mix of old and new photos I felt would benefit from the retro action I downloaded- the effect is not for every photo, that’s for sure. Shout out to Alexa, the beautiful bride and my cat Lilly, for giving me that seductive stink eye. I have a feeling this film, retro look is a temporary phase for me, but I think I’ll milk it in the meantime. Also, I prefer my vintage look to be a little more whitewashed and not so severe in tone, so maybe I’ll create my own action… once I figure out how.

2 thoughts on “Ah, That’s How They Do It

  1. Have you done anything with HDR? I hear it is popular now and have looked at some and like them a lot because they have the coloring and contrast of a painting, the resolution and clarity of a photo, and the absence of artifacts due to the sun, etc.

    1. Yup, HDR, high dynamic range, no? I know what it is and how to do it, but have yet to actually do it. It’s a little too intense for me, but I do admire the look. It’s more suited for landscapes than portraits, and you have to bracket your shot/exposure for -1/+1, then compile in photoshop using an HDR plug-in… but yeah, I was pretty awed with HDR when I first saw it, but I tend to favor the more muted, soft tones than saturated, high contrast look now.

      The one thing that’s really neat about it is how it’s further utilizing the camera to go beyond the eye….

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