One of my absolute favorite places to play is at The Coffee Shop. I don't know what it is, but Rita's actions, in particular, (she has other stuff too!) seem to work better for me than any others I have tried. It's like they makes sense to me, which I can't say for every action I have tried.
I have wanted to do some comparisons of her actions for a while.
I'd love to hear what you think.
Here's the picture I am working with for this test. This shot is straight out of camera. No touch-ups. Yet!
This action is called Baby Powder Room. I almost always run this action on every portrait shot I take. It is very cool, because running the action changes nothing on the photo, but sets the layers up for you to touch up by hand. I love that.
The rest of these actions were run after the Baby Powder Room action, so the smoothing and anti-reddening, etc. does not have to be re-done.
So this picture ran through Baby Powder Room, then Coffee with Cream. Get it?
This action is called Coffee Shop Vivid. She does have other "vivid" actions, but I had to choose only a handful, so this is the one I picked.
This action is called Creamy Toffee Latte. It definitely ups the red factor in his hair, huh?
I customize all the actions by adjusting the opacity of each layer, masking, etc. That is what you are supposed to do, by the way. When I first started using Photoshop I didn't realize that, so I'm telling you in case you don't know. It's OK to play because it's your picture! :)
In this version, I ran (Baby Powder Room and) the Hot Cocoa action. I think this one is my least favorite of the group for this particular photo, although when I compare it with the original, I like it much better.
This action is called Ice Pop. It is a relatively new action from The Coffee Shop. It works with gradients to create drama in the photo. Sometimes I do my gradient layers by hand for various reasons, but I have to tell you, I LOVE this action. When it is applied to the right picture...WOW! And of course, it is completely customizable (<= is that a word?), so the results are different every time you use it.
This last one, I did by hand. I guess I don't have a Sepia action from Rita, but no matter. It is relatively simple to accomplish. Here you go:
I realize I am taking a huge chance here because most of you who are into photography already know about Rita, but just in case there is someone out there who doesn't, I wanted to point out that all these actions are FREE! I think many of them work in PSE as well, but you'll have to run over there and find out for yourself.
And by the way, I am not getting paid or anything. I just have always wanted to do a comparison of some of the actions, so I thought I'd share it with you. If you like it, let me know and I may be inspired to do another one. :)
And please tell me: Which is your favorite?