I don't really like spending money. I suppose, seeing as I am without a job, this trait is definitely beneficial. After all, I can't spend money I don't have. ;) That was a major plus in going to Branson-- I bought clothing for like 30% of its original price.
Anyway! This talk about money does pertain to photography. Well, I mean, I didn't go cheap on my camera or anyway. Cost me a pretty penny. ((as opposed to an ugly one??)) Regardless, I'm primarily referring to actions.
Actions, for the most part, are simply a file that, when opened and played in Photoshop, a series of quick edits are done on your picture. These edits can all be done by hand, but actions streamline the effort, especially if one set of edits--one action-- looks good on all photos.
So actions are nice and pretty, and I'm always envious of professional ones. However, it goes back to the money thing. I can't spend money on something that, theoretically, I should be able to produce on my own. After all, the actions use the same tools available to anyone on Photoshop.
With this in mind, I grabbed a photo I took recently and started to play around with it. I wanted to enhance the yellows, augmenting the natural colors to almost a vintage effect.
Eh, volia! By no means is it a drastic action (as, while I was toying around with the edits, I recorded them all, to make my own action. It's free!) but I love the end result. Ambitiously I named it 'yellowish' and filed it under my own folder. It is really easy to create your own action-- you simply hit the record button, go about your edits, and then hit the stop button once you're done.
Now, the beauty of actions is that they aren't confined to just one photo. So, I took my new action to a different photo to see what would happen.
For this photo, the action added some yellow light-- reminiscent of sunset-- to the otherwise cold photo. As the photos were actually taken around the same time and location, it wasn't as though I was 'making' the scene up. The action made the photo closer to the light that I would have seen it in.
If that makes sense. Some people think that by editing a photo you inherently change it, make it fake in a way by distorting it. However, I edit photos so that they better resemble what my eye saw. Cameras are amazing, but they aren't eyes. Editing is also amazing to combat errors that can ruin the perfect shot. I'm awful about not checking the white balance-- an error that really messes up your photos, but is easily fixed through editing.
See? I'm putting my massive amounts of free time to some use! ...when I'm not watching So You Think You Can Dance and wishing that I, indeed, thought I could dance, or watching Dr. Who and wishing that I could manipulate the laws of physics to allow time travel to the past, or spending way too much time reading comics on this site...