Today MCP Actions released a new set of actions called MCP Fusion Actions designed to take the time out of your editing. Jodi was kind enough to send me a preview version of the actions to test out and I'll admit, I was very impressed.
To start with, there are an impressive number of actions. 56 total actions including color adjustments, black and white, exposure enhancers, special effect enhancers, and finally, some contrast and sharpening enhancers. There are "actions" that give you some instructions on how to use each batch. And the most surprising part to me...you can buy the Photoshop CS versions, OR she is offering a version that works with Photoshop Elements.
One of the big trends in photo editing right now is giving the photos a softer almost antiqued look OR going with that urban cross-processed finish. And these actions have you covered. I've always edited with a heavy hand towards vivid so this was definitely an interesting approach for me that allowed me to flex my creative muscle without starting with a completely blank canvas.
First I started with an underexposed picture of my niece. I ran the Vanilla Cream which lightened it up and softened the colors, then High Definition which sharpens/contrasts, and then Color with Markers which allows you to selectively color pop. I love the results! Each of the color actions also creates a slew of adjustment layers which allows you to adjust for under or over exposed, and to add or remove color from the pics. For a totally different look I went back to the original and ran the Cozy B&W which produced a beautiful warm black and white - then added in Sparks which allows you to selectively find detail. The picture went from blah to wow in just a couple of clicks.
For more examples, I started with another picture of my neice (we just visited so I had some new pics I hadn't edited yet). For these I tried both Retro Surprise and Beach House - both of which produced beautiful soft color versions. I applied "Golden" to beach house to give it even more warmth. I think either picture looks like it could be a country album cover, right? Hard to believe she is a first grader!
The great thing about these actions is that they generate LOTS of layers that you can adjust to create your own formulas - or you can just run and go for editing in a hurry. I know that there are some purists that don't care for actions because they might consider them a cheat or because then all the pictures start to look the same. But I know I've been using actions for my editing for years and the way I apply them and the formula's I use are how I make them my own - and I think with an action set like this you can easily adjust them to create your own signature look too!
What to see more? The Fusion Action Set is available starting today on the MCP Actions website. I think they are well worth the cost and will save you not only time, but allow you to create looks in Photoshop you may have not expected to be able to create without having to learn every individual step in to edit.