Let's Just Try It

a compilation of inspiration and creative endeavors of a mom and daughter duo

Black and White Experiment: Photoshop Actions

Mom and I are having lots of fun learning our new cameras. She’s doing great practicing getting her camera in people’s faces and shooting. I hope she shares soon more about what she’s learning 🙂 I learn so much from her!

Remember my frame a day challenge?   I am not keeping up as much as I wish I was, but I have about 8-9 frames representing Jan, and 4 or 5 from Feb so far.  I still forget to take my camera with me when I leave the house, most days are devoid of interesting tidbits to shoot. But one day recently, after dinner, we felt a little bored, and we drove to a nearby coffee shop for strong cup of coffee.

I fussed and fiddled with my camera, but in the low light situation of the restaurant, I really struggled to get a clear, crisp photo. Most were blurry, and fraught with bad composition, and terrible shadows. As I uploaded, I was so sad and felt that I couldn’t toss all the photos on upload, purely because I couldn’t miss another day! With the odds clearly against me, I felt awful that I wasted a good days shooting on *trying*  low light manual tricks without success.

But I looked again.

This photo of my husband isn’t *very* blurry. Sure, the focus is on his hands, not his eyes like I prefer, but at least there isn’t too much blur going on in his face. I tried to fix the colour, but it just wasn’t working.

then I accidentally desaturated too much.

and magically the colour problems disappeared! But with the absence of colour, a new problem arises. It’s boring!

So, I looked through my photoshop actions to see what I could use to spice it up.

Here I ran an action from one of my favourite action sets from Alex Beadon.

(Get the set here)

Suddenly, Dave looks like a 70s rocker, and my poor composition is an artistic accident.

I tried another set of actions from Pioneer Woman:

This is the B&W Beauty from this set. I like the subtly of this one. It is a nice groundwork for more post work, since it doesn’t try too hard. I think it looks like the desaturated photo I started with, but on steroids.

Then I tried running one more from that same PW set.

And finally, here is one with burned edges and a dark moody feeling.

I think it’s great how Dave looks like a cool rocker in the first to a moody thinker in the last. I haven’t yet decided which photo I will use for my frame a day, but it sure was an interesting experiment. And I was able to salvage a photo I should have thrown away!

Which is a good thing. Because look how handsome he is 🙂


2 responses to “Black and White Experiment: Photoshop Actions

  1. Mimi February 11, 2012 at 4:15 am

    What kind of cameras did you get?

    • Elizabeth February 11, 2012 at 7:52 am

      Hello! I got a Nikon D3100 in Dubai, and Mom has a Nikon D50 I think? I know mine is the baby one and hers is one or two higher on the totem pole 🙂

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