Techniques on using Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Actions


If you have been lucky enough to get the full featured Photoshop product you may have seen the actions tab. This is an extremely powerful tool and at the same time very simple to use. This tool allows you to record a number of events, save them and finally play them back on any future photos you would like.

An example of a simple action might be that you want to automatically adjust the brightness and crop a number of photos. You simply start to record a new action and once you have done the adjustments on the first photo you stop recording and then hit the play button on all of the other photos you want to apply the action to. You can alternatively apply a hot key to any actions you would like to have quick access to. You may want an action that does a small curves adjustment set to F5 so that any time you need to brighten an image just a bit, you can simply press F5 and it’s done.

In addition to pressing the play button on each photo, you can alternately use the Batch option under file / automate menu item. When you use this feature you select one of the actions you have created and then apply it to an entire folder of images. This can save you time by not having to manually press the play button on each photo as Photoshop will do it for you.


Now that you have a basic understanding of actions, let’s go ahead and create one. We will do a simple curves adjustment as well as a hue and saturation change.

First, load in the first image you would like to use to create the action. Now with the actions tab visible press the “Create New Action” button.

new_actionThis will now bring up a dialogue box with a few options. Type in curves and saturation for the name and hit the Record button.  You should now notice that the record button on the actions tab is active. This lets you know that Photoshop is currently recording anything you do.


Now bring up the curves dialogue box by pressing ctrl + C and make your adjustments and press OK. Now bring up the Hue/Saturation window by pressing ctrl + U and make your adjustments there as well. Press OK to apply your hue/saturation settings and then click the stop button next to the record button on the actions tab. You now have your action saved. If you want to apply these same settings to another photo or even the same one you have open, just press the play button next to the record button on the actions tab.

This is a great tool, that if utilized, can save you hours and hours of repetitive work on your sports photos. You should definitely give it a try.


ProPix Photography

The Sports Photography Professionals

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