July 1, 2010

blog love: pioneer woman.

Happy Canada Day! For those of us in Canada today is a day for barbeques, cottaging, spending time with family and friends, and fireworks. Food too, lots of food. So I guess it is appropriate that today's freebie comes from a lady who also has a cook book and whole recipe section to her blog. Ree, the Pioneer Woman, is a power blogger. By that I mean that her beautiful website includes a variety of categories, from cooking and homeschooling, to confessions and photography, this is one well-rounded blog.
But it is the photography section that I want to focus on today. Ree and a few others occasionally offer tutorials on how to use Photoshop and your camera better and often there are photography contests on the blog (with sweet prizes like Photoshop and DSLR cameras or Kitchen Aid stand mixers). Ree has done something really special though for those of us who use Photoshop. She has composed two different sets of actions (get them here). What is an action you ask? It is a package of predetermined adjustments and layers that go over your original photo to make it look softer, or more vintage, or brighter, or something different. I love Ree's actions because once it is done running it becomes one layer whereas other free actions I've used merge onto your original photo, so there is less flexibility in using them and testing them out on your photo. Of course they are also adjustable, meaning that you can change the opacity of the action if you feel it is too strong in its original form (some of them are meant to be adjusted even). Ree's actions are free and she has two sets of them. The first set includes actions called Lovely and Ethereal, Vintage, B&W Beauty, Boost, Quick Edge Burn, Old West, and Define & Sharpen. The second set of actions include Warmer, Cooler, Dim the Lights, Colorized, Sunshine, Bring Out The Eyes, Seventies, Heartland, Sharpen THIS!, and Sepia Tone. They are perfect to use those times that you do not want to spend lots of time fixing up a photo but it just needs a little pick-me-up. If you haven't discovered the Pioneer Woman Actions on your own before now, I hope you love them and, like me, wonder what you ever did before without them.

Thank you Ree for making such easy to use and wonderfully simple actions for Photoshop that even a beginner like me can use to make my photos four times better than anything I could do on my own!

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