I have been wanting to create a new matte enhancement which would add burgundy tints to the shadows, and after playing for a few hours this week (it is so gloomy, rain rain rain) I created my newest fine art Photoshop/PSE action which I called "Merlot Luxe".
This enhancement is completely adjustable and has an optional "matte-effect" layer. I love creating both "glossy" and "matte" edits with "Merlot Luxe" and I absolutely love this effect! You can even paint some light back into the image to highlight selective areas. And try running this action on B&W images too, it is gorgeous!
I personally think this action looks best on images with darker backgrounds, but I have run it on all types of images and been pleased with many of the results.
(in this image I first ran "Lovely B&W" and then "Merlot Luxe")
Original images I used in this post (forest, girl with camera, holding pinecones, couple, woman with child, red mug).
CoffeeShop "Merlot Luxe" Photoshop/PSE Action Tutorial:
I ran "Merlot Luxe" and adjusted the Levels adjustment pop-up layer for a soft "matte-effect". I usually adjust the shadows under then curve and the left Output Levels slider, but in this case I also moved the midtone slider under the curve.
You can make further adjustments to this layer after the action finishes, so don't worry too much about it at this point.
This action will darken images, but it is so easy to selectively paint back light by painting on the layer mask of the "Merlot Luxe" layer with a soft low opacity black brush.
This is what the original "Merlot Luxe" mask looks like. The black areas are hiding (masking) the "Merlot Luxe" layer.
To add back light in the center of the image, I clicked to select the "Merlot Luxe" layer mask and grabbed a soft black 20% opacity brush and clicked a few times in the middle.
Now you can see that the area around the couple is brightened/lightened.
I usually also play with the "Adjust Contrast", "Color Pop", and "Vignette" layers.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! I would love to see your own edits using this action on my Facebook page.
Download the CoffeeShop "Merlot Luxe" Photoshop/PSE action.
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