I think this is one of my most practical action, and a personal favorite of mine. CoffeeShop Luminous Color Burst allows you to easily make your images pop with vibrant luminous color, dodge and burn selective areas, and is completely adjustable.
The download for the action is at the bottom of this post.
CoffeeShop Luminous Color Burst Action Instructions
1. Open your image. This is an SOOC (straight-out-of-the-camera) image.
2. Start the action. A Levels adjustment layer will pop up. Press OK.
3. Adjust the highlights, shadows, and midtones to taste by adjusting the sliders under the histogram. I kept the shadows the same (left slider) and made the highlights (right slider) and midtones (middle slider) brighter for this edit by moving the sliders to the left. When you are finished press OK.
4. When the action is finished running you will see 5 layers over your background. Note: The Color Deluxe layer was renamed Color Burst and I was too lazy to make new screenshots. :-)
5. I first adjust the Color Burst layer. Adjust the opacity to taste. It is preset to 50%, but I turned it up to 100% for this edit.
6. One of the problems with a vivid color pop is that it can add too much red to skin as seen in this closeup. I will use the layer mask to remove the color pop on these areas.
7. Alt-click on the Color Burst layer mask and your image will look like an x-ray. The black areas are masked so the color burst won't be applied to that part of the image. The white areas are not masked, so those areas are getting the color burst effect. I want to remove the color burst off his skin. If you are new to painting on layer masks I wrote a simple layer mask tutorial.
NOTE: You don't have to use the alt-click method, you can simply paint over the layer mask. I just like to do it so I can see where I am painting.
8. I selected a soft black brush (b) and painted over his head and hand.
9. Alt-click on the color burst layer mask again and you can now see that the red is removed from his face and hand.
10. Now I want to dodge (lighten) the path. Click on the Lighten It layer mask while holding down shift-alt. I used a soft low opacity white brush to paint over the pathway. You can see where I painted where the red is less bright.
11. I wanted to burn (darken) the woods and sides of the pathway, so I clicked on the Darken It layer mask while holding down shift-alt and used a soft white low opacity brush to brush around the image to darken it. You can see where I painted where the red is less bright.
You can see there is quite a difference between the before and after. I hope you love this action as much as I do. Download the totally free CoffeeShop Luminous Color Burst PSE/Photoshop Action. You can also download it here.
Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack (includes this action!) or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.
For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.