Sunday, May 18, 2014

CoffeeShop Save Face Photoshop/PSE Action!

Happy Sunday to you all!  I made it through an entire week of working full-time with my husband and surprisingly we are still married and, dare I say, actually enjoying it.  ;-)

The CoffeeShop "Save Face" action was written to recover a outside portrait where the face is in shadow.  Photoshop is not going to give you the exact same result as a image photographed with proper lighting, but with this action you should be able to save an otherwise perfect photo.

I used this really pretty SOOC image from Angie Williams on this tutorial.

Here is the before.  The model is so pretty, but I would like to lighten up her face a bit.

1.  Start the Save Face action.  Adjust the curve so that the rest of the image is nicely exposed.  Don't worry about her face, that will be lightened with a different layer, right now you just want the background to look nice.

2.  Often when you over-expose a portrait  in Photoshop it will effect the smoothness of the skin.  This action has a built-in skin softening layer.  Over-soften the skin at this point, you can add in as much as you want after the action is finished.

3.  When the action is finished running your image will look the same.  Don't worry, we are going to paint on layer masks (layer mask tutorial).

4.  Use a soft white brush on the Light Face layer mask to lighten the face and body. I used 100% on her face and 50% on her jacket. You can dial down the opacity if needed.

5.  Paint on the Soften Skin black layer mask with a soft white brush to add some softness to her skin.

6.  Often the iris will look very dark, so click on the Brighten Eyes layer and use a soft white brush on the iris and eye whites.  Adjust the opacity to taste.  Don't overdo the eye edit and make your image look like a freaky alien.  ;-)

7.  Finally, I added a Hue/Adjustment layer to remove extra red due to the editing conditions.  You can turn it off or open it up and remove any additional color casts.

Hope you enjoy using this action on images you love and need to save from bad outside lighting. Again, this is not a substitute for using your camera properly, but sometimes you might need to save an otherwise perfect image.

Download the free CoffeeShop Save Face action.  You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack 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.


  1. Hey Rita! Thank you for another awesome action. I've been using Baby PowderRoom for ever and love it but this looks good too, eyes are easy enough to sharpen on my own.

    How is the year of homeschooling doing now that you are winding down for the year? Follow you on FB, I'm rarely on flickr anymore :( not what it used to be. And I never thought I would be on IG as much as I am, dang if that phone camera isn't handy because I always have it nearby!

    I upgraded my camera and now I have an iMac with big girl PS CS6, squeeee, loving all three!!

    Have a great summer,
    Claudia ( Cosi/Cosi Bella Photo)

  2. Thanks so much for another awesome action!

  3. I'm sort of in love with you and your actions. Thank you for everything you do.

  4. Hi...when I run this through the actions box in PSE 12, an error pops up while it's running that says "set" not available. Just FYI.

  5. Amanda, just push "continue" when it says that message. The action layers will still work fine in PSE12. :-)