Thursday, November 3

CoffeeShop Vanilla Latte B&W Action UnWrapped!

If you have been following my blog, you know that even though I love writing and using actions, I really enjoy teaching my readers to edit.  Actions are fun and great time-savers, but I think it is important to know what is going on "behind" the scenes so you can edit on your own if you want.  If you take apart actions (I call this UnWrapping), you can learn new editing steps and even tweak the results to get your own perfect edit.

Today I am unwrapping the CoffeeShop Vanilla Latte action.  If you would rather just use the action  just click here.  The first step of this tutorial can only be done in Photoshop (not PSE), but in my next post I will include a little action that will reproduce Step 1 in PSE, so PSE users can do the edit entirely by hand.  You can still do this edit without the Boost step, just add a levels layer and do a small contrast adjustment. It won't be exactly the same, but it works.

1. Open your image.

2.  Boost, Photoshop Users Only!  (For a free Boost It action to do this step in PSE, just click here):

I learned this method from Amanda from EveryDay  Elements.  It really brightens skin.

Click on Channels and then click on the little thumbnail by Red. Your image will turn B&W.  Then Select, All and Edit, Copy.

Click on the little eyeball to the left of RGB to select all of the channel layers again and then click on Layers.

Make a new layer.

Edit, Paste.  Your image will be B&W.

Put this layer in Soft Light.  This is the Boost layer in the action and I used 50% opacity in the action, but you can adjust the opacity to taste or even use Overlay blending mode.

2.  B&W Conversion layer:

Click on your color palette and make the foreground color hex#000000 (black) and the background color #f9eee8 and then add a Gradient Map Adjustment layer.    It should look black to tan as seen below on the top right.  Yes, I did this backward in the action and it is reflected in the screenshot (that is why reversed is checked), but you can do it right the first time because you are not an idiot like me.  ;-)

Keep this in Normal blending mode.

3.  Lighten Layer:

Add a levels adjustment layer without any adjustments and set the blending mode to Screen.  Adjust opacity to taste.

4.  Vanilla Tint:

Add a color fill layer on top with hex#ddd3c9.

Put the Color Fill layer in Color Blending mode.  Now you have a CoffeeShop Vanilla Latte B&W!

Mouse over this image to see the After!  I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  I have plenty more free actions, design elements, and tutorials  coming your way, so please come back and send your friends.

Want all of my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one simple download 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. I love it when you unwrap things, it is sooo helpful!!! Thank you!

  2. Thank you so much! I tried it, it worked (!), I love it- and I learned a bit about Photoshop while doing it! Thanks so much for your generosity in sharing!

  3. this is a great tutorial. thank you!


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