Sunday, March 4

CoffeeShop Luminous Color Burst PSE/Photoshop Action!

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.


  1. Thank you for all your wonderful actions!!

  2. Awesome! Just what I need! Thanks so much for sharing your amazing talents!

  3. Thank you so much for your wonderful actions Rita!

  4. Thank you so much...this is a great action!

  5. This is an amazing action, I love it! Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. Thank you, so lovely, love this one!

  7. This is awesome. I have to say that when it comes to the actions that are just to make photos look better (not to create an effect), I usually look at the examples and can't see the difference. I apparently don't have a very discerning eye. But I can look at this and see how much better the post-action looks! Now to see if I can make the action work as well as you did!


  8. Great action! Continued thanks for your efforts and generosity :)

  9. Thanks for the great action - cant wait to try this - but most of all thanks for the tut on how to get the best out of the action. Genius!

  10. I just tried this on a pic of my daughter and it looks great. Thank you!

  11. This is such an amazing action! I am totally in love. Thank you so much for the actions AND the tutorials walking me through how to use them, including your layer mask tutorial. I finally understand how all of that works!

    I'm using Photoshop CS, and the picture is always really strange looking, colors way blown out and computer-pixel-art-looking when the action is finished. I just go into the "luminous" layer editing box and turn the opacity and fill opacity way down. (I'm writing this here in case anyone else runs into this - there are certainly some actions I've given up on when they gave weird results, figuring my version of PS is too old, but this is an easy adjustment.)

    I'm making a photobook for my mom's birthday, and a lot of our happy memories entails some pretty crappy snapshots, but your action is helping me get them into more presentable shape. Thank you!

  12. I am having so much trouble using your actions with PSE10. Are they not meant for 10? I am new to PSE but whenever I go to use my brush tool it never let's me do it. I'm getting really frustrated because I would love to use your actions.

  13. Hi there, I am new to using PSE actions. I've used Luminous many times but have a question. In order to apply a mask, you say to alt click on the color burst layer so you can black out where you don't want the action to be applied, however, the last two photos I've used this action on the whole layer is blackened out.

  14. Hi Rita! I love this action! I wanted to try to learn a little so I started trying to do this one manually, but I'm SO stuck! You know on the Saturate mask and the Color Burst Mask how when you Alt+click on the mask the image shows up and looks all x-ray like? I can't figure out how to get the mask to look like that! Please help! Thanks!

  15. it's great for my design.

  16. i am already here and i really appreciate.

  17. thank you for your beautiful actions, it really helps ^_^


Thank you for taking the time to leave a message, I love reading them! All comments are personally moderated by me and I will post and answer them them as soon as possible.