Using Photoshop for Stunning Beach Photos

Have you ever wondered how to process your beach photos in Photoshop?  When I saw this shot by Jennifer Rose Hewes of Jennifer Rose Photography I was in LOVE. These girls and this shot – just stunning.

Honestly this is one of those shots that look so pretty straight out of the camera – it was hard to improve upon.  I did two plays on it.

I would love to hear if people prefer the original or one of the other versions.  Details on what I did are at the bottom of the post.

Play 1 (Frosted Memories) – this edit used the MCP Frosted Memories photoshop action set. I started with the Pink Lemonade action from the Hazy Days section of the set.  I set the pink lemonade layer to 20%.  Then I ran Faded Edges at 53%. And lastly used the Pinstripe Suite at 30% and Sandcastles at 100% from the Textured Memories part of the set.

Play 2 (Quickie Collection) – this edit used the MCP Quickie Collection photoshop action set. I started with the Finger Paint medium action – and painted on the water sky and ground.  Then I ran the Dreamy Color Action.  I finished things off with the Free Action called Touch of Light/Touch of Darkness.  I used the “darkness” layer and painted with a 30% opacity brush on the water and sky. Then I painted on the girl on the right.  Her hand and part of her arm were paler than the rest.  So brushing on touch of darkness evened her skin out.

And to display the before and after shots I put them in the Magic Blog It Board and used a left side branding bar.

 Using Photoshop for Stunning Beach Photos

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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29 Comments and 0 Replies

  1. 1
    Danyll Epps says:

    WOW…so beautiful. I like the quickie collection the best. But, wow..they’re all nice! Love your stuff so much, Jodi!!

  2. 2
    Katy Geesaman says:

    SOOC is great, but I love the quickie dreamy look.

  3. 3
    Carrie V. says:

    Beautiful. Love all 3!

  4. 4
    Cindy Lee says:

    I actually like the SOOC best – shock horror!!! I normally love pumped up colour but in this case I find the extra colour distracting. My eyes just want to focus on the girls.

  5. 5

    WOW! I love them both, but love the quick collection.

  6. 6
    MCP Actions says:

    I love the SOOC too – it is stunning! I like the plays but this is truly one of those pictures that is amazing SOOC.

  7. 7
    Margo says:

    I’ve got to agree, I like the SOOC best. What a beautiful capture! My fave of your plays is the frosted memories.

  8. 8
    Candi says:

    I love the quickie collection one as well…although I would be just as pleased with the SOOC shot.

  9. 9

    Jodi! I love your plays! Thanks so much for using the photograph of my twins. Actually, this shot was not at the beach. It was taken atop a beautiful mountain in our area. I love this location so much!

    You are the best. I do like the Quickie Collection….

  10. 10
    Veronica says:

    I love the quickie collection version.

    I agree this was a breath taking photo to begin with!

    Hope your Twin is feeling better.

  11. 11
    Ruthanne says:

    Wow! I think the shot looks fabulous without any changes.

  12. 12

    I love the color pop in the Quick Collection version, but it looses some details in the white dresses on the girls from the SOOC version.

    She did a fantastic job on the original version!

  13. 13
    Victoria says:

    Love the SOOC, but of the other 2 – my fav is the frosted memories. Love the old memory feel on that one.

  14. 14

    Yes, the SOOC is fantastic, and would serve well all on its own. I love the Frosted Memories…it has that classic look to it. The Quick Collection, I think adds too much color and contrast for my tastes on this type of shot. Can’t wait to see more!

  15. 15
    marissa moss says:

    love the sooc! and that is rarely my thought! but i just love that you can see the detailing the the clothing and fabrics and you loose some of that in the edited versions. : )

  16. 16
    Penny says:

    I love the sooc. The other two are gorgeous as well, but I love the stronger detail of the dresses in the first shot. Just a beautiful photo anyway you look at it!

  17. 17

    I think the SOOC is really a great shot, but man, I LOVE the second fix – the Quickie Collection one. I use your Touch of Light/Touch of Darkness on almost every single photo I edit, but I’m gonna just HAVE to go get some of your other actions too. Love the richness of this edit and the dreamy look of it….so soft…so perfect!

  18. 18
    suzy says:


  19. 19
    Geno says:

    I actually like the SOOC the best, but I also like the play 1

  20. 20
    SandraC says:

    I would go for the SOOC, the frosted memories is too light and the quickie collection too strong in color for my taste. Gorgeous picture Jennifer!

  21. 21
    Sylvia Cook says:

    I love the look of the frosted memories! It just gives it a dreamy quality so perfect for this image!

  22. 22
    Rose says:

    ooooh, I love the quikie collection edition, the colors are so soft and beautiful!

  23. 23
    Drea says:

    Lovely photo, but I really liked det original the best! :)

  24. 24
    Adrianne says:

    While I’m normally a color pop person and I do like the Quickie Collection for the colors, I think it loses a lot of the sharpness with that play. Some people might like the dreamy look of it but I think, in the main, it will be looked on as OOF rather than dreamy, imo. I would have loved to see just a bit of a color pop and defog on it. It’s a strong image sooc so it doesn’t need a whole lot. I do love to see how different people approach processing different images.

  25. 25
    alice says:

    i really like the last one with the quickie collection actions used. i love the vivid color. and, yes, it was hard to improve on that first shot – it’s gorgeous! thanks for the step-by-step. i have both the frosted and the quickie and have not used either one yet. maybe i’ll try them out now :).

  26. 26

    I love the original but frosted memories is my pick of the plays.

  27. 27
    Tanya says:

    The original on this one, with frosted memoires 2nd. What a great OOC shot!!

  28. 28
    Amy Carroll says:

    LOVE the quickie collection!

  29. 29

    I love it both ways. The frosted has got …like a poster look. Like billboard. And you notice the scenery as a whole. And the quickie way has an elagant look that you really see its beauty.

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