Angie Monson + Photoshop Actions For Photographers = Color Blueprint

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Photoshop actions for digital photographers… Often controversial… Time saving… Helpful… Image enhancing…

Angie Monson (of Simplicity Photography) has images with very unique, vibrant color.  While this highly color popped look may not be for everyone, it is extremely popular right now.  And her photos and editing are stunning. She sent me an urban photo, so that I could illustrate to you how to get vibrant color using Photoshop actions.

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For this image above, here are the steps I took to achieve more contrast and bolder color:

  1. Started with Magical Clarity from the Bag of Tricks set – this photoshop action gives a crisp look to your photos.
  2. Next I used Magic Mid-tone Lifter at 64% opacity (also from Bag of Tricks) – this photoshop action brightens the midtones.
  3. Now for the rich, vibrant color using Photoshop actions… I used the Magical Color Finder Brush action with the layer set to 100% (again from Bag of Tricks). I painted everywhere at full opacity except on skin and hair.  I then changed the brush opacity to 45% and painted on her hair.
  4. Next I wanted to add a little bit of contrast.  I used Magical Contrast (yep – Bag of Tricks again), opened the folder and used low setting at default opacity.
  5. The photo still looked a little dark, so I ran Magic Mid-tone Lifter again.  This time I used the opacity at 54%.
  6. Even though I love her freckles, I still used Photoshop actions to get brighter, smoother skin. I used Magic Skin and adjusted the opacity to 48%.
  7. Though this was a distant shot, I wanted to lightly enhance the eyes so I used the Eye Doctor, a Photoshop action to enhance eyes.
  8. Now it was time for some selective lighting and darkening to finish the photo.  I ran the Free Photoshop actions, Touch of Light, Touch of Darkness. I painted with a 25% brush to lighten specific areas and a 35% brush to burn certain areas.  I prefer this to the dodge and burn tools, as those work directly on pixels, versus this which works on adjustment layers.
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 Angie Monson + Photoshop Actions For Photographers = Color Blueprint

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and teaches Photoshop to photographers across the globe.

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6 Comments and 1 Replies



  1. 1

    [...] 1 votes vote Angie Monson + Photoshop Actions For Photographers = Color Blueprint Photoshop actions for digital photographers… Often controversial… Time saving… [...]

  2. 2
    melinda says:

    Great blue print…love the bag of tricks! I use magic clarity and contrast all the time!

  3. 3
    Kirsten says:

    These look amazing! I so need to learn how to use the actions appropriately… right now I think I’m winging it and failing LOL

  4. 4
    Casey Lu says:

    Beautiful recipe or blue print and love the vivid colors. I will admit, I am a little intimidated by the bold vivid colors like this, don’t get me wrong, I love color but can’t seem to bring myself to making them so vivid. Maybe someone could show me the light, with some of my own pictures or maybe I will just get over my fear and go for it.

  5. 5

    [...] actions posted a great little blueprint on their website today. It just so happens that we took pics of Merrik yesterday, so I wanted to [...]

  6. 6
    Alex Garza says:

    Justa wanted to ask for step number 3 “Magical Color Finder Brush” which did you use? Vivid or Intense?

    Thanks in advance for your time to answer.

    Alex Regio

    • Hi Alex,

      Jodi is out of town for the next week. I’m not sure which Color Finder Brush she used, unfortunately. I bet she’ll be able to answer when she returns.



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