Best Black and White Photoshop Actions
One thing I can't say enough about is learning to edit your photos.
Sometimes I take a photo and it's perfect, I don't want to tweak it or slightly brighten it, or nudge the contrast, but those times are rare!!!!
Editing is not cheating. It doesn't make your photos worth less. It doesn't mean you don't know your camera. Editing is a completely normal part of the photography process.
I love colour but I also love the power a black and white photo can create.
So I wanted to share my favourite Black and White actions that I use. Actions are amazing! Preset edits that with one click of a button can subtly transform a photo. I use Photoshop to edit my photos and love the ease of actions. I tend to shy away from the very heavy effects but have a set of favourites that are my go to saviours of what I might consider an average photo. (I am my harshest critic and I have a lot to thank these lovely actions for sometimes.)
Let me introduce you to Florabella.
I don't take a huge amount of portraits and although the focus of the examples on this site are with beautiful children, they work so well with any subject. I feel like these actions are dreamy, they cast a magical light over your image and work really well for Spring and Summer photos. They really enhance the highlights in a subject.
Sarah Gardner's actions are just as beautiful and have such contrast.
The black and white action presets create completely different atmospheres and whilst I still favour the more traditional black and white effects I want to challenge myself and experiment with the colour options within the overall pallete.
The brown tones evoke a more vintage feel without stripping out the detail of the photo.
I have been a long term fan of the sister blogging force A Beautiful Mess and when they added an action set to their shop I was so happy! I love the pops of colour the more natural filters they use on their blog photos. And their black and white options are just as exciting as their full colour options.
What strikes me about Elsie and Emma's actions are the ability to create that matt quality. The Willow and Lola actions strip out the shine and evoke a much more wintry and textured effect, whereas the Audrey and Boston filters pick out detail and depth.
Actions are a great way to enhance your photos with ease. They don't fix everything, but they can add subtle layers to your image they will add contrast, highlight, shadow and light.
I use Aperture as my photo library and the Black and White options are great too. Built into the program and have that little something extra on top of a straight black and white.
Are you a Photoshop fan or do you use a different program to edit your photos?
ps. There's another brilliant company Paint the Moon who specialise in stunning action sets. If you take a lot of portraits check them out!