Photoshop Actions, Where Have I Been?

Why, oh why have I never been daring enough to open the Actions tab within Photoshop? Is it because its foundation is based on sets of rules instead of an instant visual reaction (ie filters, blurs, etc)? Whatever the case, Adobe’s Photoshop Actions aren’t new. In fact, they were introduced way back in version 4 (the latest release is version 12: CS5). Late at night when I can no longer hear traffic outside my house, the Actions tab whispers to me, “Make your life easy, open me up, have a look-see. I can save you loads of precious time.” It’s a trap, I think. “If you open that tab, you’ll get sucked into trying to figure out what’s going on and your wife will find you curled up in a ball crying the next morning.” Psh! It’s nothing! Well, it’s not nothing, it’s great – easy to grasp and comprehensive. The desire to watermark my images for posting on the web was eating up hours of every project. Open photo. Place logo. 100% opacity. No! 40% opacity. Now I can barely see it! Will the client find this distracting? 100% opacity. Fine, no watermark! Mmmmaybe just 20% opacity. There’s a better way, there HAS to be. “Open me up, I’ll save you so much time,” I heard the whisper again. It was 10:40 at night and I could have gone to bed by midnight for a solid 8 hours of sleep. Ok, just one Google search about adding a border and logo with Actions. Wait, it’s 11:50pm already? Where did the hour go? Alrighty, 2:35am, if I get to bed by three I’ll still be able to get five hours of sleep. Last night I got my learn on and was schooled in Actions, which I’ll be hitting up for every project from now on. Much love to ya, PS! PS Actions Panel The technical: for a while I’ve been putting the logo or company name directly on a picture and dropping the opacity, but the position always changed and I was looking for a unified, clean branding watermark. I love the look of photos I’ve seen in other photographer’s galleries where there is white spacing around the photo and a thin border with the company logo at the bottom (a la Jasmine Star). This method of branding allows anyone to see the untouched image and not have to focus through the watermark. It does allow for easy cropping/stealing, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. I started with searches for actions to do exactly what I wanted with little to no modification on my end, because that’s what laziness looks like. No dice. I did, however, find this thread on the DPChallenge forums where people were looking for the same effect. I downloaded the 2 actions user bobonacus posted and stuck them in my PS > Presets > Actions folder, modified them a bit within PS, then made one big action that encompassed those two plus a canvas resize and my action was set. File > Automate > Batch, choose photos, let ‘er rip. Much time saved + easy = elation.

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