To Buy Actions or Not to Buy Actions?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by AprilRamone, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. AprilRamone

    AprilRamone TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone,
    I was hoping we could start another discussion about actions. I am trying to decide if I want to spend my $ on some. I finally got Lightroom and PS3 which is really exciting. But, after spending so much time only using Elements 2.0 I'm a little overwhelmed with all of the options I now have. (I did learn PS in college on 7.0 so I'm not totally in the dark with a lot of the tools in CS3)
    Anyway, I guess I just want to get some conversation started about them.
    1.) How many of you use Actions?
    2.) Which brand/company is your favorite? I know Kubota has been mentioned as well as Boutwell. Any others out there? I recently found this company and really liked their borders: http://www.ittybittyactions.com/borders.htm

    I think I'm trying to convince myself that the cost of the actions are worth it since the time it would take me to create some of my own would most likely be somewhat extensive.

    Anyway I guess I'd just like to hear what others think about them.
     
  2. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    The cost of actions is not worth it. Two important reasons why stand out in my mind.

    1) There is an abundance of freely available actions online. Why pay?

    2) Actions are simply steps in post-processing amalgamated into a single automated one. Two concerns. A) By definition, actions don't do anything that you couldn't do on your own. B) Using other people's automated post-processing discourages you from developing your own workflow and experimenting on your own with various post-processing techniques. In short, it also makes you lazy. Making your own actions forces you to understand the individual steps in processing an image and they way that they interact with each other to produce new, compound effects. It would be a shame to avoid that learning process.
     
  3. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    I totally disagree with the above.
    Although I do have some freebie actions, for the most part, they are NOWHERE near the quality and flexibility of the "buy" ones.

    Call me lazy if you want Max, but I don't have the time to sit around and make actions, or God Forbid, do these things manually. Could I? Yes.
    Will I....ever? No.

    My typical workweek, which is ALL shooting and processing is never less than 60 plus hours. I'm busy trying to establish a brand. As long as I take a good photo and try to make it look great, I could care less how I got there, as long as I get there quickly.
    One man's lazy is another man's ability to get the job done.


    Having said that:
    Other great actions are the Sallee collections, and Tricoast's new "Finding Color" set.
    However, as someone with literally HUNDREDS of actions, used daily, I would still advise either KK2 or the Boutwells.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You could also look into Lightroom Presets, which I hear are easier and faster to run than Photoshop actions.
     
  5. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Hey Mike,
    I hadn't heard of them. Do you have a link to some, or a link to an area I could read more about them?
    Thanks!
     
  6. JHF Photography

    JHF Photography TPF Noob!

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    That's cool! Had no idea that there were premade presets for Lightroom out there. Thanks, Mike!


    I just googled it, here's a link to 85 presets made by Jack Davis, a photoshop pro. There were tons more hits, but this one looked pretty good.

    http://www.ononesoftware.com/photopresets-wow.php


    Jason
     
  7. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    Cool Jason,
    Thanks!
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Cindy,
    Check out the Kubota site (my fire wall is blocking it)...they do have Lightroom presets. I've heard that there are plenty of free ones floating around as well.

    From what I've heard, they are just a one click and it's instantly done...rather that having an action run through it's steps.
     
  9. JHF Photography

    JHF Photography TPF Noob!

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    Yes, you're right. I've played a bit with the presets that came with Lightroom, and one click and it's done. You can even preview what it will do in the little viewer window. It shows you how the actual picture will look before you even click, all you do is hover over it.

    But the the preloaded ones kinda suck.... so thanks again for the tip!


    Jason

    P.S. You're welcome, Elsaspet.
     
  10. Snyder

    Snyder TPF Noob!

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    Actions are extremely easy to make, I wouldnt pay someone for something if I can do the same thing or better.
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Actions are easy to make, that's true. But it's also easy to take a photo. Doing either of those things well, is what makes the difference.

    As mentioned, there isn't anything that those bought actions give you, that you can't do without them...but you would need to have a fairly good knowledge of PS.
     
  12. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    That and you need alot of time to mess with making your own.
    How cool Mike. I got a spam from KK about the new lightroom thingies, but never checked them out. I feel like I already own stock in his company. LOL.
    I'll definately check them out today.
    Thanks again.
     

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