We are beyond excited to share our new ACS Desktop with you guys today! We've been developing our new actions with Sarah and Mandi for months and months now. And after lots of testing and tweaking, we are finally ready to share them with you all—hooray!
First, some of you may be wondering what the heck is an action (sometimes called presets)? Photoshop or Lightroom actions are a fast and easy way to apply a wholly edited look to your photos. If you're familiar with how to apply filters within smartphone editing apps (like A Color Story), this is similar but is for Photoshop or Lightroom, but with different looks and even more customization options. Actions are easy to download and load into Photoshop or Lightroom, and they make editing photos lightning fast without sacrificing quality. Whoa! So if you love the look of the photos you see here on ABM, then you'll love using our actions on your own images.
Why new actions? Good question! As many of you know and may have experienced firsthand, we created our first round of ACS Desktop and launched them in early 2014. Over the past few years, we've grown in our photography skills and watched photography styles change slightly over that time as well. Our entire team uses the ACS Desktop for almost every post you see here on our site, and we all began to feel it was time to refresh them. So we used what we've learned over the past few years to develop new sets for ourselves, to help with our own workflow. And of course, we are happy to offer them to you all as well!
We've created three collections for Photoshop and one big collection for Lightroom, so no matter which program you prefer to edit with, we've got you covered! We're going to show you everything you get in each collection along with some example images so you can get a feel for what you might like most.
First off, every Photoshop collection comes with 5 basic editing actions. In the above images, I used only two basics to brighten and enhance my image. These are super useful as a starting place before you apply other actions in case your image is just a bit underexposed, overexposed, or just needs to be a little sharper. There are also times when I will edit an image with an action and then apply a basic afterward just to pump up the color, saturation, or sharpness before saving my final look. Our Lightroom Magic collection also includes a few basic editing actions.
First up is our Natural Beauty Collection. This Photoshop collection comes with 15 actions in addition to the 5 basics. Our inspiration for this pack was all about enhancing everyday beauty. Most of the actions help to brighten your images while bringing out the colors that are already found. This collection is especially great for portraits, still life or product images, as well as everyday photos.
Here's a few examples where I applied only one action from the Natural Beauty Collection to an image:
Timeless is a go-to for editing food images. We added just a touch of the Color Enhance basic that comes with this collection to the above image as well. You can decrease the opacity on all our Photoshop actions to lessen their effect, giving you TONS of control over your editing process.
Next up is our Clean and Modern collection. This Photoshop collection is all about increasing the mood in your images. We've developed a wide range of actions in this pack to help deepen and enhance your images no matter what feel you are aiming for. This collection comes with 20 actions in addition to the 5 basic editing actions. This collection is especially great for landscape or nature photos, as well as everyday images of people, still life and everything in between.
Here's a few examples:
Our third Photoshop action collection is called Black and White + Enhance. This collection comes with 10 black and white actions, 10 enhancing actions, and the 5 basic editing actions. We LOVE this collection because it allows you to get really artsy with your images. You can see a quick example of all the black and white actions above. The enhance actions are all about adding artistic elements like: light leaks, lens flare, color fogs, and holga blur. This collection is perfect for taking a cute image and turning it into something truly special!
Here's a few more examples from the Black and White + Enhance collection:
And yes, you can buy ALL the Photoshop actions in our Total Collection—you'll even get a discount plus a bonus action just for fun!
And for all you Lightroom users—we didn't forget about you! Some of the ABM team prefers to mostly use Lightroom while others are Photoshop lovers for life. We totally get the appeal of both programs, and know that many photographers like using both for different functions during their own workflow. Therefore we've created the ultimate actions collection for you all—Lightroom Magic. Here's a few examples:
Our Lightroom Magic collection includes 30 actions, with both color and black and white options—everything you need to make editing a breeze!
To learn more about the A Beautiful Mess action packs, just check our shop site. Got questions? Check the shop FAQ or let us know in the comments. We can't wait to see what you guys will create with these—happy editing! xo. The ABM Team
Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Emma Chapman, Elsie Larson, Sarah Rhodes, and Janae Hardy. Actions created in collaboration with Mandi Johnson and Sarah Rhodes.