Photoshop Actions

Truth to be told, I am not savvy when it comes to Photoshop. I see great tutorials out there, but whenever I follow them step by step, I either up give up in frustration or my images are never quite as good. I wished there was an easy way (like in 2 steps) to achieve the end result.

Last night I played with making photos vintage-y looking. I tried them before and although happy with them at the time, I wanted a different look now. I searched for a tutorial online and stumbled across Photoshop Actions. I don't know how I didn't discover them until now. They are truly valuable for a beginner like myself who wants semi-professional photoshopped photos! Some actions are available for free, but for more advanced one, there is a fee.

A Photoshop Action is sort of like "macro" in Excel. If you perform a task repeatedly in Excel, you can automate the task with a macro. A macro is a series of commands and functions that are stored in and can be run whenever you need to perform the task. In Photoshop, the "macro" is referred to "actions".

There are lots of actions out there - I downloaded the Vintage Photo action.

1. Download the action file, unzip, and drag the .atn file to the desktop.
2. From the Photoshop Actions window, load the .atn file.
3. Open a photo file and run the action.

Take this picture of Taipei 101, I simply highlighted the Vintage action and clicked play. It gave me the vintage-looking picture above in seconds. Pretty amazing. More importantly, the action plays right in front of you and shows you step by step of what it is doing - so more or less, you may learn a trick or two from watching it play.

I am off to search more actions to play with! Google "photoshop actions" and start your own collection!


  1. Cool oh! Always nice to have quick lil shortcuts. But yes, Photoshop sucks balls. I can't stand that thing. I'm not even sure why you bother to use it. I'll all for Paint.NET for the easy stuff and GIMP for the heavy duty.

    Can't wait to go back to 101 one day...

  2. Yeah, I wish I were more savvy with Photoshop too. I'm still lost on the actions as well. I have a few on my computer, but I haven't utilized them. Like you, I just get frustrated and discouraged. Argh!


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