15 free Photoshop actions

d50d2f7a0884533bd014c62e8f09ef3e - 15 free Photoshop actions

Adobe’s flagship image editing software Photoshop has a powerful programming language built in that allows you to record tasks as an ‘action’ and replay the steps to complete the task automatically. Not only can you record your own but you can also import actions, opening up a whole range of effects and time-saving options.

You can jump to the section you want right now from the drop-down menu above, but you should definitely bookmark the entire list to check out the rest later – who knows where inspiration will strike.

Photo filters

01. Mystical Light

22456084b3bdcc327f16ac5ae615ea0b - 15 free Photoshop actions

Give your photos an other-worldly air with this Photoshop action from Megan Joy. It’ll infuse landscapes with a magical purple haze, enlivening any shot with an ethereal purple haze and giving any location the atmosphere of a mysterious fairy dell.

02. Instant Hipster

15e71b36ff09bb311a45f6da4ca3d8d9 - 15 free Photoshop actions

For those times you want to give your photos a one-click Instagram effect, Instant Hipster’s the perfect solution. It comes with 10 ready-made filters – Amaro, Mayfair, Hudson, Valencia, X-Pro II, Willow, Sutro, Hefe, Nashville and 1977 – so you can find just the retro effect you need in seconds.

03. Nightmare

87e60ee467f36fcc0dbdf3980672f177 - 15 free Photoshop actions

If your photos just aren’t sinister enough for your liking, this free action should make things a little more unsettling. It’s designed to let you easily give your photos a dark, haunting effect. Perfect for creating the impression that you’re permanently about to stumble into mortal danger.

04. Cold Nightmare

cac0961babbdffbd9994b8a5022966fc - 15 free Photoshop actions

This amusingly-titled action will transform a photo of a perfectly innocent scenario into a window into a dark world. In this example image, the archer probably shooting at a target takes on the look of someone who is definitely trying to kill a human. It’s amazing what some shadows can do.

05. Summer Haze

060981b2e424028f2501e8018ddecacd - 15 free Photoshop actions

If you’d prefer to cheer up your images, take a sunny shot and make it intensely summery with this great turquoise haze effect. Outdoor portraits taken in natural light are most suitable for this filter.

06. Hazy Afternoon

63c86b140c35782a4fac9360f5fdb5e9 - 15 free Photoshop actions

Perfect for outdoor pictures, the Hazy Afternoon action certainly lives up to its name by creating a soft gradient colour layer. You can use this free action on black and white or colour images, plus you can easily adjust the gradient until you get the exact look you’re after.

07. Sun Kissed

4d3f9478ed9347cc33dc00fba93a540f - 15 free Photoshop actions

Light up any image with this comprehensive collection of sunlight effects that’ll brighten and tone even the drabbest landscape. Simply add a bit of a warm tone, or go the whole hog and throw in a setting sun complete with a lens flare effect; it’s all there.

08. HDR Action

f136bfa9dbba136e13102e632812ddff - 15 free Photoshop actions

Remove the lack of contrast that comes with HDR photography with this set of four actions; HDR fix Light, Normal, Heavy, and Clicker.

09. Strong HDR Effect

c6031b8adfe74b8656055c42d347fb79 - 15 free Photoshop actions

Alternatively, try getting vibrant colour effects with this free HDR filter from Shutter Pulse. If it works well for you but you’d like more options, it’s part of a set of 30 HDR actions that you can buy for $13.

10. Blue Evening

3dd773e9caa07d7775ece919cd454a53 - 15 free Photoshop actions

Blue Evening is the free component of a paid-for set called Touch of Drama, which gives you various ways to add a mysterious atmosphere to your shots. The strength of the blue cast depends on your starting colours, so click through to see a good selection of examples.

11. Night to Twilight

399ae465bf9d500bc9ab82e93c1ad823 - 15 free Photoshop actions

This set of 11 actions convert your nighttime images into twilight photos by introducing a colour cast and lightening the sky. The effect is rendered using layers, so you can adjust the degree of twilight by reducing the layer’s opacity, making it nice and flexible.

12. Purple Contrast

d21760a74536e405eecc13114fd697a5 - 15 free Photoshop actions

This free Photoshop action washes out some of the colour from an image and gives it a purpley hue. It’s a good way to give your photographs a dramatically downbeat look.

13. Bella

2bbf4a6ac4a84d3297946bb162c56d30 - 15 free Photoshop actions

This action adds a beautiful warmth to your photographs, bringing out rich tones in hair and skin, and softening colours with a pink cast that creates a romantic, nostalgic feel.

14. Wedding Enhancers kit

278d1741a2ad058a8a89e40f49201459 - 15 free Photoshop actions

Photoshop actions are extremely useful for wedding photographers dealing with a huge number of shots. Here you get a set of 11 actions that automatically create common portrait effects, especially around the theme of wedding photography. The set includes skin smoothing and soft filter effects as well as black and white conversion.

15. Photoshop Color actions

b27026382c9650e42751173e6540e3ff - 15 free Photoshop actions

A nice range of colour treatments including rich, grainy black-and-white, bleach bypass, and some heavy casting effects. Great for experimentation.

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