Adventures in Photoshop: Effects Without Actions

I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to the digital darkroom. I'm a big believer in shooting the image as close to the final product as I can get it, and doing as little in Photoshop and Lightroom as possible. I believe a photo is made in camera, and I'm staunchly against using post-production as a method of saving a bad image.

Becoming a designer has forced me to lighten up a bit. I've come to accept that applying certain effects in post-production, is not a bad thing. Some might even say it's creative. After giving it much thought, and crying in many pints of Phish Food over the matter, I've realized that it's not so much about what I do to a photo as it is the approach and rationale behind it. If my client had a country wedding in October, there's no harm in using some techniques that contribute to the country feel. In photography, creativity goes beyond shooting the image.

Anyway, after I had this earth-shattering epiphany, I took to Pinterest, exploring all the different effects that could be used for various styles of photography. At one point, I found a tutorial for the ever-popular matte finish effect. Now, as the bit-of-a-purist I am, I won't use actions that I don't create. I should learn how to create the effects on my own and get to know my software better. So, knowing the name of the effect that I wanted to create, I googled it and found a tutorial from a fellow photographer. From there, I went to town on some photos. Some of the results are cliche, but the purpose wasn't to produce masterpieces. It was to get a feel for learning the technique. Enjoy.