These Photo Actions and Overlays will Transform Your Visuals into the Perfect Design

Last update on Apr 22, 2024 by
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The weather today is clear as glass, the sun warm on your skin, and you are walking under a beautiful perfect blue sky. You grabbed your camera and took at least five of what you think are perfect pictures of that firmament. However, in the review, you are not so sure about that azure sky. Overlays and Photoshop actions are a solution that you might want to consider.

In fact, photos don’t always turn out the way we want. Going back to sunny days, a few days ago for my sister’s birthday, she was given a camera, as she’s going on a trip with friends. When she arrived, she realized that despite the good weather, the images didn’t capture the same colors and definition as seen in real life. For this reason, I decided to give her these tips that we’ll explain here, so that when it comes to editing, she has enough tools to produce excellent photographs.

Overlays and Blend Modes

Blend Modes have been around in Photoshop for quite some time. If we look back to version 2.5, which is the pre-layer version of Photoshop (layers were introduced in version 3.0), Blend Modes were the main way to composite images.

Back in the analog photography days, techniques like: Double exposure, Sharpening, adding texture and grain would involve manual manipulation of the images. In the digital world, blend modes provide a more straightforward and controllable way to achieve these effects.

As blend modes being an essential part of image overlays, let’s talk about them.
Just in case you haven’t heard of blend modes before, a blend mode uses basic math—plus, minus, times, easy stuff (I would like to think so)—to blend an active layer with the ones below. It’s a significant part of controlling how layers are mixed.

You know opacity, right? If you set a layer to 60% opacity, that means you see 60% of the current layer and 40% of the layers below—simple. Blend modes just use different formulas. Let’s say that you multiply a layer; that means you take the luminance levels from the active layer and multiply them by those of the layers below.

Let’s say you take this image (feel free to download it) and place it on top of any of your images. Let’s explore what happens when you choose the Multiply blend mode from the blend modes menu and apply it to the grayscale image below:

Understanding the results

As we can see, the 100% black area did not change, and the portion that is 100% white disappears. The rest of the parts darken depending on their gray value.

Now, you can darken an image using the exposure sliders, the curves panel, they do the job effectively. But if you want a quick way to bring down those ultra bright portions, without worrying about values, just add an adjustment layer and then change its blend mode.

There are more than 25 of these modes, but don’t worry; you don’t have to know all of them, maybe just a dozen. Combining multiple images into a single image is useful in a variety of situations and is a powerful skill. For instance, you were to merge multiple images with no background (cutouts) and ad a foreign background, you could use Blend Modes to smooth the graphical join.

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The most commonly used blend modes in Photoshop are:

  • Multiply: Is used to darken colors while preserving the shadows in layers below it.
  • Screen: The result is the opposite of the Multiply blend mode.
  • Overlay: Works on lighter and brighter colors, makes 50% gray invisible.
  • Color: Preserves the luminance of the base color while adopting the hue and saturation of the blend color.

Overlays are used to apply specific effects to an image, while blend modes are used to mix (blend) layers based on their color properties. Here you can find a bundle loaded with different types of overlays available and ready to work.

What about Actions?

A Photoshop Action is a feature that allows you to record a sequence of operations –select, crop, resize, levels and curves edit, adding watermarks and others– so you can playback those operations automatically. They can be done on a Single file or a batch of files. Think of Actions as “Lightroom presets” for Photoshop. They are useful for automating repetitive tasks, such as resizing and cropping hundreds of photos or applying similar effects. 

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A study by PwC found that companies that have implemented digital automation technologies have seen an average reduction of 20% in operating costs. (read more) This indicates that the use of tools that accelerate processes, are used more and more often, and creative work flows are not an exception.

There are various types of Photoshop actions available, which can be broadly categorized into the following:

  • Skin Retouching Actions: These actions are optimized for enhancing and retouching skin tones in portrait photographs, providing a smooth and natural look.
  • Airbrushing and Smoothening Actions: These actions help create a dreamy, fantasy-like effect, adding a soft morning haze, warm evening sun effect, or dusk/twilight haze effect to portraits.
  • Color Enhancement Actions: These actions focus on boosting and adjusting colors in images, making them more vibrant and visually appealing.
  • Effects and Filters: These actions add various artistic effects, textures, and filters to images, transforming their appearance and creating unique looks.
  • Painterly Actions: These actions mimic traditional painting techniques and tools, allowing users to create digital art and illustrations with a more artistic touch.
  • AI Skin Retouching Actions: These actions leverage artificial intelligence to perform advanced skin retouching and enhancement tasks, providing more realistic and high-quality results.
  • Text and Typography Actions: These actions help users create and customize text and typography styles, making it easier to format and style text in their designs.

Now, if you want more information about these actions, we’ve provided a poster where you can find all the details in a shorter and more fun format. Don’t forget to use these actions in your next photo editing session!

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Despite their usefulness, some users may feel intimidated by actions and avoid using them due to fear, anxiety, or confusion. But we are here to explore and learn how to overcome these barriers and make the most of the tools available to us.

So let’s get this Photoshop actions bundle a try, we have a very complete bundle that not only has actions, but also contains t-shirt designs, typographic designs, and other very useful packages.

Here is how Photoshop actions can help you save countless hours:

  • Automate Repetitive Tasks: Imagine having to resize, sharpen, and watermark every single photo you edit. With actions, you can record these steps once and then play them back with a single click on any image. 
  • Create Custom Effects: Actions aren’t just for basic edits. You can record complex sequences of adjustments, layer creations, and blend modes to create unique effects that would take hours to do manually.
  • Increase Consistency: Applying the same edits to multiple photos can be a tedious way to ensure consistency in your work. Actions guarantee  that every age receives the same treatment.
  • Share and Collaborate: Actions can be easily shared with other Photoshop users, making it easy to collaborate on projects or spread your editing expertise. This is great for teams of photographers, designers, or anyone who wants to maintain a consistent visual style.

This makes sharing in a professional setting a key advantage, as it leads to enhance employee performance. Knowledge sharing allows employees to leverage each other’s best practices and learn from one another, leading to improved performance.

it’s important to remember that Photoshop actions are primarily meant for use within Photoshop itself. Due to it’s almost limitless uses, over 90% of the world’s creatives use Photoshop. While some workarounds or adaptations exist for other software, their functionality and compatibility may be limited.

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According to a recent survey, 31% of creative professionals suffer from creative blocks due to tight deadlines, and 30% due to the unwillingness of clients to take creative risks. Other causes include a lack of project diversity and stress.

Facing tight deadlines? Here are some Actions and Overlays Packs that can help you in stressful situations:

7000+ Photo Overlays Bundle, Fireworks, Clouds, & More

This one is a massive bundle of 7000+ effects divided in 60 categories, ready to apply to your project, delivered with JPG and transparent PNG files compatible with most design software that support layers.

¿Ready to create the perfect christmas card with that family picture?

I know you have that perfect picture stored on your phone waiting to be used in a holidays card and get printed.

This is the perfect package to deliver your thoughts for your cared ones.

All overlays are made in high resolution (300 dpi) so you’ll have no problems printing them.

For just $24 you can get all 7000 image overlays including 60 categories which deliver fireworks, lightning, clouds, dust, fog, smoke, fire, bokeh, rain, snow, and many more.

Commercial use license.

Photoshop Plugins Pack, 25 Distinct Image Effect Add-ons

With just a few clicks you can turn your images and pictures into great artwork with this awesome package of Photoshop plugins. offering 25 unique effects that you can easily edit and modify.

You can find Sketch art, Glitch FXs, Double Exposure, Retro, Cartoon, Watercolor and more.

Each plugin includes a PDF file with detailed usage guide so you can set up and get creating and mixing.

We highly recommend exploring the Glitch FXs with pictures of people, it will strike the mood. Also they are great to use in t-shirts.

If you buy these files separately it will take over $150 of your wallet, but not today! for just $24 all Add-ons are yours with full commercial use license and ready to use.

200+ Photography Photoshop Actions Pack

¿Professional photographer? ¿Amateur? It doesn’t matter, check this great, brand new collection of Photoshop Actions, specially made for enhancing your photos with one-click workflow edits.

The pack contains 20+ sets ready to get into “action” with different effects such as double exposure, X-Ray, vintage film, which will mix perfectly with your portrait images, and HDR in a variety of parameters especially made for your landscape images.

These Actions are great for elevating that sense of fashion that you’re looking for, done in the speed of almost the blink of an eye.

So don’t sleep on this offer, just for $29, you can get all these actions and enhance your images in no time.

You will receive a variety of different sets, easy to use, non destructive, editable output, and ready to use them commercially.

830 Photoshop Actions Pack – Smoke, Dispersion, Double Exposure & More

Let’s face it, even though you think so, you are not a Photoshop Guru, neither am i or your co-workers, Or are they?

Anyways, i know you you can make a lot of cool things in Photoshop and you consider this software like your right hand, but sometimes the clock is not on our side

Take this great deal for just $29 you’ll get 830 Photoshop Actions, in ABR and ATN file formats. Each one comes with an instructions file. Purchased separately this collection would cost over $730

This bundle contains different Actions packs, like: Watercolor Collection, Wall Art Actions, Distinctive Effects, Artistic Mixes. And effects like: Particle dispersion, smoke, double exposure, watercolor, pencil sketch and much more.

70,000+ Photoshop Effects Pack – Overlays, LUTs, Presets & More

This is a big one. A massive collection containing over 70.000 assets what more can you ask or look for, it’s an arsenal of effects. Includes Actions and brushes, photo overlays, Lightroom presets, LUTs and more.

Delivered and organized, ready to work,  in a 30+ product bundle, it is jam packed with everything you’ll need to enhance your work.

The perfect adjustment is contained in this promo waiting to get included in your workflow. There is something for everything, every subject, every composition, you’ll name it, it’s here.

You will get thousands of high resolution backgrounds, Overlays in several formats – JPEG and PNG, Photoshop Actions, Lightroom Presets, hundreds of font families, even LUTs sets for videos, ready to work with your editing software like Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Davinci Resolve, HitFilm Pro, Vegas Pro.

Just picture this… This package contains over 30GB of content ready to go.

Overlays Pack, 2500+ PNG Overlays in 4K Resolution & Transparent Backgrounds

As we discussed before, overlays are like blending two or more images together. It works great and looks awesome on your screen, maybe on all screens. Displays technology is very advanced nowadays.

But what if you want to print it or take it to the plotter? You know you are going to need high resolution images to avoid any trouble involving the quality and sharpness of the printed file.

No look further, for just $15 this the bundle is all you need to get those cristal clear printed images and delight your clients.

Image Overlays Pack – 12,000 Photo Overlays for Photoshop, Smoke, Grunge, Light Leaks & More

These packs offer a variety of overlays to enhance your visual projects and add a touch of creativity to your images. 

¿Is your client looking for “more impact”, asking for results as soon as possible?

Well, worry no more, this bundle got your back. All effects are delivered in ATN. In her words, these are Photoshop Actions. 

Covering various categories such as Grunge, smoke, light leaks, and more. Just add the effects of your choice to your workflow and your client will be thrilled with the outcome.

Don’t know how to use them? User instructions are included with every file, feel free to check them out, they include valuable information, and yes, everything is commercial use licensed.

This pack is usually priced at $1600, but not anymore. You can get this vast collection of photo overlays for just $24!

2500+ Christmas & Winter Photo Overlays & Effects

Awesome visuals, easy to use, intuitive, and plenty for your choice, around 2500 overlays and effects themed around our favorite time of the year. 

Christmas lights and snow for everyone! comes bundled in this package ready to work on your design software 

You can go outside and enjoy the snow, and just take some pictures, but a lot of us live in places where there is no snow or winter at any time of the year. So we need to use photoshop “magic” and fake a little frozen rain.

Only snowflakes?, there’s more, like light leaks, fairy light, fireflies, fireworks and glitters. Ready to enrich your images and designs. Regularly priced over $1500, however, with this limited time offer you can grab all of these amazing effects today for just $24!

2000+ Photo Overlays, Backgrounds, Brushes & Clipart Bundle

We all love Photoshop Brushes, they are convenient and their versatility makes digital painting something magical

Occasionally, the necessary tools might be available for our use, allowing us to start working efficiently and effectively, but, sometimes we need a very specific type of brush, and it’s not there for us, and creating one from scratch may be time consuming.

That is why we are bringing this jam packed bundle for just $19, containing that perfect brush you are looking for, wasting no time this great bundle set is designed to enhance your work.

In conclusion, overlays and Photoshop actions serve to elevate a photo to a more professional and authentic level. It’s important to learn how to use them properly so that the photos don’t appear overloaded but instead possess a distinct essence, not so obvious.

However, mastering the use of overlays and Photoshop actions requires finesse and a keen understanding of how to strike the right balance. It’s not simply about applying as many effects as possible, but rather about using them judiciously to enhance the visual impact of the image while preserving its authenticity.

When used skillfully, overlays and Photoshop actions can add depth, texture, and dimension to a photograph, elevating it to a new level of sophistication. They allow photographers to experiment with different styles and techniques, infusing their images with a unique aesthetic that reflects their creative vision.

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