FAQ : Photoshop Actions


A while ago, I started a FAQ Section on my blog. I worried there might have been a few people who rolled their eyes and guessed I thought I was cooler—way cooler—than I really am, but that’s far from the truth. The fact of the matter is that I am truly inundated with emails every day that I cannot personally respond to…and this gives me an overload of anxiety. Like, there are times when I can’t sleep at night because of the amount of responses I wish I could get to, but cannot. And this makes me feel horribly.

The FAQ posts help me bridge the gap between me and commonly asked questions. Please forgive me if I can’t respond to everything, but I hope these posts help a bit.

The absolute most commonly asked question is how I process my images. I wish there was a singular answer, but I’m afraid it’s multilayered. However, I can say that I exclusively use Kevin Kubota Actions and Totally Rad Actions. Both these action sets rock my world and they help take my photography to another level. I’ll be blogging about both sets soon, but today I want to talk about Kubota.

Many of you might remember my PPR Article where I cited my love for Kevin after seeing him at WPPI a couple months ago, and, well, the love affair is still going strong! 😉 His action sets were the first I purchased and they helped me define my style in ways I can’t fully explain. I kinda feel like I owe the guy something!

Here are a few images as processed with a few of my favorite Kubota recipes…

*Daily Multi Vitamin
*Magic Sharp

*Fuji Snapit – 19%
*Daylight to Tungsten – 6%
*Magic Sharp

*XProcess Combo – 14%
*81K Warming – 7%
*Magic Sharp

*Fuji Snapit – 14%
*KPD Midbright – 19%
*Contrast +4
*Magic Sharp

*KPD Midbright – 29%
*Radiant People – 10%
*Daily Multivitamin
*Magic Sharp

*Saturation – 50%
*B/W Channel Mixer 45/32/32
*Magic Sharp

You can find my favorite Kubota actions–such as Fuji Snapit, the B/W conversions, and XProcess–here at this link:
And you can find my all-time favorite favorite action–Magic Sharp–here at this link:
Happy Friday!

**This Is A Special Message for Daniel Lanning**
Hi, Daniel! I’m glad to hear you’re a faithful reader of my blog! You’re beautiful wife, Candice, has set up a surprise trip to Los Angeles and photoshoot for your 27th birthday…a gift from your friends and family. So, start packing your bags because you’re leaving Charlotte, NC we’ll be meeting each other in a couple weeks! I can’t wait!
Excitedly Yours,

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  1. Leah Godfredson

    September 26th, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Why, oh why can’t I be Daniel Lanning?

  2. Valerie Acosta

    September 26th, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Wow J*, thanks for all the tips. I really wish my husband would do something like that for my birthday. That’s about the most romantic thing I can think of.

  3. Allie

    September 26th, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Oh so that’s who that superhero is running around at the trade shows! What a sweet gift to Daniel… TOO cute. Jazzy — keep *June 20th* open on your calendar! 🙂 xo

  4. Regina White

    September 26th, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    Hey Congrats Daniel!!!

  5. Daniel Lanning

    September 26th, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    No way! I am speechless….my wife is AWESOME and you are AWESOME for letting us come and have a shoot with you! Looking forward to meeting you and seeing Cali for the first time!

  6. haley lamb

    September 26th, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    aagghhh!! i’ve been anticipating you announcing this surprise shoot!! I can’t wait to see how everything turns out!

  7. Jason Drumm

    September 26th, 2008 at 7:53 pm

    I am Daniel Lanning. I can’t wait to have my pictures taken by my favorite photographer!! Hey, why’s that thing say "Jason Drumm" up there?

  8. Alicia

    September 26th, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    I adore FAQ posts by you. Can’t wait for more!

  9. GuidedLight Photography

    September 26th, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you soooo much for sharing some of pp secrets. This is a great reminder to all those who are aspiring pros out there that there is no one magical action out there to make your photographs look like anyone else’s.

  10. Katie

    September 26th, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Thank you! It would be awesome to see some before and after pictures to see what a difference the actions make.

  11. Tanya Jose

    September 26th, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    I love love Totally Rad Actions & have yet to purchase Kubota’s set. Do you just go & pick through the actions until it is appealing to your eye or do you have it set what actions you’ll be using with each photo!! And i’m SO uber jealous of Daniel…CONGRATS!!

  12. Dustin Francis

    September 26th, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    I’m sure this post will help many people, so thanks on behalf of all of us j* fans. The one thing we can’t ‘copy’ is your intuitive eye and you ‘feel’ for great light! Rock on and K.I.R!

  13. Trina Knudsen

    September 26th, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Thanks Jasmine! It is fun to see the way different photographers use the same sets of actions to develop their own personal style! Love your work tons. Keep inspiring :).

  14. Katie Slater

    September 26th, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Jasmine, Thanks for posting this info, great insight as to how you achieve your excellent photos!

  15. Katie House

    September 26th, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    I follow both yours and the lanning’s blog so I am excited to see their shoot!

  16. Jessi

    September 26th, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Congrats Daniel! 🙂 How cool!

  17. Jordana

    September 26th, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    I adore your FAQ posts… they’re fantastic! Always super informative.

  18. sarah j.

    September 26th, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    I love the info on this post. I was thinking about buying some of Kevins actions but not sure which of the many and this post helps a ton! Love the surprise to Daniel. Don’t know if Im just emotional today but it was so touching and I could feel the surprise through your words!!!

  19. Joan Solitario

    September 26th, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Jasmine thank you for always sharing your knowledge with us! 😀 Your unselfishness is one of the reasons why I’ll forever be a faithful blog reader as well 😀

  20. Candice Lanning

    September 26th, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Jasmine–He was so thrown off…by the FAQ blog…and at the end he read his name…and then was like…ummm…is that us?

    He’s so thrilled! Thank you for your reveal!! We are looking forward to meeting you soon!

  21. Katherine Bowman

    September 27th, 2008 at 12:36 am

    This answered one of my big questions and i didn’t even ask it yet! Thank you so much for posting on this and sharing some of your recipes! Can’t wait to see the one for Totally Rad Actions! Thanks J*!

  22. michelle cunningham

    September 27th, 2008 at 12:55 am

    congratulations daniel!!!! wow… i’m so excited for you. wishing i was you.

  23. Ken Burg

    September 27th, 2008 at 2:42 am

    Thanks once again for sharing your knowledge. Do you do these customized, multi-action treatments to everything you deliver to your clients, or is it reserved for just the "special" shots, i.e., blog, album, etc.? Thanks.

  24. You make me LOVE being ME!

    September 27th, 2008 at 3:01 am

    Wow…Daniel has the coolest wife EVER to think of something so awesome! Can’t wait to see you blog that shoot! He’ll be grinning from ear to ear in every shot! haha

  25. Megan Robbins

    September 27th, 2008 at 3:52 am

    That last black and white is so classically perfect, it gave me chills! Great job and thanks so much for sharing your methods!

  26. Andi Grant

    September 27th, 2008 at 4:32 am

    thank you for sharing, after reading about your favorites I quickly looked at the Phototools I just bought and was so happy to see that magic sharp is one of the tools. Up until this point I’d been using a sharpening action I built from one of Scott Kelby’s books – but it’s always way too strong, the magic sharp is perfect.

  27. Sarah e. Smith - PhotoSmith

    September 27th, 2008 at 4:47 am

    thank you so much for sharing some details on your processing. I adore both the Kabota and Totally Rad Action sets (i have both :)). I will definitely have to try some of your combos. Thanks again for your willingness to share!

  28. Jeremy Arnold

    September 27th, 2008 at 4:55 am

    And everyone should know that you can buy the Magic Sharp action separate for like $30 if you don’t want to buy the whole set.

  29. Sarah

    September 27th, 2008 at 6:22 am

    Where and how can I do that Jeremy?

  30. tish

    September 27th, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    i’m not a photographer, but i just LOVE your FAQ posts!!! i was just searching through all of your old ones the other day!

  31. Melissa Koehler

    September 27th, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Beautiful images. How exciting for Daniel!

  32. jacqueline fronters

    September 27th, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I emailed you a few times asking these exact questions and I can’t believe you wrote everything out for everyone (although I’ll pretend it was just for me). THANK YOU!

  33. Bobbie

    September 27th, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Thank you for posting about this! I have recently been so confused on what to purchase next; Lightroom, Actions…. This helps me a lot! And Jaz, I think you are cool anyway, and when you post FAQ posts I think you are even cooler! (in a good way, not in a roll my eyes way!) Seriously, THANK YOU for sharing with us. And congrats Daniel! From one Charlotte, NC J* faithful blog reader to another! I wish she could take a maternity shoot for me and my hubby right now!

  34. Bernadette

    September 27th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you so much Jasmine!! I stalk your blog everyday for inspiration! It’s like opening a present everyday!!

  35. Marine Mom

    September 27th, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    I’ve watched Daniel grow up and you won’t be disappointed in him. He grew up into a wonderful young man. What a great surprise for him & Candice, too. Enjoy!

  36. Kenda

    September 27th, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Hey Jasmine ~
    Love your work!! I follow your blog on my Google Reader and always get excited when I see you have a new post. Can I ask you a quick question? Do you use sharpen for web as well as the Magic Sharp for your blog posts? Thanks in advance for your response.

  37. john p.

    September 28th, 2008 at 6:13 am

    this is fantastic for you to do this for others. just shows you’re the real stuff. thanks.

  38. Kristina

    September 28th, 2008 at 9:53 am

    So generous of you Jasmine! Interesting to know about the photo before the actions are used; Raw sooc? Adjusted Raws? Jpg? Settings?

  39. joshua K

    September 28th, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Thanks Jasmine !

  40. Kelly Braman

    September 28th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    What a wonderful way to help others out-Everyone I talk to LOVES your work and more importantly Loves you for all that you do-you just have that way about you that people gravitate to. Thank you for all of your inspiration!!!

  41. Dennis

    September 28th, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this Jasmine

  42. Nelly Soares-Lumina Images

    September 29th, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks so much, I have tried most of these individually but have never really mixed them together. Thank you!

  43. john p.

    September 29th, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    i think i said thank you already, but i have to say that i tried a few of your combos and they’re great. i will make them more like my own but it’s a great place to start. thank u.

  44. Paper Monkey

    September 29th, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Thanks for the photoshop tips. Every little bit helps! And how cool that Daniel’s wife did that for his bday. What a lucky guy!

  45. Holli True

    September 29th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    I am 100% smitten with Kubota & TRA, too! I don’t have the Production Tools- I will be buying them today, though! I looked on his site and judging by the actions listed in that volume, I think I could be saving myself a ton of time! 🙂 Thank you so much for some tips and being so generous with sharing what you do. You’re amazing!

  46. Erica

    September 30th, 2008 at 12:10 am

    thanks so much for doing this!!

  47. Larry Reeves

    October 2nd, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m always looking for more actions..being relatively new to photoshop! The pictures look so great!

  48. Kristi Wright

    October 4th, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    I absolutely love your blog. I check it regularly. You are an amazing photographer and It helps to aspire to be a better artist. Your blog talk also keeps me coming for more. Keep these lessons coming. It helps so much.

  49. Linda Watson

    December 7th, 2008 at 4:28 am

    Months inside, one step to sunshine.

  50. Linda Watson

    December 7th, 2008 at 4:31 am

    did that on the wrong post, sorry! The dangers of too many tabs open at a time 🙂 Thanks for all your tips, and help for all Jasmine.

  51. Tali

    December 7th, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    I know this is an older post, but I had a question about Kubota actions for you! Is the magic sharp only available in Production tools Actions or another set?

  52. Katherine

    October 18th, 2009 at 1:04 am

    Hi! I’m a fan of your photography. I love reading your blog and have followed your photo jobs for quite some time.
    I’m writing because I am wondering if I could order any of the pictures I see you post online–for example, the first one you posted here with the world globe. It reminds me so much of a friend of mine who is marrying soon and would like to have a hard copy of it.
    Just wondering…
    Thanks and keep up the EXCELLENT job you do. God’s given you a precious talent, don’t ever waste it!!