Kubota Photoshop Actions : Tips + Tricks


Today I’m running around my house with one sock on. A toothbrush perched on my lower lip. Aaaaand I’m bumping a little Jay Z to get me motivated for what is shaping up to be a crah-a-zee day. But before life gets too crazy to blog, I decided to put together a post on a subject I’m most commonly emailed about: Photoshop and post-processing. I’m definitely the last person you want to ask about Photoshop (because, really, I know very little about such an awesome tool), but I do know I get a ton of help from Photoshop Actions. Like I’ve mentioned before in the past, I don’t heavily use Photoshop to manipulate my images, but it definitely refines my style.

People often ask if I could post photos straight out of camera (sooc), and while I was quite reluctant, I’m throwing caution to the Santa Ana winds and posting side-by-side comparisons. If this post helps one person, then I’m stoked. I use these types of posts to help manage my time via email, as I cannot possibly answer every email personally. Please forgive me.

Without further ado, here are three sets of photos from my three most recent shoots…
Kubota Fuji Snappit (11%), 81K Warming (60%), a curve bump, and Magic Sharp…

Kubota KevX Process Combo (10%), BW Enrichment (61%), Contrast +1, curves bump, Magic Sharp…

This picture was completed with one of my newest fav action, Kubota Fashion Passion! I love the cooled tones and yet the subtle saturation! Fashion Passion (22%), curves bump, Magic Sharp…

If you’d like to read more Photoshop tips+tricks, please feel free to click HERE and/or HERE!

Happy Thursday!

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  1. Kara Wieler

    October 29th, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Wow! So you really are JUST THAT GOOD! Your straight out of camera images are so lovely!

  2. michelle

    October 29th, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    oh, thanks for sharing this tip. I always love the sharp, crispness of your photos 🙂

  3. jacqueline fronters

    October 29th, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    I would have thought you used more actions. Can you show some pictures that don’t have nice lite? It would be nice to see a tough picture and see what you do with it. Just a suggestion and I’d love to see it. Thanks.

  4. jen

    October 29th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing your touching up techniques!! it is really helpful to see the before and after.

  5. matt

    October 29th, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    well, now, them i’m depressed… are ALL your camera color/picture settings set to standard, i.e., untouched? because SOOC, my pictures look blah, even though they’re exposed perfectly, they just look blah. but again, i’m running standard everything in my RAW shooting.

  6. Jonathan

    October 29th, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    The differences in the before and after images are so subtle! I’m amazed at what you capture in camera.

  7. Nicole Glenn

    October 29th, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Girl! Your SOOC shots are perfect, I had to look REALLY hard to see a difference! "These streets will make you brand new, Big lights will inspire you…" – On repeat. Yes. 🙂

  8. Jasmine*

    October 29th, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    @Matt: Yes, I shoot with my color/picture settings set to Standard. More than anything, it’s finding really complimentary light. In the first photo, the sun was shining bright and was reflecting off a near by wall. The second photo was pleasant because it was cloudy day and the light was beautifully diffused and pretty much bouncing everywhere. The last photo, light was coming from above and from behind me and reflecting from the white walls and floor. Reflected light makes for a totally dynamic picture. @Jacqueline: You’re right! I purposefully chose images that had nice light in order to make the edit easier and faster for today’s post…perhaps in the future I’ll challenge myself a little more! 🙂

  9. bethany

    October 29th, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    to pretttty much echo what everyone else is already saying, WOW your sooc pictures are aweeeeesome! i think that shows how talented you really are. 🙂

  10. Pol

    October 29th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Thank you! This helps a lot.

  11. Bobby Earle

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Jaz, I hate you. Your SOOC are reeeeedic.

  12. Sherry

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Your sooc images are pretty darn fabulous! <3 Thanks for the side-by-side comparison. I love seeing things like this.

  13. Sheila

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Girl, you are CRAZY talented. The SOOCs are fantastic enough as they are. Thank you for sharing! xoxo

  14. First time comment

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Hello Jasmine, i’ve been following your blog for a few months, my friend adores you and she recommende me to read it, I want to buy a camera because i do love photography but i am not good at it, which place do you recommend for first time fotographer to get the camera from, I have saved money to get it, so budget camera wise is available now, Thanks Jasmine. from your guatemala friend!!

  15. Rima

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    I think the key is, is that you nail the exposure first time. I rack my brain thinking why is your shots so different to mine? Yes I’m sure the sun (or lack there of in the UK) is a factor, but I think you’ve definitely learnt to control the camera 100%

  16. sheila lory

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    you last two sets look the same…shoot me now.

  17. Kelly

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Wow! You don’t do a lot to them! They look amazing SOOC! Hmmmmmm….. I may have to make the switch to Canon! Chaching!

  18. Trude

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! These totally show that you walk the talk – awesome shots SOOC. Love it. 🙂

  19. Kay English

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Sweet! Thanks so much for posting these! Do you ever use TRA?

  20. Ginette Sundin

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    Amazing. Thank you. Just solidifies every inclination I had of just how awesome your skillz are. You are right, you just use the actions to refine your style, not "save" a bad picture. I love being inspired to get better and better IN CAMERA. 🙂 This is my newest passion!

  21. Brittney

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    ok these are amazing… thanks for sharing your sooc… but seriously they look amazing both ways!

  22. Lydia

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Wow, Jasmine, I really don’t know why you held off posting SOOC for so long when they’re so great that I’m having a hard time telling which is the before and after! You’re one of the most giving people I know; you have such a beautiful spirit!

  23. Brandi Welch

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    I’m sooo glad you posted these! I think it will help to show everyone that they DON’T have to rely or depend on photoshop to make a great photo! They should challenge themselves to make it that great S.O.O.C. like you have done! After reading your old blog and seeing how far you have come, it’s refreshing to see that you have worked hard learning all you have…and it’s paid off BIG TIME!! I am so proud of you and I don’t even know you haha. And I love how you see other people are friends or someone you could help vs competition! Recently, a local photog got me down because she complained about how she gets so many e-mails from people wanting advice on starting their business and that people have been copying her. She said, "Doesn’t it seem like everyone is a photographer these days?" She has good talent and just threw away a chance to be a leader and teach like you! So, although I have never e-mailed you a question…thank you for all the help you give and all the great advice as well as the encouragement!! 🙂

  24. Gail

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    You’re the best! One quick question — with Magic Sharp, do you only apply for images you blog? I get so torn on whether to use it as part of any actions I apply to images for print or whether I should just apply it for images I blog! Would love your input!

  25. Angela

    October 29th, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Oh, I’m depressed too SOOC is AMAZING!!!!!

  26. Jessica

    October 29th, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    I think it’s super awesome and helpful when photographers will show us the sooc versions of their pictures. Yours are super nice. Very nice work. I can definitely appreciate keeping the post-processing to a minimum! Thank you–please do more of these posts. 🙂

    Question: how long does it take you to edit, usually? How much time will you spend on one wedding’s worth, for instance? Do you do basic touch ups to every photo, or do you just pick some?

  27. jasmine*

    October 29th, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    @KayEnglish: Yes, I use TRA and will likely post another tips+tricks specifically for those actions soon! 🙂 @Gail: That choice is entirely up to you! I know photographers do it both ways, so to each her own and I know you’ll rock it out! 🙂

  28. Tony

    October 29th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    I exclusively use the Kubota action tools since you put me onto them Jasmine – you should be getting a commission on sales made! Folks, seriously, if you are not using these as part of your workflow, you are doing things the hard way. I’ve now got the complete set and use them on a daily basis.
    Thanks for the post Jasmine.

  29. Christina

    October 29th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Jasmine–I love how your photography is real–and not over processed. Even in your shots that are Photoshopped there is not a drastic difference from your original shot–just a slight enhancement. Some people don’t understand that I would like to become a better REAL photographer–not necessarily a better photoshopper. 🙂
    Thanks for the post.

  30. Dustin Finn

    October 29th, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    thanks for this before and after, but how do you get those skin tones to be so much brighter in the final image…

    So Jealous…

  31. Serendipity Photography

    October 29th, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Great post! Thanks!

  32. Teresa K

    October 29th, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Thank you so much for being generous and gracious enough to share some of your secrets with other photographers. It speaks so much as to what kind of a person you are and I truly appreciate it.

    P.S. I’m looking forward to your TRA post!!

  33. Iain King

    October 29th, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Wow – total respect. Not many photographers are willing to not only show shots SOOC but describe the actions and the setting of the images as well. Your SOOC images are fantastic and you deserve all the success you get. As always an inspiration to me and maybe one day I’ll be able to give as much to the photography world as you are. Thanks.

  34. Michelle sidles

    October 29th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    You nailed your exposures! That’s why you’re fab! 🙂 More than your processing techniques & actions I just loves seeing such great sooc exposures! Inspires me to keep practicing nailing my shots IN camera. 🙂 My goal isn’t to be the world’s best Photoshop Art-teest" 😉

  35. Jeff

    October 29th, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Absolutely beautiful work! Became a J* fan and RSS follower after I was introduced to your work from your Crash interview

    My question for you would be what metering mode do you rely on with your 5DII? This is something that I do wrestle with lately, been trying to figure out what works best in the differing locations I shoot in. Just wondering if you have a fav….or if you even give it a thought at all and just go by the LCD?

  36. Lyndsey

    October 29th, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    This was definitely helpful…it’s great to see finished examples and what was done, but wow, your sooc images are amazing as is. It’s helping me to see what I can work on to get what I want before post-production!

  37. Al

    October 29th, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Jasmine – I have one question: Do you apply Magic Sharp on the web ready image or your full resolution image? The reason I ask is because on the large image it doesn’t have much of an impact compared to a smaller res image. Thanks!

  38. Aleks

    October 29th, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Jasmin that’s awesome… You mentioned Contrast +1 and curves bump , I have all Kubota action but I couldn’t find it? Are you using normal contras and curves or action?

  39. alex ho

    October 29th, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    awesome post!

    the post procesing is subtle but yet it makes a nice difference in the final image.

  40. Julie

    October 29th, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Oh! Can’t wait to get my hands on Fashion Passion!!

  41. Eileen

    October 29th, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    The changes are very subtle but very nice.

  42. Christina Gressianu

    October 29th, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Wow! Your photos look amazing sooc! That’s one thing I’m still working on – indoor proper exposure in the camera. Thank you for baring your unprocessed photos!

  43. Cindy

    October 29th, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  44. Alexandra

    October 30th, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Thanks for always sharing 🙂 These are awesome!! I wish I had these actions 🙁

  45. Alexandra

    October 30th, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Thanks for always sharing 🙂 These are awesome!! I wish I had these actions 🙁

  46. Emily Dobson

    October 30th, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Why bother with actions? Your images are incredible straight out of camera! Seriously.

  47. Julie W.

    October 30th, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Amazing!!! Thank you so much for all you share!

  48. olivia fey

    October 30th, 2009 at 12:53 am

    @aleks the contrast+1 is actually a totally rad action
    @Jasmine Star thanks for another amazing post. I don’t like to play a lot with the actions, so reading your posts about which actions you use is really helpful.

  49. tracy

    October 30th, 2009 at 1:04 am

    your straight out of the camera is amazing!!!!!

  50. Bobbie Brown

    October 30th, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Seriously, your SOOC images are ah-maz-zing! Girl, you rock.

  51. a little bit of whimsy photography

    October 30th, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Girl, I’m still trying to learn to hold my breath without passing out in front of people while I shoot them.. If the skills were crazy-sharp/perfect like this right out of the camera, I don’t know if I’d bother with any processing at all.. I’m just saying!!

  52. Katie Neal Photo

    October 30th, 2009 at 2:27 am

    WOW! I know I’m late to comment but your SOOC shots are unreal. I think I’m switching to Canon. There’s no way my Nikon produces gorgeousness like that no matter how well I know it. 🙂 I’d like to know about magic sharp on resized images vs. normal sized images. Magic sharp doesn’t have the same effect on full size images. Therefore do you do a different sharpen for photos for albums or prints?

  53. Maalaea with i and m photo

    October 30th, 2009 at 2:43 am

    Thanks Jasmine this is super helpful!!!

  54. carlie

    October 30th, 2009 at 2:50 am

    you kill me your so bomb.

  55. Tacey

    October 30th, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Ummm…Are you playing a trick on us all….Is it just me, or is there barely a difference between the sooc and the edited images???? Perhaps my eyes are failing me (which would be a bad thing considering I’m a photographer…) but the differences are very, very slight…Kudos to you Jasmine for taking such fabulous-o captures, straight out of the camera…

  56. John B. - Baltimore Wedding Photographer

    October 30th, 2009 at 4:05 am

    Seriously, there’s almost no difference between SOOC and post processed, you got skillz. 😉

  57. Lisa H. Chang

    October 30th, 2009 at 5:06 am

    I love this post. Thanks for letting us see inside your photoshop a little bit. 🙂 And I second all those who said they SOOC pics were amazing already!

  58. Jo Carr

    October 30th, 2009 at 6:11 am

    Thanks so much Jasmine. Love these posts!!! 🙂

  59. Matthew Saville

    October 30th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Personally, I’m one of those guys who cranks his in-camera settings, (except sharpening) and likes to see if he can get as many images as possible to require zero editing, or just a few seconds’ glance in Bridge / Lightroom. But that’s me, the low-budget, workflow-obsessed guy… TRA and Kubota actions are definitely awesome! I just never got around to affording them… Hey, I’ll really miss you and the SMUG on the 6th! 🙁 =Matt=

  60. Mark Daams

    October 30th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    You’re not kidding when you say you don’t do much editing to you photos! The originals look great.

  61. Amanda

    October 30th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    I like that you use the photoshop actions, but you can’t really tell. Some photographers hide behind photoshop and use it as a crutch. Photoshop is a great tool, but you still should be a great photographer

  62. Jodi Friedman

    October 30th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Your photos are just incredible – but really the SOOC shots are so close to the afters. You are just that good!

    I wish I was even 1/2 as good behind the camera as you are. Your eye for composition combined with your technical skills are amazing.

    Much success!

  63. Stephanie

    October 30th, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Seriously I have never seen such awesome SOOC pictures, girl you rock. This totally shows how awesome your skilz are, you should of shown these sooner!

  64. Teryn Glenn

    October 30th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Love Kubota actions! I also really love the Fashion Passion. I have been using it at about 50%, but I am going to try doing 20% like your example. I like how subtle it is. Thanks for your examples! You rock.

  65. Mike Reed

    October 30th, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    J* – Your photos rock… comp, posing, expressions… I could go on. This is proof you get it right in camera and on the "set". Not a huge (there is, just not jaw dropping) difference after you apply your actions. Thank you SOOOO much for sharing!

  66. Miz Booshay

    October 30th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Great touch! Subtle and perfect!

  67. Shay Voorhees

    October 30th, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Bless you Jasmine! For doing these posts. One question if you could answer the next time [pretty please w/ a chocolate cherry on top] Do you batch edit or are you touching each image individually? How long does editing a wedding take you? Oh dang, that’s two questions. :p

  68. Sarah Ciccone

    October 30th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks so much Jasmine for the tips and being so open with what you do!! I will definitely have to get me some of these Kubota actions when I get photoshop. Thanks again, your Awesome:)

  69. Jamie Sheasby

    October 30th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Jasmine, seriously, I can’t tell the difference between left and right..seriously. That’s pretty amazeballs.

  70. Sarah Ciccone

    October 30th, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Thanks so much Jasmine for the tips and for being so open with what you do!! I will definitely have to get me some of those Kubota actions when I get photoshop. Thanks again, your Awesome:)

  71. Stephanie Stewart

    October 30th, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Wow! You go girl! I know you said you require perfect exposure in camera for every shot, and you certainly do that! I’m so happy for you, and I truly get inspired from each post, especially this kind. Thank you very much! I will be paying much closer attention to my in-camera exposure and hunt for more flattering and "bouncy" light. Happy Halloween!

  72. Krista Cardoza

    October 30th, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Great post. I recently got the Kubota actions and I’m excited to play around with them! Love your work!

  73. Nichole

    October 30th, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    Jasmine you are awesome,thanks for sharing : ) Can you please share how you nail your expsures? Please,pretty please? I know you said you expose for skin and you shoot in manual (and you use AWB). Do you use your in camera metering modes or a light meter,what do you do? I’ll keep an eye for your FAQ and check your blog for answers. Thank you so much for helping.


    Struggling artisT : )

  74. Jess Epstein

    October 30th, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Ok, Your goal of helping at least one person, fullfilled. I love actions and I love your sharing.

  75. Tiffany

    October 30th, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    I can’t tell which is the before & which is the after? They look the same to me…with or without the actions…which is actually a good thing! Go Jasmine! 🙂

  76. Ashley V.

    October 31st, 2009 at 12:56 am

    Jasmine, your work is absolutely amazing! Your SOOC shots are beautiful and you are truly and inspiration to me. I have a goal to build a photography business within the next year and you have inspired me even more to do so! Thank you for that.

  77. Valerie Yamile

    October 31st, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    I think you would save yourself a lot more time not doing any PP in Photoshop. Everything that those actions do you can do in LR. And honestly, your photos are so awesome that you could deliver the shots sooc to your clients and they would still love them. Have you tried using LR???

  78. karl Bratby

    October 31st, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    more fab work, love your use of actions.

  79. Jenny

    November 1st, 2009 at 6:39 am

    Jasmine, you’re so awesome to share your photo processing with us with before and after photos! Not only that, you added technical information on top ! Kudos !

  80. Raychard Kho

    November 1st, 2009 at 10:52 am

    very nice photos. high quality.. ilike the transitions

  81. Brian Fletcher

    November 1st, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Your OOC shots look really, really good! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  82. Life with Kaishon

    November 2nd, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Wow. Your pictures out of camera are awesome as can be!

  83. ELisa Bauer

    November 3rd, 2009 at 4:43 am

    Brilliant work as always but I’m a bit confused by your first before/after processing… how on earth can you use 81K warming without your photo appearing orange??? I have to use it at like 9% LOL

  84. Emily

    November 3rd, 2009 at 7:10 am

    I just wanted you to know this post has made me re-think my editing process and has already made a HUGE difference in my final images. And I like it! So thank you for laying it out there. Not that you had anything to worry about. Much love from Oregon!

  85. cassandra m

    November 3rd, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Sign of a Photographer who knows her camera & knows how to use it : posting SOTC images that are this AWESOME!

  86. Erica Velascot

    November 4th, 2009 at 3:32 am

    I love when you share these!

  87. Kim Mallory

    November 22nd, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Great tips! Beautiful Images..

  88. marianne worlow

    December 1st, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    umm..i love u. u are so freakin sweet to share what you have learned!! thank u.

  89. Jessica Zais

    December 6th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    So helpful! Thank you!! Amazing what a difference a little change can make. : )

  90. Craig Kasper photography

    January 23rd, 2010 at 1:43 am

    Thanks so much for giving so much!

  91. Kami Van Slyke

    June 29th, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Okay. So I know this is a totally old post – but I have a question about the second set of images (the girl in the yellow skirt). Why did you choose to shoot with such a high ISO ( I know 400 isn’t terribly high – but it seems high for being outside)? I see your shutter speed is super high also. I’ve always been told to set the ISO as low as possible and work from there. Are there times, that a high ISO is favorable even when unnecessary?

  92. Pixel Story Wedding Photography

    August 20th, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Have you tried out the Kubota Lightroom presets? (that is of course if you use Lightroom…) I find that I spend very little time with my Kubota actions anymore…

  93. Chari

    December 28th, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Thank you that’s an awesome set of Photoshop actions. By the way, if anyone is stuck on how to install Photoshop actions, check out this guide: How to Use Photoshop Actions
    Cheers and happy Photoshopping!