On the Third Day of Christmas, a Lightroom Presets free download

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Christmas Lights free download Lightroom preset

With Christmas Lights Lightroom preset

Christmas Lights free download - unedited

Unedited Christmas Lights

On the Third Day of Christmas Graffi gave to me – a free download! Today you can grab a Lightroom presets free download that improves the look of your Christmas Lights photos by adjusting blue tones and exposure. It also adds your camera lens profile, so that’s one component of this preset that you can consider tweaking once applied.

It took a little bit of adjusting to get the exposure correct. On my samples posted here, I shot the photos using a Nikon D3100 or D3300. The settings I shot with for outdoor lights are below (inside lights camera settings are slightly different) – the first two points below are possibly the most important:

Lens Correction Panel

Lens Correction panel in the Lightroom Develop module

  • Manual mode (so I could make the adjustments below)
  • Manual focus (turn off auto focus on your lens, and use the display on the back of your camera to zoom in on a single light for tack sharp focusing)
  • Shutter speed 1/15
  • f/5.6
  • ISO 1600

I used either a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 or a Nikkor 60mm f/2.8, both prime lenses. The camera lens adjustment in Lightroom will reflect this, so if your images come out looking a little distorted, check that setting to make sure the lens you used is reflected in the profile.

Try it out and see if it can help improve your Christmas Lights photos. The mini gallery below shows some before and after samples as a reference. The preset is subtle, so I encourage you to try and get your shots correct in the camera right off the bat, using as a starting point the settings I posted above.

Christmas Lights Lightroom Preset Wow! Downloaded 84 times so far!

Cheers, and see you tomorrow!

Add-O-Matic can help load a lot of presets to Lightroom with just a drag and a click – grab your copy hassle-free below or in the Graffishop!

On the Second Day of Christmas a Free Download!

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Snowdrift Layer Styles Free Download

10 Snowdrift Styles for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements

Snowdrift Layer Styles Free Download

10 Snowdrift Layer Styles for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements

A free download from me to you!On the Second Day of Christmas Graffi Gave to Me… a set of 10 Snowdrift layer styles!

This set of layer styles adds 10 snowdrift layer styles to your Photoshop layers palette. The free download link is below, and if you want to add them fast and easy to Photoshop Elements, be sure to grab an Add-O-Matic, too – the quick no hassle way by clicking the button (there’s a version for Photoshop Elements 11 – 12, and another for Elements 6-10)

The video below shows possible uses for these layer styles – instead of drawing a gradient as in the video, simply add one of these layer styles to the “snowdrifts” that you draw (just be sure to put each drift on its own layer).

Snowdrift Layer Styles Wow! Downloaded 65 times so far!

Add-O-Matic for Elements 11-12 & Lightroom

Add-O-Matic for Elements 6-10

On the FIRST Day of Christmas – a Free Download: Snowfall Action Effect!

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Snowfall_Effect free download

the Snowfall Effect in the Elements Effects palette

On the FIRST Day of Christmas, Graffi gave to me – a free download! This Snowfall action is slightly different from the version included n Photoshop Elements in that it leaves the snowfall layer intact so you can manipulate it however you want it.

Note: It works best on images that are roughly 1200 – 1500 pixels on their long edge, so you may want to try resizing your image if the effect isn’t what you were hoping for. The smaller the image, the fatter the snowflakes will be..

The Snowfall action was previously available only in the (now discontinued) FunFotoFXaction pack.

Included in the download are the action, a .png thumbnail, a metafile.xl, and installation instructions

Snowfall Wow! Downloaded 73 times so far!

If you use Photoshop Elements 6 – 12, you can add this and many other types of add-ons with just a click and a drag with the Add-O-Matic, the #1 utility for Photoshop Elements! Find it in the Graffishop, or grab yours hassle-free with one of the links below:

Add-O-Matic for Elements 11-12 & Lightroom

Add-O-Matic for Elements 6-10

Graffi’s Hipster first release – .jsx script for cropping square and an action to run it



The square crop

is a hallmark of the latest style in digital pictures: retro, Instagram-ish, hipster looking images. However, cropping an image to a perfect square is actually pretty tricky to pull off, programming speaking. Automating the process is impossible to do without a program to do the math for you.

The javascript below (shown in the screenshot to the left) can be used in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.

Photoshop users can just browse and load the script as needed (or save it to [SrcDrv]/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS#/Presets/Scripts and it will appear in the Scripts menu).

Photoshop Elements users aren’t so lucky. To run the script, you can drag and drop it directly into the Elements workspace, or it can be called from an action.

The download below also includes an action that will call the script, but it requires a specific installation path: Windows users should install the javascript to C:\Graffi Photoshop Scripts\CropSquare.jsx (it MUST be this folder, otherwise the action won’t find it). I’m also going to reference this folder as a repository for future scripts and action set installers, so if you like the Graffi stuff, this is a good place to start.  (As an additional note, Add-O-Matic will be updated to handle javascript (*.jsx) files, and AOM will put them in this folder by default, too.) Installation instructions are included in the .zip download (or grab an Add-O to install the actions, and manually place the javascript in the folder referenced above)

Finally, I’m also including the first Hipster action that utilizes this javascript – a sample image is above.

*MAC USERS: I’d love to find out where to place the javascript on your system so I can update the action.

A short tutorial on using the new actions is coming up next!

Hipster Javascript & Action Wow! Downloaded 391 times so far!

Add-O-Matic is now in its 8th edition, starting with the first Add-O-Matic from way back for Photoshop Elements 5, and it is still the most popular Elements utility available! 

New Now Add-O-Matic now will put all your Lightroom presets away for you, too!
You can grab an Add-O-Matic fast-n-easy by clicking the button below:

Get your Add-O-Matic here!

Hipster [Vintage Kit] Package for Photoshop Elements 11

Hipster [Vintage Kit] Manual Install Package for Photoshop / Photoshop Elements 11-13


The 12 Days of Christmas Starts Tomorrow, Saturday Dec 13!

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The 12 Days of Christmas are almost here!

You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout – because my 12 Days of Christmas starts tomorrow, Saturday December 13!

This year, there is a wider variety of things that will be available. I’m including everything from actions to brush sets to layer styles, tossing in some Lightroom presets, and a grand unveiling of a brand new action pack for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements that photographers and retouchers alike might find useful. Even the retro-cool, instamatic hipstagrammers might find a use for it!

I’ll also be posting some discount coupons for the Graffishop, maybe a photo gallery or two, and quite possibly a few surprises along the way.

The first 12 Days of Christmas goodie is set to go live at 6am EST tomorrow morning, so stay tuned….!

In the meantime, here’s a photo of a skinny Santa Claus hiding in some Christmas lights to keep your spirits high!

Santa Claus in the tree for the 12 Days of Christmas

Skinny Santa Claus hiding in the Christmas Tree

See ya tomorrow!

7 Cool Reasons to Try Graffi’s Sampler Pack for FREE!

Graffi's Photo Effects for Photoshop Elements Sampler Pack - 7 effects from the most popular sets in the Graffishop

Graffi’s Action Effects for Photoshop Elements Sampler Pack – 7 effects from the most popular sets in the Graffishop

Graffi’s Free Action Pack Effects Sampler

newly updated for Elements 13, now with 7 actions & effects
Graffi’s Photo Effects Sampler for Elements 11 – 13 is out, with a sampling of photo effects from 7 of the most popular sets available in the Graffishop

The 7 photo effects included in the free sampler action effects pack are

Samples of each are below – grab a copy fast & free!

Graffi's Photo Effects Sampler for Elements 11-13 Wow! Downloaded 416 times so far!

Graffi's Action FX Sampler for Photoshop Elements 6-10 Wow! Downloaded 482 times so far!

11 Facts About PhotoLab That Will Impress Your Friends


PhotoLab for Photoshop Elements

PhotoLab for Photoshop Elements – 39 most excellent actions for your Photoshop Elements palettes

PhotoLab for Photoshop Elements was updated this week, with new support for Photoshop Elements 13. Now this pack boasts an installer for Windows versions of Elements 11-13, plus all the actions, thumbnails & xml files for a custom manual install for Mac users.

If you want to impress your friends, both in the real world and in cyberspace, check out these fascinating facts about one of the flagship packs available in the Graffishop:

  1. PhotoLab has 39 effects, and it includes all of the actions, thumbnails & xml files for an Elements installation
  2. If you use Elements 6-10, or you are a Mac or Photoshop user, PhotoLab also includes a single action set, which has all 39 actions in it – perfect for loading into Photoshop or into the Elements Action palette
  3. The included installer will put all the files in the right place for you, including the set for the Actions palette, in your Windows Elements 11-13 installation
  4. It can be purchased through the Graffishop, where you can create an account and earn dividend points that can be used for other products or upgrades – as well as share and get 10 – 20% off – or it can be purchased in a no-frills way below, where a download link is emailed to you after going through the PayPal process
  5. PhotoLab was originally called B&W Lab because it had actions that tapped into a hidden feature of Elements that allowed you to change to LAB (Lightness – A – B) mode. LAB mode allowed for amazing conversions to B&W within Elements. Unfortunately, Adobe slammed that door shut around Elements 10, so it was renamed PhotoLab.
  6. With Photoshop Elements 8, this set was renamed Portrait Lab, since so many of the actions worked best on portraits. That name became confusing with the other actions set GlamPhoto, so it was changed to PhotoLab with the release of Photoshop Elements 10.
  7. There were originally over 60 different actions included in B&W Lab that allowed for black and white conversions (along with other kinds of conversions like sepia, semi-desaturated, faded, and color-adjusting effects), but since many relied on LAB mode, that number has been whittled down to the current 39. 16 of these 39 actions are some variety of B&W conversion.
  8. Like all of the other action sets I create, I leave the layers intact for further editing or tweaking on your part. Many other action creators make “Flatten Image” the final action step, which obliterates the layers that create the look. Where applicable, all my layers stay as they were created, which allows you to blur, transform, filter, change blend mode and/or opacity, and leaves the final look up to you to tweak as you see fit.
  9. I personally used the actions in PhotoLab for over a year before deciding to pack them up into a bundle, make an installer package, and offer it for sale in the original Graffishop. Since then, it has consistently been one of the top four sellers each year (often only eclipsed by the #1 all-time best seller Add-O-Matic in popularity)
  10. The thumbnails in this version of PhotoLab are from a photo I took on the beach in Cancun, Mexico. The palm trees really are that beautiful, and the water is as clear as glass, and the most gorgeous shade of blue-green that you have ever seen in your life. Sea turtles (tortugas!) lay their eggs on the beaches during the late summer months (you can see their tracks & nests early in the morning), but I have yet to catch one in a photo. Maybe someday…
  11. The model on the cover – and in numerous other photos scattered across my blog and other product sample shots – is my lovely (and patient) bride. We’ve been married for nearly two decades and still are best friends!

Hey Graffi Blog Readers:   for more looks like this especially created for Photoshop Elements, you might want to check out the PhotoLab Photo Effects action pack with an installer compatible with Elements

Grab PhotoLab for Photoshop Elements in the Graffishop, or get it no-muss-no-fuss here (a download link will be emailed to you after completing the transaction)

Check some samples:

The Easy Way to Make Your Own Custom Photoshop Brushes

If you’ve never heard about the creative use of brushes in Photoshop, this article is for you. If you already know about using brushes, you’ll be able to ramp up your creativity once you learn this easy skill – making your own brushes.


What are Photoshop brushes and why you’d want to learn how to make your own?

Photoshop brushes are tools that are mostly used just like regular paint brushes to add strokes of color to your images. Most often people will use them as part of their dodging and burning workflow. Some people also use them in digital painting. The built-in brush set comes with a great assortment of  brush styles, such as soft bristles, round, square etc., but you can also make your own “fancy” custom brushes (which are reusable) to speed your workflow and add elements of interest to your images.

4.5 Ways Handy Actions are Cooler than Johnny Depp


Handy Actions 13 with 64 tools and tweaks

Sure, Johnny Depp is cool. Sure, Johnny Depp is versatile. But if you are a Photoshop Elements user, did you know that Graffi’s Handy Actions are even cooler than Johnny Depp?

Here are a few ways I came up with – you can add yours in the comments or in the product review page (and get a 10% off coupon! Share your review, and get an additional 10% off!):

1:  For numerous roles in many movies, Johnny Depp has portrayed a variety of characters that are on the screen for about 2 hours. That’s pretty cool, but Handy Actions gives you a variety of tools that you can use with Photoshop Elements for as long as you want. In less than 2 hours, you can create Smart Objects, edit all three RGB Channels individually, apply Adjustment Layers only found in full Photoshop, and choose from several different Sharpening actions to get your images looking just right.
Coolness edge: Handy Actions

HandyActions13Effects2:  Johnny Depp may know all about changing things up in order to create believable characters, but Handy Actions lets you change things up to help you create awesome images. You can use the Channel Mixer action to change up color blends, use the Curves action to fine tune contrast and tone, use the Black and White Adjustment action to convert to B&W with total control, or use the Exposure Adjustment action to change up how your shot was taken in the first place. So right there are several ways to change things up while working on a single image.
Coolness edge: Handy Actions

3:  It takes a lot of work for Johnny Depp to get into character: there’s character research, set design and construction, lighting setups, testing, rehearsals, makeup application, and a lot of waiting around before the acting actually starts. Handy Actions installs with just a few clicks, and then you’re ready get started using the cool tools with Photoshop Elements.
Coolness edge: Handy Actions

4:  Johnny Depp staggered around semi-oblivious, half drunk and clumsy in all of the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean flics – kind of funny in a movie, but if you’re trying to get your images processed and use some tools not regularly available in Photoshop Elements, it’s just not funny at all. Handy Actions has 64 tools that help speed up your workflow and let you get back to doing other things in your life (like maybe staggering around semi-oblivious and half-drunk).
Coolness edge: Handy Actions

5:  Johnny Depp is better looking than Handy Actions, though. But that is still a pretty snappy looking logo over there to the right, and who cares how good Handy Actions looks when it can do so much more to help you get your images looking their best? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so I’ve read, so, behold! Here is Graffi’s Handy Actions!
Coolness edge: tie

So there you have it – the facts can’t be wrong. Clearly, Graffi’s Handy Actions are cooler than Johnny Depp in at least 4 different ways (and one that has not yet been definitely decided).

Your thoughts?

If you click to the Graffishop, you can share Handy Actions on most social media platforms (using the sharing buttons on the left side of the page) – and get an instant 10% off coupon code!

HandyActions-AOM-full-487-2Photoshop Elements is simply incomplete without your Swiss Army Knife for Elements: Graffi's Handy Actions! Handy Actions includes all the tools and extras only found in Photoshop - including Adjustment Layers like Exposure, Vibrance, Black and White & Selective color - more than 60 extra actions, tools, processes and timesavers!

Handy Actions includes a self-installing action pack set for Windows versions of Photoshop Elements and also includes a manual-install edition for Mac & Photoshop users

If you just want to get it now without going through the checkout process, simply click the link below to have Handy Actions 13 emailed to you after completing purchase (unlike Johnny Depp – so yet another way Handy Actions is cooler):


Basic Glamour presets for Lightroom – free download

For October, as the weather turns cooler and the leaves start to fall, I’ll be putting together another set of Lightroom presets.

This set will work well with the Glam Photo actions already uploaded (they’re available here) and are some that I’ve found to be great time savers. They also lend themselves to providing quite a bit of consistency among photo sets.

Even though the set will be called “Glam Photo for Lightroom”, they lend themselves well to other images that aren’t necessarily “glamour shots”. I’ve used them successfully on nature images, macro shots, and even a few pet photos!

The first two presets from this set are below, and they’re freebies for now. Download them, try them out, and let me know what you think!

Glamour Photo Presets for Lightroom Wow! Downloaded 198 times so far!


Add-O-Matic can help load a lot of presets to Lightroom with just a drag and a click – grab your copy hassle-free below or in the Graffishop!