I’m pleased to announce, in the spirit of the holidays, an open source software development: The Epic Edits Action and Preset Extravaganza.
In our last project, we did reviews of cheap film cameras. But in this project, we’re going completely the opposite direction — it’s all about Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets (or whatever other software you happen to use). In the end, our collective creativity will be pooled into a large Styler Package and be distributed freely.
The Stylizer entries will be judged for creativity and prizes awarded after the January 12 Deadline for entry. Read on for more details on the concept and prizes. The entry form is at the bottom of this post, so be sure to bookmark it if you plan on participating.
Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets are great tools for the digital darkroom. They can save a ton of time and they can give you awesome inspiration. Since we have a great community full of knowledgeable photographers, I want to put our heads together and generate a good resource that elevates our collective expertise and creative consciousness.
This resource will include the actions and presets with written instructions from the creators on their use.
We’ve got a great sponsor for this project, and the prizes fit right in with the theme. I’m pleased to present Neil Cowley from Make Light Real as our sponsor and judge.
Neil is a photographer, an artist, a post-processing guru, and an educator. His photos are unique and his post-processing techniques are equally unique. Neil offers many Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets, along with tons of great textures in various themes. The actions emanate from his experiences teaching and sharing through his creative journal at www.MakeLightReal.com.
UPDATE: The top 3 prizes include the ONE Action set and I’ve just reviewed it here on the blog. Read more.
- 1ST PLACE: LIGHTSPEED WORKFLOW PACKAGE
Valued at $290, this prize includes a Nostromo n52 left-hand keypad, “ONE” Lightroom/ACR preset, “ONE” Photoshop Action, and tutorials. This is an awesome package! This winner will also receive a $39 credit to use toward any additional items from Neil.
- 2ND PLACE: PHOTOSHOP LIGHT REAL VIRTUAL COURSE
Valued at $250, this prize includes the “ONE ACTION” workflow scripts plus a 4 hour training course covering the workflow scripts and working in LAB color space. This winner will also receive a $39 credit to use toward any additional items from Neil.
- 3RD PLACE: ONE ACTION AND GOLDEN TOUCH PACKAGES
Valued at $79 and $49, respectively, this prize includes the “ONE ACTION” scripts and presets for Photoshop and Lightroom, plus extra training materials along with additional Photoshop actions and 30 textures. This winner will also receive a $39 credit to use toward any additional items from Neil.
- 1ST AND 2ND RUNNER UP: $39 CREDIT
The two “honorary mentions” will each receive a $39 credit toward the purchase of any item from Neil’s offerings.
- 5 RANDOM WINNERS: $39 CREDIT
Just to shake things up a bit, we’ll select another 5 random winners to receive the $39 credit toward any item of their choice. So anybody could be a winner, you just have to participate!
So… basically we’re looking at over $1000 in prizes given out to 10 different winners. Not bad!
If you’re planning on participating and having a chance at some of the awesome prizes, be sure to read the following requirements very carefully. I’ve provided some useful links to appropriate resources, so don’t overlook them!
- CREATE AN ACTION OR PRESET
The first important part of the project is actually creating the action or preset. The choice of software is up to you — whatever you happen to use. The action(s) and/or preset(s) that you choose to create and share are also totally up to you — they could be workflow timesavers, creative tweaks, or whatever else you can dream up. If you’re not familiar with creating these things, you can read up on creating Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets. And the creations must be your own — no swiping somebody else’s work!
- MAKE YOUR FILE ACCESSIBLE
This is the hard part, but we’ve got some options for you. You’ll need to upload your action/preset file to the web so others can download it. If you have your own blog or website, this is no problem and you can host the file yourself. Some forums also allow files to be attached to posts. But sites like Flickr don’t allow this, while they do allow you to link to external files. To accommodate those of you with fewer options, Neil has offered to host your project files on his site. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with your file. He’ll upload it to his server and send you the URL so you can link to it in step 3.
- WRITE ABOUT YOUR CREATION
Once you’ve created your tool and made it accessible to others, you’ll have to write about it. There are many forms of self-publication, so don’t be intimidated. You should tell us what the action/preset does, how it works, and any special instructions for using it. You should also link out to your file from step 2 so others (including me) can download it and use it.
- SUBMIT YOUR LINK HERE
When your written post is complete (with the link to your action/preset), come back here and fill out the form below. Just plug in your name, the location of your write-up from step 3, and your email address so I can contact you if needed.
DEADLINE: JANUARY 12, 2009
Multiple entries are fine, but each participant will count as a single project entry. So you could either put all your stuff in one post for the written portion, or you could do multiple posts. Either way, you get one entry into the contest and we’ll point readers to your whole collection at the end of the project.
Once the project comes to an end, I’ll gather up all the actions and presets and make a single collection (for each software) that can be downloaded by others. I’ll also link out to your write-up so people can learn how to use the tools you’ve created.
As mentioned in the sponsor section above, Neil is giving away a ton of cool prizes. The two of us will be judging the entries based on several criteria: usefulness, usability, creativity, execution, explanation, thoroughness, etc.
Basically, we’re looking to reward the individuals who put a lot of thought and effort into their project entry (and this certainly includes the written portion). We realize that not all actions or presets are big and flashy, and we’ll keep this in mind as we go through the entries — so don’t feel like you have to come up with some huge elaborate thing to be eligible for the prize.
Three winners will be chosen for the 3 grand prizes, and two runner-ups will be chosen for honorable mention. All five picks will also receive the $39 credit for textures.
In addition to the top five selections, we’ll choose an additional five entries at random to receive the $39 credit for textures!
THE ENTRY FORM
UPDATE: This project has been completed — see the results here.