With all the Lensbaby fun of late, I went in search of ways to enhance the Lensbaby experience and stumbled across the Kubota Lensbaby Action Pak! For those not familiar with Kubota actions, they’re purchasable groups of photoshop actions (very popular with studio, event and wedding shooters) which provide you with quick, easy and repeatable adjustments with the click of a button. Based in Bend, Oregon, they’re just down the way from me so I decided to get in touch with them and they were very gracious to let me play around with their Lensbaby Action Pak which includes 15 actions tuned for image files taken with various Lensbaby optics. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and while I never have a problem rambling on and on, I will let the image examples show off what these actions do. Starting with the original image taken with a GF1 and the Lensbaby TT + Composer / double glass optic and on through each of the included 15 Kubota Filters:
While for certain images, shot with certain Lensbaby optics may look gratuitous next to each other, the actions have different effects depending on which optical and lens combos you use. (Don’t tell anyone, but the actions work and look great on images not taken with Lensbaby optics also!) The Lensbaby Action pack is available for $39, downloaded from the Kubota website here: Kubotaimagetools.com (Photoshop is required for the Kubota actions to run).
Have a look at some of their video tutorials here as well to see these actions in, well, action!
When purchased, the Kubota Actions are controlled via the included Kubota Dashboard which is a cool way to quickly access and apply, cache and streamline your actions.
While I am a big fan of sharing and helping each other out as far as actions and presets go, I have to admit, so many of the Kubota actions are far more complex and finely tuned than I’m likely to come up with on my own or find for free elsewhere. There are a few sites from which I would justify spending money on Photoshop actions, and the Kubota actions are one of those few. I had a chance to play around with some of the others involved in the other packs and I feel that they would be a great purchase for anyone wanting to streamline their processing (I particularly liked the ‘viva la vintage’ set and the ‘A2 – modern chic pak’ which included the very cool Lord of the Rings actions), especially wedding shooters and the like where time spent processing thousands of images means less time shooting or managing a business. For those situations, the cost is pretty easy to justify in my mind, or should at least be considered as these actions are sweet, and can make good images look great.
For some other fun, free Photoshop tricks and tips try these articles:
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