How Did You Do That?

by HEAB on June 9, 2011

I’ve gotten several emails asking me about my photo editing. Again, I still have no idea what I am doing, but I’m having a blast trying to figure out Photoshop Elements. For yesterday’s photo with Summer, I used the Sunshine Action for Photoshop Elements downloaded from The Pioneer Woman. It took me two evenings and several hours of lost sleep to figure everything out, and for those of you with Photoshop Elements, you can click here to download the Actions for free and then click here for installation instructions. I am technically challenged and did not think the instructions for Mac users were very clear. So, for any of you interested, I’ll share what I did.

First download the Actions from Pioneer Woman and save them on your desktop. There are two sets of actions, and I saved them in two separate folders. Then click on Finder➔HardDrive➔Library➔Application Support➔Adobe➔Photoshop Elements➔9.0➔Photo Creations➔Photo Effects. Apparently, there are two different Library folders on Mac computers, and I kept opening the wrong one. Once you locate your Photo Effects folder, open the Pioneer Action folders on your desktop and click, drag, and drop the contents into the Photo Effect folder. That was my 2nd mistake – I kept trying to copy the entire Action folder into the Photo Effects folder. Yeah, that doesn’t work.

OK, for those of you still with me, there is one more step. You have to rename the MediaDatabase.db3 File. To do so, click on Finder➔HardDrive➔Library➔Application Support➔Adobe➔Photoshop Elements➔9.0➔Locale➔En_US. In the En_US folder, locate MediaDatabase.db3, click on it and rename it MediaDatabaseOLD.db3. Then make sure all other computer programs are closed and restart Photoshop Elements. PSE will open slowly the first time after renaming this file. After verifying that the action has installed, simply delete MediaDatabaseOLD.db3. So, was it worth losing sleep to figure all this out? You tell me…

IMG_6188.jpg Stripedsocks.psd

Above left is the original photo, and on the right is my Photoshopped version.

Then with one click of a button, I can get the following effects with The Pioneer Woman’s Actions








Soft & Faded


Color Boost


Black & White

These above photos only showcase 6 actions out of the 23 I downloaded. Pretty cool, huh? Many thanks to Nolita for sending me the info and to The Pioneer Woman for making her Actions available to the public.

P.S. Isn’t Summer’s hand the cutest most squeezable thing you’ve ever seen?!?


Pure2raw twins June 11, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Love love love the photos, all of them. I love how each one says something and feels different

Courtney (greeneyedrunner) June 11, 2011 at 6:06 pm

You’re an angel for posting this! I’m photographically challenged, so maybe this will help 🙂

Summer’s hands are perfect! I think if I walked by you, Summer, and CD on the street I’d get my breath taken away!

Sarah June 11, 2011 at 7:55 am

I love the seventies version.. especially with those colors in the photo! Wish I were a photoshop whiz, but it just seems to intimidate me 😛

Carolyn June 11, 2011 at 6:47 am

You interest in photography is great. Lots of subjects to photograph and the perfect place to put them up! Looks like you are learning lots!

lena June 11, 2011 at 3:23 am

Definitely!!! Not just Summer’s hands! 🙂 Her entire being. she’s the most adorable!!!
And love the colours on the picture! so vibrant and vivid!!! compliments Summer totally! 🙂

Mimi (Gingersnaps) June 10, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Photoshop is so addicting! You should download a few brushes to play with! They allow you to do really cool effects with photos. Like these, which are actually composites of various pictures laid over with a lot of brushwork:

Nestegg June 10, 2011 at 10:47 pm

So glad you are losing sleep over photoshop too. I have so much more to learn on this program. It’s like driving a frickin’ plane! Thanks for sharing your tips. I don’t know what I would do without those PW actions.
By the way- LOVE LOVE the new header. It’s perfect. Caitlin rocks. xoRH

HEAB June 11, 2011 at 8:48 am

Thanks so much for introducing me to Caitlin. She is so talented! Hope you guys have a good weekend. 🙂

Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli June 10, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Ahhh, the soft and faded is my fave! I love the contrast in the pic too with your feet, her feet, her teeny tiny cute as can be fingers, and the stripes!

I may be in Nashville on Monday morning…maybe we can meet up? Miss you!

HEAB June 11, 2011 at 8:45 am

Heather, would love to meet up. My mom will be in town, and I’m hoping to go to yoga Monday morning. Maybe we could meet up before or after? Would love to see you!

Danielle June 10, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Thank you for this post, Heather! I’m a beginner with photoshop and this helps me edit photos in a fun way, with only a few clicks! Love it!! I also love the new look of the blog, it suits the posts well. I hope you are enjoying your weekend! Hugs, loves and positive vibes… ~D

HEAB June 11, 2011 at 8:47 am

You’re welcome. Total beginner here too and will be happy to share any tips I learn along the way. I’m having so much fun!

Eden June 10, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Summer should consider a career in hand modeling

Baking 'n' Books June 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm

LOL – that’s what I was going to say! Keep showcasing them Heather – someone famous will find your site and get her gigs 😉

I love the soft and faded shot. The colors are beautiful. Forget her hands…I want to eat her little feet!

Amber from Berlinswhimsy June 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm

This is GREAT! Thank you for passing this info along…

Oh, and YES, Summer’s hand is so squishy cute… Sigh.

Gina (Yogattude) June 10, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Oooooh! I need to download this…except it would probably mean I park myself in front of the computer all weekend! Next rainy weekend for sure (which is a likely bet in Seattle!)

Alyssa June 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm

That is SO cool! (And they ain’t kidding when they call it “color boost,” are they?)
I love little baby hands! And feet!

Maria @ Beautiful Busy Bee June 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Aww, I love baby hands! They’re just like adult hands only smaller and chubby! My favorite was soft and faded. Check out my blog please!

Tangy June 10, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I think I could have fun for hours if I had photo editing software!

Her chubby little baby hand is so adorable…that’s really what I miss the most from when my kids were babies. My daughter at two and a half still has a little of the thigh chub but has mostly leaned out and my four-year-old is so tall and lanky, you’d never know he once had the most squeezeable appendages ever!

Katie June 10, 2011 at 11:46 am

Yes, absolutely, Summer is the cutest little thing EVER! And I’m so excited to check out this photoshop link…bookmarking, now. Thanks for sharing it!

birdie to be June 10, 2011 at 11:13 am

Great pics! And thanks for the photoshop link! Soooo helpful!

Riss June 10, 2011 at 10:41 am

You’re doing a great job! Love reading your posts about your photography adventures. And yes, I agree… such a precious, little hand! I got to cuddle with my friend’s month-old little boy last night… couldn’t stop kissing those sweet fingers!

Nicole@GFonaShoestring June 10, 2011 at 10:39 am

Baby hands are second only to smooth-as-silk baby feet. No callouses. 🙂

I very much would love Photoshop Elements (it’s so cool!), but I’m currently way too cheap to buy another program. I’m still stuck on the fact that I had to buy my word processing program (in years past, I worked off a laptop from my job, and it had everything already on there)!


Sylvia @ LifeIsGoodWithFood June 10, 2011 at 10:30 am

Ooohhh, thanks for the Photoshop lesson! When I finally get my dSLR, I know what program I’m going to be using to edit my photos 😉

Chandra June 10, 2011 at 9:34 am

I love the actions from the Pioneer Woman. You can layer them on top of each other as well and get some amazing results. Have fun playing…I know I do!

HEAB June 10, 2011 at 10:33 am

I haven’t played around much with adding layer upon layer. Any favorite combos?

Chandra June 12, 2011 at 9:57 pm

It has been a while since I have used it but I do like to add boost at the end of a few of them and it just enhances the action.

Brandy June 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

LOVE the socks, BTW.

HEAB June 10, 2011 at 9:22 am

Thanks Brandy. My socks are SmartWools and Summer’s were a gift. Love fun socks. 🙂

Amy @ Elephant Eats June 10, 2011 at 8:47 am

Oh my goodness…look at that pudgy little wrist and those itty bitty fingernails!!! So stinkin’ adorable 🙂

Wow, that photo editing is amazing. I can’t quite get it lookin that good with regular photoshop. What’s the difference between regular photoshop and photoshop elements? Is it just the newest version??

HEAB June 10, 2011 at 9:22 am

I’m not exactly sure, but I think Elements is just Photoshopped simplified without all the bells and whistles. Perfect for me as I have no plans to be a professional photographer. Just wanted to make my photos pretty. 🙂

katie @KatieDid June 10, 2011 at 8:47 am

um, yes! is the answer to your last question!!! Those are amazing differences between all of the photos, I couldn’t choose which one I like the best. I love all of PW’s photo tutorials also, I usually turn there when I need help with editing or need inspiration.

Nolita June 10, 2011 at 8:39 am

You are so welcome! (sn: Now everyone is gonna click on over to my blog and wonder why I’m not editing my photos!) I was just clicking over to get my daily dose of HEAB and was excited to see that you went to PW’s site to get help and also thinking I need to try the sunshine action (now that you’ve broken it down) when I saw your thank you to me! Love the results you got so I am motivated to get more out of my PE program (probably after I finish Emi’s hair). Happy Friday, HEAB and family!

HEAB June 10, 2011 at 9:20 am

Happy Friday to you as well Nolita. Thanks again for the info. I never read Pioneer Woman much before, and now I’m hooked on her photo tutorials. They are great and so helpful!

Chad @ thebreakupnote June 10, 2011 at 8:37 am

Oh that’s cool – you should take each of the edits and make an Andy Warhol style collage

Kath (My Funny Little Life) June 10, 2011 at 7:21 am

Wow, that’s pretty cool! 😀 I love the vintage and 70s style, I want to try that with some of my pictures as well! 😀

Hannah June 9, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Oh, so envious! I hope I can one day get some proper editing software…

Emily @ Comfortable Home Life June 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Okay, I’m convinced. I NEED Photoshop! It’s absolutely amazing what you can do with that photo. So many beautiful options. I agree with you 38220% — Summer’s hand is PRECIOUS!

Maria June 9, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Summer’s little hand is SO adorable, Heather. Love this pic.

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 9, 2011 at 9:26 pm

I KNEW IT!!!!!! I knew when you told me you were getting editing software that it would become a huge part of your life…first the dslr, then the lenses, then editing software…are you sure you dont want to come on some of my photography trips I’m taking with me? That’s the next step, you know 🙂

Love your images and what you did with them.

And thanks for the PS E tutorial and linkbacks to PW’s site. I *just* had a computer specialist leave my house and I now have more software to play around with on my new machine than I will ever use…and that’s great 🙂 I love learning new things and boy, there’s plenty of it!

HEAB June 10, 2011 at 9:19 am

Did you get Photoshop. I’m loving Elements, and I hear it’s easier to navigate than regular Photoshop. However, most people I know use LR. I want to come over and play on your new computer!

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 10, 2011 at 2:17 pm

will email you 🙂

Junia @ Mis Pensamientos June 9, 2011 at 9:26 pm

hiya summer. u got the best momma, ever. did you know? 🙂

makes me want to be a mom. sigh <3

Meghan @ StruggleMuffins June 9, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Its amazing how the subtle differences between the light effects can appear so much more noticeable when you put the pictures together.

And ummm yes – there’s something about baby hands that’s so precious that words can’t even capture it.

Vivianne June 9, 2011 at 9:06 pm

WOW! That’s so cool. I wish I had photoshop! Learning to use a basic photo editor would probably make my photos way better. I just wish I had a new camera too!

Molly June 9, 2011 at 9:05 pm

love the photos! SO cute. And yes, I could totally eat summer’s hand! Yum!

Holly @ The Runny Egg June 9, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Heather that was all I wanted to write — that Summer’s little hand is so precious. My sister showed me a poem (can’t remember by who) where they describe baby hands as looking like stars — I just loved that description!

HEAB June 10, 2011 at 9:18 am

Me too – so sweet. 🙂

Samantha June 9, 2011 at 8:56 pm

FYI-I just opened up the ones you linked to, and maybe it’s different for PS than PSE but when it opens the files in the finder, I just double clicked each one ending in .atn and they installed to PS from there. (I’m on a mac). Maybe that will work for you as opposed to the longer route to get there?

HEAB June 10, 2011 at 9:17 am

Really? Haha, told you I was technically challenged. I’m really good at making simple things complicated. 😉

Samantha June 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Me too dear, me too, especially things with lots of writing like paperwork. (which means this move is driving me nuts!) But software is pretty easily navigated since that’s what I do day in and day out. 🙂

Samantha June 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Those are neat actions, love them! That’s a lot of steps to save them! I usually just click on them to download, they pop up in my downloads window, once the dl is complete I double click and it automatically installs in photoshop, provided it’s an .atn file. If it’s zipped, when I double click in the downloads window on the completed file, it unzips there, then I double click in the finder folder and it installs to ps by default.

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