If you ever visit the Maltese islands, you may be surprised by the sheer quantity of alien plants covering this small country – with Prickly Pear, Opuntia ficus-indica, one of the most invasive. Yet the problem with an alien is, they can be just so darn exotic, and spell-bounding, hence the need to photograph them at every turn. This Agave ‘egg’ above a case in point. The other thing about such plants, especially those originating from the South American desert, is they seem to cry out for a retro filter. If you are an Instagram user, such a photographic effect is easy to apply, and we now see them everywhere; the click of a button and you can send your image back decades, before posting it to the ether. Photoshop users can achieve something similar, but with a lot more work involved, applying adjustments and filters over a number of stages. As a short-cut, we can ride the wave of other generous people’s work, and here is how.
How to apply Instagram filters using Photoshop to plants
Click on the link called ‘Download the photoshop action file’ at the bottom of Daniel Box’s web page. This downloads a zip file containing Photoshop Actions. Click to unpack and click again to open, automatically loading it in to Photoshop (of course you need Photoshop installed). If you have any problems with the above, click on the Youtube video that Daniel also links to, running through how to complete this stage. Then…
> Open an image in Photoshop and head to menu: Windows>Actions
> Once the Actions window appears, click ‘Instagram Filters by @dbox’ from the list of available Actions
> Select ‘Earlybird’ from the list to achieve the Instagram effect of the same name applied to the Agave egg above.
> Click the ‘play’ button and watch the magic happen
Here are some results of other Instagram filters by Daniel
After using ‘Sutro’ Action
After using ‘Nashville’ Action
All images licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License