Photoshop file set up

We all know how messy Photoshop can be when we use a lot of layers.  That’s why I make this CS5 action to keep things organized and create a workflow.  This action is divided in specific tasks I do during my retouching workflow and now I’m sharing it with you.  This is not the absolute correct way of doing it but its my way and I hope that it helps.

Now run the action by pressing the play button on the action palette or just press F2 (The F2 its a custom setting and I don’t know if is exported in the action, if F2 works for you let me know if not just run the action as always)

As you can see now, you have some folders and layers that start with the original file because I like to work in a non destructive way just in case I mess things up.


  1. We have a Liquify group with a copy of the original  also named Liquify.  Probably you have already guess it, in this layer I use the Liquify filter if needed but I also use the lens correction filter.  Here I make my horizon correction, that 95% of the time I have it wrong. And also I make the lens correction in this layer, it’s not crucial but I like to do it.
  2. Then we have the pixel layers, here I make all of the pixel editing like cloning, healing and anything that have to do with manipulating pixel.  There is a subject and background layers, you can add more layers as needed, just remember to change the name of the layer to the specific part that you are working.  In here I run two actions that I made, one for retouching the eyes and another one to retouching the skin.  I will make another tutorial with this two actions so stay tune.
  3. Color correction folder, here are two adjustment layers that I use to create contrast and more vivid color, because the white balance its done in Lightroom in the RAW processing.  But you can make the color correction also in this group.
  4. This is one of my favorites, the dodge and burn step. Here you find three layers and two method to do the dodge and burn.  The first method its using a 50% grey layer, just paint white to burn and black to dodge.  Now the second method its my favorite because theres no way you can mess it up with this.  Paint in the layer mask with white and thats it.  Why I use the curve layer to do the dodge and burn? Because you can adjust the curve to your liking and there is no way that you can go too far with it, set the limit you want for the highlight and shadows and you are done.
  5. The noise group, here you can use the noise reduction method of your choice, thats why the folder is empty.  I make a new layer with a flatten version (crtl+alt+shift+E) and run the noise ninja plug-in.
  6. For the sharpening its up to you because that depends for what its the use you are going to give to the file.

That’s it! Thats my typical retouching workflow in Photoshop. I hope that this little action helps you to create an organized workflow or inspire you to make up your action.

Download the action here.

Now go out and shoot! Well… in this case just go and use Photoshop



  1. Waylon Turi says:

    thank you for sharing with us, I think this website really stands out : D.

  2. Ariel says:

    The moment I saw your blog was like wow. Thanks for putting your effort in writing this blog.

  3. Sherice Landenberger says:

    You have some good ideas! Maybe I should consider about attempting this myself.

  4. Thumbprint says:

    Keep functioning ,fantastic job!

  5. flowers says:

    Thanks for all of the work on this web site. My niece loves making time for internet research and it is easy to see why. I hear all of the powerful method you present important thoughts through the blog and in addition foster response from website visitors on the issue then our own child has always been being taught so much. Enjoy the rest of the year. You’re the one performing a remarkable job.

  6. New Era Hats says:

    We absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content for you personally? I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome blog!

Leave a Reply