Friday , March 1 2024
For when you really want to make the colors in your photographs pop.

Software Review: Michael Andrew Lollipops Photoshop Action Set

Michael Andrew Lollipops Photoshop Action Set is a set of actions that will have you selectively popping the colors out of your images. These actions let you target specific colors and amplify them quickly and easily. They give you the ability to adjust specific colors while leaving the rest of the image intact.

First off, Lollipops are very easy to install. Essentially all you have to do is copy them from a zip file and move them to the appropriate location on your computer (this different depending on what operating system you have). Once that is done, you just open up Photoshop, load the action set, and select Lollipops. You are now ready to go.

To show you what is capable with Lollipops, I chose this image of the rider going over a jump on her horse. I chose this because there are a lot of colors in this image. The original is somewhat dull as the browns kind of dominate the scene. It is early spring and the leaves are not out on the trees.


Because of the nature of trying to replicate images over the Web to different computers, I went a little more overboard to make my point, but any of these colors can be toned down, or over amplified as you see fit.

Being there, I knew that it while it was a bit cool outside, there was a bright blue sky. In the crop of this image there was not a lot of sky, but what little there was, I wanted it to come out. So my first step was to use "Deep Blue Sea." This made the blue really pop out. Unfortunately, it also made the blue in the rider's jacket pop too much. With a couple of brush strokes I was able to paint that away. If I had wanted to keep it, but at a less dramatic way, I could have applied the action twice and painted it out of one while reducing the opacity of the second layer.


Next I used "Chocolate" to bring out the browns and make them less dull. This had the effect of deepening the browns of the horse as well as several other things. "Red Cherry" brought out the red coloring of the faux bricks in the jump.

"Greener Grass" enhanced the grass which still looks a little radioactive in its saturation, but it makes the point that you can do just about anything. If I were doing this for print, I would probably use more of the technique that Michael Andrew does in his video Turning Dead Grass Green.

Finally, the ground is a lighter brown and so needed a little different technique. For that I used "Caramel" which adds a touch brightness to those lighter browns. I also added some pizzazz with an action called "Kung Fu Kick" which is a modifier used on the layer to give it some extra punch.

In the final image below you can see the actual changes that occurred to the image itself. This is a snapshot of the layers without the main image. This shows how much work one would have to do without using these actions. It also shows all of what you have control over as to how much or how little you want to apply to an image.


Other Lollipop colors that are available are:

• "Aquafy Me" amplifies Turquoise, Aqua, and green/blue hues.
• "Bubble Gum Pink" enhances pink colors.
• "Lemonade" sweetens yellows.
• "Orange Peel" deepens and darkens yellows and orange colorings.
• "Purple Passion Fruit" works on purples and magentas.
• "Black Licorice" isolates and enhances darker shades of grey.

Along with "Kung Fu Kick", there are two other modifiers:

• "Lollipop Lick" softens the lollipopped pixels.
• "Taffy" does more of a soft boost to your lollipops.

There are also three general image modifiers:

• "Salt and Pepper" is a black and white modifier that brightens lighter grays and darkens darker grays.
• "Sweetener" modifies by brightening and enhancing slightly under exposed images.
• "Sweet and Low" is a half power version of "Sweetener".

One note, because lollipops are designed to select and amplify your image qualities, if there is a lot of grain or noise in your image, these actions could amplify these defects. So before sending to an outside lab, you will want to closely inspect and test any images. If you want to see some samples of what they can do for you check out the Lollipop Samples Page.

I found the Michael Andrew Lollipops Photoshop Action Set very easy to use and very intuitive as having a lot of flexibility. This set is $125 and can be purchased at Michael Andrew's store. If you really want to make the colors in your photographs pop, then I highly recommend Lollipops.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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