Creative Stoke

  Photoshop Action :: Yosemite Sky ::

Make a donation of US $5 (about £2.50) or more to Creative Stoke and you will be e-mailed a gift copy of Creative Stoke's exclusive :: Yosemite Sky :: Action for Adobe Photoshop.

This exclusive Action takes a "blue skies" landscape image from a digital camera - and closely simulates the classic B&W effect gained by combining a glass 25A red filter, a polarising filter, a glass ND-grad filter, & special B&W film.

This very complex 45-step Action runs automatically, and works much like a Photoshop Filter. It's intended to be a quality emulation of the "Ansel Adams style" black sky effect. It gives noticably finer & more balanced results than any of the Channel Mixer 'recipes' available for darkening skies in Photoshop.

  Click the button to get it:

 The Creative Stoke service is not funded. Any donation is very welcome. Donate US $5 (about £2.50) or more to be e-mailed your copy of the Yosemite Sky Photoshop Action. PayPal is a fully secure and trusted service, used by millions of eBay users every day.


  Very easy to use.
  A reliable effect that will save you hours & hours of time!
  Works with Photoshop 7.0, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, & Elements
  Works with Windows & Mac
  Flexible - the Action pauses at crucial points, for you to adjust the suggested settings to exactly suit your own image. Changes are previewed "live".
  The slight sepia colouring effect (seen above) is easily removable, if you want "straight black & white".
  Is much more subtle and faithful than any of the dark-sky Channel Mixer "recipes" tested.
  Comes with instructions for installation & use.
  Tested with megapixel images from the popular digital SLR Canon 300D (aka 'Rebel' in USA, 'Kiss' in Japan) and the compact digicam Fuji Finepix 601Z.
  Vital for post-processing photographs that have no simple level horizon, have trees branches against the sky, of which you don't have multiple perfectly-registered bracketed exposures, and/or where you didn't use a glass ND grad filter in front of the lens.


Q: "What is an Action?" - a script which automatically runs complex processes in Adobe Photoshop, the world's leading image-processing software. You access & run Actions from the Actions palette. It's as simple as clicking a button.

Q: "Will it run with Photoshop Elements?" - you should be able to run it with v.2. Eith help from Ling Nero, developer of a third-party Elements add-on called snapActions, we now have Yosemite working with Photoshop Elements v.1 and v.2. snapActions is excellent freeware that allows you to run PS actions in PS Elements! It does not yet work with v3.

Click for snapActions v2.0 for Photoshop Elements - it's freeware!

Q: "Will it run on my Mac?" - it hasn't been tested with a Mac, but we've had this feedback from Jason in Texas: "Thanks! Works great on a Mac running OSX 10.3.3 in Photoshop CS.". It will be e-mailed to you in a Windows .zip file.

Q: "Can I see another example of it in action, on a less contrasty picture?" - sure, click here.

Q: "How long does it take to run?" - on an average modern PC with a quality graphics-card, using a 'fine' JPEG image from a Canon 300D, it takes about 80 seconds to completion.

Q: "Why is it called Yosemite?" - Yosemite is the famous National Park wilderness in America, so lovingly photographed by the master photographer Ansel Adams. Many of his classic landscape photographs feature the dark-skies effect.    Q: "Who was Ansel Adams?" - to learn more about Adams and his work, I highly recommend the wonderful feature-length 2002 DVD documentary Ansel Adams by Ken Burns (Sierra Club/PBS), and the 1983 book by Ansel Adams, Examples: the Making of 40 Photographs. The BBC also offer some free online audio interviews.

Q: "Can't I just put a big red glass filter in front of my digital camera's lens?" - The Bayer Array system used in the CCD's of many digital cameras (such as the popular Canon 300D/Rebel), means that using a heavy glass red filter sends shutter times up to 20-30 seconds or more. Due to the Bayer Array the image will be fuzzy, even with the most stable of tripods.

Q: "Can't I just get a black sky by putting a special infra-red filter in front of my digital camera's lens?" - infra-red filters simply don't work with most newer digital cameras, especially the SLR type such as the Canon 300D/Rebel. They have anti-IR filters built-in to the camera body.

Q: "Can I find this Action elsewhere on the web?" - No; and please tell Creative Stoke if you spot this Action being touted on a freeware site. Text inside each copy is steganographically "branded", so we can tell exactly who leaked it.

Q: "Will there be upgrades in future versions?" - this Action is currently at version 1.0.

Q: "Will I get more spam if I send you my e-mail address?" - your e-mail address will never be passed to anyone else, and you will get no further e-mails from Creative Stoke.

Q: "Is there somewhere I can get more advice on B&W digital conversion?" Try the many Forums at DPreview, pBase Forums, Canon forums, and the BJP Forum.

Q: "Would Ansel Adams have gone digital, used Photoshop, & shown work on the web?"

"I eagerly await new concepts and processes. I believe that the electronic image will be the next major advance. Such systems will have their own inherent and inescapable structural characteristics, and the artist and functional practitioner will again strive to comprehend and control them." - Ansel Adams, "The Negative" 1981.

"For me the future of the image is going to be in electronic form. ...  You will see perfectly beautiful images on an electronic screen. And I'd say that would be very handsome. They would be almost as close as the best reproductions." - Ansel Adams, interview with Paul Hill, 1975.

Q. Are you able to send to freebie e-mail accounts? & "Where is my action!!?"  
The "usual suspects" have problems caused by their poor spam-filtering: AOL, Hotmail and similar freebie addresses. We get e-mail fine from those accounts. Sometime our reply gets to such free accounts too, but most often it doesn't - and we get no indication that it hasn't reached you. A proper paid-for e-mail address using reliable spam-filtering methods is preferable. After 48 hours, please let us know if you haven't had Yosemite; and we'll try another route.


Some feedback from users:  

"Just a quick line to say a big thanks for Yosemite Sky. I've used it on a couple of my photos now, and I absolutely love it." -- Ben in the UK.

"Thank you for the Yosemite Action - it does give beautiful results. Please can you put me on your mailing list if you ever develop any other actions!" -- Nicholas in London.

"Thanks! Works great on a Mac running OSX 10.3.3 in Photoshop CS." -- Jason in Texas.

"Thanks for the action. The best Ansel Adams simulation yet ! The action works just fine in Photoshop CS for Windows." -- Robert in the UK.

"It works a treat!! I am using it at the moment and the results are excellent, the effect is so easy to achieve." -- Michael in the UK

"... the results have actually overtaken my expectations. It works amazingly and saves so much time in man-hours it's unreal. Attached is the first go on it, just using standard settings - looks good without any tweaking. Awesome!" -- Nick, in the UK.

"Hi, thanks for software. Have loaded it into Photoshop CS2 and it works very well." -- David, in Scotland.

"I am using the Yosemite Sky action not only on landscapes but other images, I am very pleased with it and I try it on just about every image I have... thanks, it's a great action." -- Barrie, in the UK


Made in Staffordshire, England.  Updated: March 2012.  © 2012.  All rights reserved.