Style, Beach Life & Motherhood from 30A & Beyond

How To: Photoshop Actions for Instagram Filters and Word Clouds

January 27, 2012

Hi, my name is Jami and I’m a nerd. It’s okay. I’ve come to terms with it. I have occasional socially awkward moments, scattered clumsiness and almost always crack up at my own cheesy jokes. I have  semi-obsessions with things like social media, typography, gadgets, color formulas, grammar, fashion trends and iPhone apps. Does this sound like you? Yes? No? Either way, I’m going to share.

Here are a few nerdy goodies I currently can’t get enough of:

Instagram Actions

Even if you don’t have an iPhone, you’ve probably heard of Instagram or at least seen your cool Apple friends sharing their photos on Facebook and Twitter. If you do have an iPhone, you’re probably already thoroughly obsessed and know exactly which filters are your go-tos for various photos. Mine are usually Amaro, Rise, X-pro II, Inkwell or Nashville. (I’ve never once used Kelvin.) I love the thoughtful vintage look an otherwise boring snapshot can take on. I love following people I know and people I only wish I knew. I love seeing the day to day crumbs shared here that might not make it to other outlets. I found myself wishing though, that I could easily recreate these looks for other photos not snapped on my phone camera. If you happen to have a copy of Photoshop, you’re in luck! Of course, you can go through and try to recreate the effects with layers upon layers of design and edits OR you can download these pre-recorded actions for each of the Instagram filters from PetaPixel. Voila! Vintage photos on your computer!

Wordle Word Clouds

As I mentioned above, I’m slightly obsessed with typography, fonts, words and graphic goodness. Word clouds have been a big trend and you’ve no doubt seen these used all over the place, from blogs to advertising to presentations to inspirational messages. Wordle is a super-easy website that allows you to add your own series of words or type in the address of your blog or other website with a feed. It automatically generates a snazzy word cloud, which you can then edit to adjust the font, layout and colors as your heart desires. It’s not difficult, takes about 12 seconds and presents you with a pretty cool graphic.
Tagxedo Word Clouds
To take the word cloud concept one step further (and my favorite part!) to completely customize a word cloud, Tagxedo generates clouds in different shapes. You can choose from their library of shape templates like hearts, stars, clouds or animals or upload your own. The Tagxedo creator lets you fine tune the shape to keep as many of the border details as you like before moving on.
So, what did we learn? It’s okay to embrace your inner nerd. It’s okay to be a little geeky. Why? Because knowing apps and tools like these makes you even cooler.


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