I've been wanting to post about one of my favorite thing in Photoshop: actions! I love playing with colors and my favorite thing to do is to give photos a vintage look.
Actions are really easy to use and manipulate. Depending on your level of creativity and on the kinds of effects you wish to obtain, you can either apply actions and do nothing to them or alter them in any way you want. Actions are also a good way for novices to learn how to manipulate a wide set of tools in Photoshop because they show you step by step how to obtain the desired effect. You can always go back and take a close look at what was done to the picture in order to obtain the final r'esult.
What are actions?
An Action is a recording of a series of Commands in Photoshop to which you apply a name (i.e. "Dreaming"; "Magazine Fashion Style", etc). Later on, you can play that recording back on a different file and have Photoshop do your work for you. It's a way to save time if you have several photos to which you want to apply the same effects.
The cool thing about actions is that you can share them. Someone does all the work, shares it online and you can very easily download it, apply it to your artwork, and instantly get that awesome dream-like effect you've always wanted to create!
Deviantart.com - Download Actions
45 amazing and free Photoshop actions: http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/tools/photoshop-actions/
You can also just Google "download photoshop actions."
How can you install them?
Save the ..ATN file on your computer. It does not have to be installed in the Photoshop directory hierarchy. You have to load the actions within Photoshop so that the actions are available for use. Launch Photoshop, open the "Actions" window if it doesn't open automatically, then click the small very tiny arrow at the top right-hand corner and click "Load Actions." Locate the file on your computer, select it, and that's it! The action will show in your Actions window. Select the action you've just installed and click "play" at the bottom of the window.