A Photoshop action is a series of commands you can apply to an image or multiple images in a batch at a press of a button. You can create your own actions with the commands you use more often and in this video I will show you how to do just that.
With actions you can do things like resizing images to a specific size automatically, add a watermark to a batch of images or add a frame to an image or a batch of images. So basically they are used to do repetitive tasks that you do more often but it does that automatically.
One task that I do very often is prepare a layer for dodging & burning. That tasks involves creating a new layer, changing its name, filling the layer with 50% Gray and changing the blend mode to Overlay.
Instead of following all those steps every time I want to dodge or burn, I created an action that does all that for me automatically. In this video I will show you how I created that action.
A great example of what an action could do is shown in the image below. Left is original ->Right is after applying the action
On PhotoArgus you can find a compilation of a lot of cool actions for you to download: http://www.thephotoargus.com/freebies/100-outstanding-photoshop-actions-to-enhance-your-photography/