Have you ever wondered what presets and actions are? Or the difference between them and what they do to your images? Have you ever thought to yourself there has to be a faster and easier way to edit your pictures?
What Actions Are
Actions are recorded steps in photoshop that once played back on an image, the layers are broken down so they can be adjusted to any image. Sometimes, you can play multiple actions on a single image for different looks.
What Presets Are
Presets are also recorded steps; however, they are not broken into layers and are ran "as is" in Lightroom. Additional adjustments can be made to a preset after running it.
Actions and Preset Examples
Below are some example of actions and presets being applied in Photoshop CS/CC, Photoshop Elements, and Lightroom to give you a better understanding and to help you apply them to your own work.
How to Apply Actions in Photoshop CS/CC
How to Apply Actions in Photoshop Elements 11+
How to Apply Presets in Lightroom 4+ (CC)
Checkout this post on 5 tips For using Lightroom Presets like a pro!