Since I run Photoshop Elements 5, most actions won't run on my program, but, I can still get cool, action like, results from running my filters! Usually I run a series of filters, each on different layers, adjust the opacity of each layer separately (to my liking) and then merge the layers when I am loving the total photo effect...
OptikVerve Labs has a FABULOUS set of filters that are (get this) FREE! I think they will run in just about any program that has filters too! In the below examples I quickly ran a stock photo through a few filters and then merged them together
first layer filtered with "Fall Colors"
second (middle) layer filtered with "Radiant"
third (top in this case) layer filtered with "B&W"
Before I merged this is what I did:
layer 2 has the opacity lowered to 74 percent and I have removed some of the bright white clouds
layer 3 has the opacity lowered to 70 percent
the merged effect looks like a storm may be headed in... the water is darker and there are dark clouds in the distance...
I did this rather quickly, just to show that if you play with filters and opacity you can create your own really cool effects!
Ok... I admit it... I do have an older version of Photoshop that supports actions, so I will tell you that I do have several loaded in, and I am seriously looking at some other sets... Totally Rad! has some cool actions for purchase - also great examples of what actions can do it one step! Check them out!