Posted on

My Presets in Action: Processing Street Photography with QuickLux 2

QuickLux 2 Street Photography Before and After Lightroom Presets

Over on my Photography Blog I regularly publish a series called: “Street Photo Diary”. This, as the name suggest, is a series of blog posts dedicated to Street Photography. I usually have a new entry in this series about once every month, and every so often I will go with a different look, or a different style. For the latest issue of my Street Photo diary series, I used my “QuickLUX 2” set of presets as the base look for the photos.

In particular, I chose the specific preset “Qneg-Basic02” as the starting pint. I really like this look, and it’a probably my favourite and most used from QuickLux 2. It’s hard to describe what it is that appeals to me about it. When I was creating it, I was going for the Woodsman / Outdoors style that was popular in certain lifestyle magazines at the time. Since then I like using it on images when it’s a dull day.

As always, I start the process by culling the shots from the shoot. In this case it was from several different shots. I used Lightroom’s “Set as target collection” function to sent a new collection as the destination, and then I went through the previous set of street shoots, and when I came to an image I wanted for this series, I pressed the D key to add it to the collection.

Once I had the project curated into a collection that I wanted to work on, I set about processing them. I had already decided which look to go with, so I started by applying the preset as the base. In this case, as mentioned earlier it was “QNeg-Basic02”. After applying that, I tweaked the exposure slightly. I also added a little extra grain. Here’s a before and after example:

In some cases I did a little more to the shots. I tweaked the curve slightly. The QNeg-Basic02 preset has a slightly raised black level in the curves, and sometimes this can make the blacks a little too grey, so for situations where it was a bit much, I lowered the black point on the curve. In the majority of cases though, the most I would have to do is just tweak the exposure after applying the presets. Here are a few more before and after example:

You can see the original Street Photo Diary blog post here. For more information about QuickLux2, you can find out full details on the product page. There is also a sample of one of the QuickLux presets in the Lightroom Sample Pack if you want to try it before getting the full set.

Posted on

My Presets in Action: Cherry Blossoms & Film Lux

As spring is here once again, the Cherry Blossoms are blooming, and I just love the beauty of these fleeting flowers. On a beautiful sunny day I was in a local park here in Dublin and I was taking some images of the beautiful cherry trees there. I also recorded the shoot and created a video of the session in action which you can find on my YouTube channel.

I shot the photos using a Fuji X-Pro 2 and for post processing, I wanted to go with a nice film look, and so, after trying out a few different presets, I eventually settled on using my own FilmLUX set as my starting point. But first, let me back up a bit. I actually pre-processed the files with the excellent Iridient X-Transformer first, converting them to DNG. When using DNGs created with X-Transformer, the resulting files behave exactly like RAW files, and so can be used with any preset. On import, I used the “Provia” colour profile as my base setting.

After going through the images from the shoot, I picked the ones I wanted to work on, and then I started editing in the develop module in Lightroom. I selected “FL-Film Base Slide 01” from FilmLUX as the starting point. Once I applied that I did some additional tweaking. This was mostly just to adjust the exposure slightly or the highlight and shadow recovery.

As I wanted them all to have the same feel to them, and be part of a series, I went through each image from my selects, and used the “Previous” button in Lightroom to apply the settings from he previous photo, and then did some minot tweaking for each shot. Using this method I was able to quickly process the whole shoot.

Here are some of the photos that I took that day, processed using FilmLUX. You can find out more about FilmLUX here.

 

Film Lux Lightroom Presets

Posted on

Free Sample Pack of My Lightroom Presets

I have lots of Lightroom Presets available now on this store and I wanted to be able to give you a way to try some of them out, so I’ve put together a collection of presets taken from the various sets, to make a free sample pack.

This free set contains 20 Lightroom Presets selected from my different preset packs, so you can get a taste for the presets that I make.

The Presets Included are:

  • BleachedBronze: BleachedBronze02
  • BleachedBronze: BleachedBronze05-FadedBlue
  • Coffee Tones: Expresso
  • Film Lux: FL-Film Base-Slide 02
  • Film Lux: FL-Film-Base-Negative-02
  • Film Candy 2: Film Candy 2 – QTrans-Basic01
  • Film Candy 2: Film Candy 2 QNeg-Basic02
  • Film Candy: Film-Candy-Marshmallow
  • Film Candy: Film-Candy-Plain Chocolate DR
  • Landscape Gold: Landscape Gold 14ct Lite +V
  • Landscape Gold: Landscape Gold 9ct Medium
  • Monolith: Monolith 12 – Faces
  • QuickLux: Quick Lux – FL-Film Base Slide 01
  • Steely Blue: Steely Blue Lite
  • Steely Blue: Steely Blue Polarised V
  • T-Pan: T-PAN01
  • T-Pan: T-PAN02 400
  • Vivid Extreme: Vivid Cityscape Blue
  • Vivid Extreme: Vivid Texture
  • MonoLux: MonoLux 4 – Flesh Tones

If you’ve been curious about my Lightroom presets before, but wanted to get a taste before buying, I’m happy to oblige. I had actually been wanting to do this for some time, but I’m only getting around to it now. You can get the free sample pack from my store, as well as see more information about what’s included.

Posted on

New Black and White Lightroom Preset Bundle Available

New Monochrome Lightroom Preset Bundle Available

I currently have three sets of black and white presets available for Lightroom and based on popular request, I’m now making them available as a single bundle. The three sets of presets are: Monolith, MonoLux and T-Pan. Each has a different style and different approach to creating the black and white look, and together I think they make a good range of styles for creating black and white images in Lightroom.

The bundle contains the following three sets:

Monolith

Monolith is a more stylised set of black and white looks. The results you get from Monolith are typically the high contrast type of black and white Image that’s popular with some street photographers.

MonoLux

MonoLux is a more varied set of styles and is more filmic than Monolith. The set was designed with the aim of creating a rich but natural black and white filmic feel.

T-Pan

T-Pan for Lightroom is a more film like set and is a more subtle look than the other two packs. The look is aiming to re-create the experience of shooting with a professional grade black and white film stock, and creates a rich film like monochrome image.

I think the bundle is a good deal too. It could normally be €28 to buy them all separately, and with this bundle you can get them for just €20, so you’re basically getting one of the sets for free.

(Note that the price includes VAT which can change depending on your country of origin, so the price may vary depending on where you are)

You can see the bundle now here on the digital download store, which also shows some samples and links to the original presets which has more details.

Posted on

Capture One X-Trans Guide Updated

My guide for processing X-trans files in Capture One was actually the first of these series of guides that I produced. Since I’ve written it, the software has been updated several times, and Fuji has come out with newer cameras. I had previously added a supplement to the ebook to cover the X-Pro 2 because at the time support was still preliminary (it still is in a way). I’ve now updated the Capture One guide to include the previous supplement and I’ve also incorporated some tips for working with Capture One 10.

The update is free if you’ve already bought the existing Guide. To get the updated version just log into your account on my store, and look under your downloads. You should see the updated version there. For more instructions, see this short article on my Help Centre.

As I wrote when I talked about Capture One Pro 10 previously, it’s becoming difficult to update the guide without doing a complete re-write because of the ongoing changes in the software. With that in mind, this will be the last version of this book in its current form. I may do a completely new book for Capture One 10 at some point, and if I do it will be more comprehensive and more detailed, because it will be specific to that version.

I have tried to keep the current version of the guide (i.e. this new update) relevant regardless of which version of Capture One that you are using, with specifics for Capture One 9 and 10 where relevant.

If you haven’t seen the Capture One guide before, you can find it in my Download store. To celebrate the launch of the updated version I’m putting it on sale, and educing the already low cost to just €3 (depending on your local Vat rate)

Posted on

Pay Pal Temporarily Disabled on the Store – Fix Coming Soon

[UPDATE – Jan 30 – PayPal Restored]

I have restored PayPal functionality to the store, and I’ve changed the store theme to make the checkout process less confusing. Hopefully this will resolve any long standing issues.

 

[Previously….]

I have disabled Paypal as there continues to be problems with PayPal integration on the store. I understand that this is frustrating to a lot of people as that is the only way that they can pay. I am working to restore Paypal integration as soon as possible. 

I hope to have PayPal back online by the end of the first week in February (Feb 4th) – within the next seven days at the time of writing this article.

What is the problem exactly?

The reason that I have disabled PayPal is due to a conflict with the way PayPal is integrated with the system that powers the store (WoooCommerce). What was happening was that a small number of customers would find that when the entered their Paypal details, which happens in a pop-up window, PayPal would occasionally not return control to the store server, and it would result in a customer not being able to compete an order. 

I have tried many things to resolve this, in conjunction with server specialists. We have the issue narrowed down to a potential issue with a theme conflict and the PayPal integration. In order to fix the issue (hopefully) I need to change the current theme on the store (the design, basically) but in order to do that, I have to prepare the replacement, then take the store online and make the necessary changes. 

Hopefully, I should be able to do that in the next several days. I will keep you updated here once the service has been restored.

If this doesn’t work, I’m working on a backup plan which involves moving the store to Shopify. If you have experienced PayPal issues with the store I’d really like your feedback to let me know what exactly happened to you, and how you were able to resolve it (if at all) so that I can tell the support staff who are trying to help me resolve the issue.

Posted on

Introducing T-Pan for Lightroom

T-Pan for Lightroom example

I’m delighted to announce that my first set of new Lightroom Presets for 2017 is now available. It’s called T-Pan and it’s a new set of Black and White Presets. I came up with the style when working on trying to copy the look of some film that a friend had asked me to scan, and I’m pretty happy with the results. T-PAN is an attempt to create a realistic set of monochrome film presets, and it is aiming to re-create the experience of shooting with a professional grade black and white film.

Within the pack there are 10 versions of T-Pan. Each version is it’s now “Film” as such. Unlike some of my previous presets, T-PAN does not require a separate setup preset. The look that has been created uses a camera’s Portrait profile as its starting point, and this has been baked into the presets. There is also a special version of the presets for Fuji X-Trans shooters. This is called T-PAN F. These have the required colour profile already baked into the presets.

Each of the 10 “Film” stocks, in other words each version of the presets, comes with three variations:

T-PAN (Normal) This is the normal Version of the film

T-PAN+ This version s a little brighter, with some shadow recovery, and slightly less grain

T-PAN 400 This is a version of the film styled after ISO400 speed black and white films. It has more contrast and definition than the regular version, but with increased grain.

T-PAN also comes with a set of tools, which consists of a number of faux colour filters for different effects (these don’t colour the image, they’re the equivalent of putting a filter on your lens if shooting with actual film) and a set of additional grain presets, for easy application of different types of grain.

Just a side point of interest. For the Fuji versions, the presets are based on the “Astia” profile. You’re probably wondering why I decided on using Astia rather than one of Fuji’s black and white colour profiles or even Acros? It’s because doing so would not allow the use of faux colour filters which is based on adjusting the black and white mix.

The presets are available now on my Digital Download store. They will normally sell for €8 (price may vary depending on local Taxes) but they’ll be on sale for the launch at just €5

Posted on

The New Store, Same as the Old Store. Mostly

Before Christmas I talked about my plans for moving to a new store platform. I had been having numerous problems, and I put them down to issues with WordPress and WooCommerce. The plan was to move to Shopify. This was in my mind the only solution, but it wasn’t something to which I was looking forward. Luckily I found a better alternative, and so here’s an update as to what’s happening.

To move to Shopify meant having to re-create my whole store from scratch, and I would probably put it on a new domain. This was going to be a royal pain, both for users and for me. It would mean that all of my set work and traffic building would be lost, but it would also mean that customers from the old store would no longer have the convenience of logging back into their accounts to get their downloads. Despite the obvious downsides, I felt that I had no choice, and so I had started building the new store. Then, by complete chance, I came across an interesting bit of information.

I was doing some tests on my old store server, and I discovered that the domain wasn’t resolving correctly. It was still working, but there were some issues behind the scenes. Also, the server was using old versions of PHP and MySQL. I contacted them to ask for their assistance (i.e. fix their issue), but they refused and wanted me to upgrade to a new second hosting account. I’ve always had problems with this company, and so, I decided that I would try a better hosting provider. After doing some research, I’ve settled on Pressable. WooCommerce recommends it as a partner for the e-commerce platform, and the price is reasonable, and so that’s what I’ve done.

The transition took a little time, and of course, it wasn’t without hitches. The biggest one being my own stupidity.

Here’s what happened.

I did lots of testing after the move, but it’s hard to test it properly all by yourself, and so you don’t really know until customers start ordering, I had a few sales after the move, and so I figured it was working ok. Then I started getting emails from people as they couldn’t download their purchases. It suddenly dawned on me that I’d forgotten something rather crucial.

The hosting company that I’m now using did the moving of the site for me, which, as it’s based on WordPress took a little while, but it was relatively seamless. However, I forgot one crucial, and in hindsight, kind of obvious thing. The links to the store downloads were hosted in a separate folder outside of the store’s main contents (for security reasons), and I hadn’t realised that it wasn’t moved with the rest of the store. This may own fault for not realising such an obvious thing. Luckily, I was able to fix it without having to re-enter all the links to the individual downloads manually.

If you had any issues, I’m sorry. They should be resolved now (and let me know if they aren’t)

The new site has server level security and caching, and it seems to be much faster. I’m also hoping the modern infrastructure resolves the pay Pal issue. I really didn’t want to have to move to Shopify, and I think this is best for all my customers. I’d love to hear your feedback if you’ve visited the store before and found it slow or problematic, I’d like to hear your experiences with the new version.

Posted on

Christmas Support Hours

Happy Christmas

On this Christmas Eve, I wanted to wish everyone who has bought one of my presets or books a very happy holidays.

I hope you all enjoy a very peaceful Christmas and a happy new year. Over this festive season, I will be taking some time off, and so my customer support answering hours will be reduced. While you can still send support requests, I will not be available to answer support requests on the 25th and 26th of December and also the 1st of January. I will respond to queries as soon as possible after that time.

In January I will be making the move to a new store platform and you can read all about the upcoming changes here.

In the mean time, I want to wish all of you who celebrate the holiday a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and thank you to all my customer for your support over the last 12 months.

Posted on

Updated Fuji X-Trans Lightroom Guide Now Available

I have just updated my Fuji X-Trans Lightroom guide with some significant changes. I’m calling it “version 1.5” and it contains some updated information, including some notes on processing 24mp X-Trans files, such as those from the X-Pro 2. I also tried to incorporate as much of the feedback and questions that I’ve received since the initial release. I also used the opportunity of releasing an updated edition to make some other changes and include some additional detail. If you had previously purchased this guide, the updated version is available for free to download from your account.

I’ve re-formatted the book slightly, and cleaned up a bit of the structure and language in a few places. The old guide was just a flat document, but the new edition has been structured into chapters to make it easier to navigate. I’ve also changed the format from A4 to US Letter.

While this may seem like a weird choice as A4 is the standard here in Europe, there are actually a couple of reasons for doing this. First of all, despite the fact that I’m based in Ireland, the majority of customers are from the US. Secondly, the US Letter format makes it easier to re-purpose into other versions. I’m working on releasing an iBooks Store (and possibly a Kindle) version and it requires the original to be in US letter. Finally, US Letter is a better fit when displayed on an iPad.

Based on the feedback from customers I’m changing the way it is delivered too. I had previously included the book and presets in a single .zip file download. A few people have pointed out that this makes difficult to download directly on an iPad, and so I’m going to supply the Book as a PDF with a separate download for the presets. This means that you can load the book right onto an iPad directly form your account page.

Finally, the book now contains a breakdown of the supplied presets. Quite a few readers have requested this, and so I’ve included it as an appendix at the back of the guide.

Here is a list of some of the things that have changed or been added to the updated version since the first edition:

  1. Increased the number of pages from 30 to 48
  2. The book is now formatted for US letter as opposed to A4. this is because the majority of customers for this book have been from the US. Also, a US letter format is closer to the display ratio on most tablets, such as the iPad. You can still print it on A4 without any problems, just choose “Scale to fit” on your printer.
  3. Re-formatted the book to be broken down into chapters. This makes the guide more structured, easier to follow, and easier to refer to specific sections.
  4. Added a section on 24mp X-Trans cameras, such a the X-Pro 2 and X-T2
  5. Added a section on matching the in-camera Shadow and Highlight tone options.
  6. Added a section on dealing with moiré in Lightroom
  7. Added a section on shooting and creating HDR images.
  8. Added a section on advanced colour fringing correction.
  9. Added an appendix with a detailed breakdown of the supplied presets.

How to update

If you had previously purchased the guide, you will find the new version in your account on my Digital download store. To get the update simply go to your downloads page and you will find a link. Here’s what to do:

  1. Go to the “My Account” page on the store.
  2. Log In
  3. On the side bar set of links, click on “Downloads”
  4. Locate the files from the list of available downloads and click download.

To update the presets from the old ones, simply follow the instructions in the guide, and when your computer asks you do you want to replace the files, click ok. Alternatively just copy the additional preset folders over. (The existing ones from version 1 haven’t changed)

Some useful support documents

If you are having trouble downloading the updated guide please see the FAQ on the help centre for help. The most common problems are answered there. Here are a few specific Tech Notes that may be of help:

Posted on

Preset Tips: Changing the Colour Profile for a different Effect

Preset Tips: Changing the Colour Profile for a different Effect

If you’re a user of any of my presets, then you will know that I’ve designed them with the idea of being used with the “Standard” camera profile. The idea behind this was to provide a base level of compatibility across cameras, without having to create custom colour profiles for different models. Most manufacturers have a standard profile, and while obviously this isn’t exactly the same across different cameras, it’s generally the most “normal” looking profile, which is why I use that as the base for my presets.

Having said that, there’s nothing to stop you from changing the profile for effect. Using the standard profile will give you a similar look to what I had in mind when I created the presets, but changing the profile won’t break them, and if you’re looking for some creative alternatives, then using a different profile might be beneficial.

On many DSLRs there are portrait, neutral, vivid and landscape profiles in addition to the standard ones. These may be called different things depending on the camera and the make, but most cameras contain some variation of these picture modes, and Lightroom generally has corresponding profiles.

Using a Neutral or Portrait profile will generally lower the contrast, and reduce the saturation a little bit. Using this profile can be useful if you find that some of the presets are too contrasty, but you otherwise like the overall look. On the other hand, using a Vivid or Landscape profile can have the opposite effect and actually increase the contrast. This can be useful if you want to add even more punch to an image. It can also be an interesting thing to try if you’re using presets on images of greenery, foliage and so on, as the Vivid profiles generally bring out the greens more in an image.

If you’re using a Fuji camera, your choices are a bit different. Fuji doesn’t use the standard profiles that are with most cameras, instead basing their picture profiles on “simulations” of fuji film stocks, or at least based on those. In the case of Fuji cameras, the standard profile is “Provia” and this is what I set as the base level. However, again, you can get interesting results by using one of the other ones. For example, Velvia will give a vivid like effect, and Astia will have a similar effect as using “Portrait” or “Neutral” from the previous paragraph. If your camera supports it, Classic Chrome can have a very interesting effect. It seems to work particularly well with some of the presets in QuickLux 2 and FilmLux.

If you’re a Sony shooter, your camera also includes profiles that aren’t typical of the average DSLR. In particular “Clear” is an interesting profile. Using this has a similar effect to adding clarity to an image. It adds quite a lot of punch to an image, an can work well in conjunction with some of my more creative presets, such as FilmCandy or Coffee Tones.

Changing the colour profile

Changing the colour profile in Lightroom is pretty straightforward, and you probably already know how to do it. If you don’t, here’s a quick step by step guide.

  1. Go to the Develop module if you’re not already there.
  2. Scroll down to the Camera Calibration panel.
  3. Click on the Profile pop-up menu to select an alternative profile.

That’s it. If you want to change a few images at once, you can select multiple images and turn on the auto sync option that appears at the bottom of the adjustments list in the develop module, or alternatively you can just copy and paste the settings.

Here’s a short video showing this technique in action:

For more information on my presets, see the Lightroom Presets section of my Digital Download Store.

Posted on

Sony A6000 Post Processing Guide for Lightroom Now Available

I’m very pleased to announce, that after a very long time in production, my newest guide is now available. this e-book guide is called “Processing Sony A6000 Raw files in Lightroom: A Workflow and settings guide”. While that’s probably a bit of a mouthful, it pretty much sums up what this new guide is about. In the same way that I have previously written guides for Fuji X-Series shooters, this guide is designed specifically for Sony A6000 shooters who want to get the best from their camera when processing their images in Lightroom.

While working with Sony RAW files in Lightroom may seem like a fairly straightforward process, there are lots of things that you can do to optimise your workflow. This guide will look at all these things, and give you the knowledge you need to get the best from your Sony RAW files, no matter what the situation.

This guide also includes a set of develop module presets for Lightroom. These cover some of the subjects and settings that are covered in the guide.

What’s it all about then?

The guide is 58 pages long and here’s a breakdown of what topics are covered in the guide, by chapter:

Chapter 1: RAW vs JPEG vs RAW + JPEG

The A6000 will let you shoot in three different formats. You can choose to shoot just JPEGs, just RAW files, or RAW and JPEG. In this chapter I discuss the merits of shooting RAW + JPEG and I discuss workflows for managing both in Lightroom. I also briefly discuss Sony’s compressed raw format and some of the controversy surrounding it

Chapter 2: Setting Basic Settings and Creating an Import Preset

If you’re shooting RAW files with the A6000, you may be disappointed when you first import them into Lightroom, especially if you’ve been looking at the JPEG output on your camera. The reason for this is that JPEG files have the contrast, colour settings and so on baked into the file.

There are ways to minimise this discrepancy, and that’s what this chapter is about. By creating a basic setup that sets a “base level” for your RAW files, it will save you a lot of work in the future and it will also mean that your images look better out of the camera when you first import them into Lightroom. With a few tweaks, you should see a big difference.

In this section I’m going to show you what to change to create a default setup, and how to save those changes as a preset to apply to imports in the future. I’m also going to show you the settings I use and recommend, which are included with this guide as a preset that you can try for yourself.

Chapter 3: Fixing Common Problems

In this chapter I look at how to address a number of issues that commonly crop up when processing RAW files from the Sony A6000. While many of these topics are common to all cameras, this chapter will approach the subject with a focus on how they affect images taken with the A6000 specifically.

Chapter 3 looks at the following issues that can occur with your images and ways to approach dealing with those problems:

• Correcting white balance and how white balance affects images.

• Tinting shadows and highlights.

• Fixing colour fringing.

• Manually setting distortion options.

• Fixing banding.

• Fixing shadow noise with photoshop.

Chapter 4: Creative Adjustments

In this chapter we look at some of the ways that you can creatively adjust your images in Lightroom. While this could be a book all of its own, we focus on some of the adjustments that you can make to match the in-camera options. In particular we look at creating black and white images, matching the adjustments available for the picture controls, and expanding the dynamic range, similar to the camera’s DRO settings. We also discuss shooting and processing HDR Images.

Processing Sony A6000 Raw files in Lightroom: A Workflow and settings guide is available now for just €5 and for the first two weeks it will be at a special launch price of just €4. The guide is in PDF format and also contains some presets.

For more details see the full product description here in the digital download store. You can also download a sample PDF of the first chapter.

[edgtf_button size=”medium” type=”outline” text=”Buy Now” custom_class=”” icon_pack=”font_awesome” fa_icon=”” link=”https://store.thomasfitzgeraldphotography.com/product/processing-sony-a6000-raw-files-in-lightroom/” target=”_self” color=”” hover_color=”” background_color=”” hover_background_color=”” border_color=”” hover_border_color=”” font_size=”” font_weight=”” margin=””]