I often take simple shots that I use for embellishing blog posts, either here or on other sites. They’re usually nothing fancy and usually something that I just do quickly because I’m writing in a hurry. One of the things I’ll often do is give them a treatment of some kind to give them a stylised look which makes them more interesting. This is how my Film Candy presets sort of came about, and I’ve been using them in this context recently, so I thought I’d give you a quick example.
I just got this cool little character in the post (I love Danboard, by the way), and I was taking some shots to use on Flickr and to send to some people. I used my Fuji X-E1 with the 35mm lens, mostly at f1.4, which gave some nice bokeh. Once I got them into Lightroom, I was playing around with different looks, and I used the “Gelato” preset from my Film Candy 2 set on all of them. This gave the shots a nice, almost vintage effect, which was perfect for what I was trying to achieve.
I know some people don’t like filters and effects, and I’m not saying that applying a look will fix a bad shot, but sometimes a little creative grading takes an ordinary scene and gives it a little something to let it stand out and look a little different.
As you are probably aware by now, Adobe has released the next major new version of Lightroom. Called Lightroom CC (Or Lightroom 6 for the standalone non subscription version) it features many new features and changes. I’m pleased to report though, that there are no compatibility issues with any of my presets, and all should work perfectly out of the (virtual) box.
I’ve covered the launch of the new version of Lightroom on my Photography Blog, and on the Lightroom Diary, and I’ve also posted my first impressions of the software. If you have any questions regarding Lightroom CC and any of my presets, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
I’m delighted to announce that the newest set of presets is now on sale. Film Candy 2 has been a labour of love for the past year, and I’m really happy to finally make it available.
Like the first pack, Film Candy 2 is a set of Lightroom presets designed to give your digital images a look as if they had been shot on old or creatively processed film. Rather than try to emulate specific stocks or processes, Film Candy 2 is an artistic impression of various looks, which I have created over the past year, all by hand. The effects cover a range of traditional styles normally associated with shooting film as well as original interpretations of vintage film looks. The presets cover styles from faded tinted effects, to presets with a more film like contrast, and even some creative desaturated looks.
The Film Candy 2 comes in three main parts. The fist is a set of “set-up” presets, designed to set your images to the correct profile based on your camera, and also to set some common settings such as turning on chromatic aberration reduction and automatic lens correction. The second is the main Film Candy 2 presets themselves. This consists of 40 presets for creating the various effects and styles of film candy. Finally the third part is another folder of presets called “Grad Grain and Vignette”. This contains a number of presets designed to add various grain effects, graduated filters and vignettes.
Ever since I’ve started releasing presets for Lightroom, I’ve been getting requests for Photoshop ACR versions. I’ve been promising people for a long time that I would release Camera Raw compatible presets, and so I’m delighted to announce that my first sets are now available! The first two sets that I’ve ported to ACR are my two most popular: Monolith and Steely Blue. Depending on the demand, I’ll look at porting the rest of the sets in the coming weeks.
The ACR versions work with Adobe’s camera raw plug in for Photoshop. They do work best when used with raw files, but they will work with Jpeg and Tiffs too. One of the other advantages of having the presets available in ACR is that they can be used on Photoshop Layers using the “Edit with Camera Raw” function in Photoshop CC.
Because Lightroom and ACR share the same architecture, the presets give the same look across platforms. There are a few differences between the Lightroom and the ACR versions however. The Camera Raw versions do not include any of the Grad tools or the Radial Vignettes (created using the radial tool) that are in the Lightroom versions. The reason for this is because that, while the Adobe Camera Raw tool has both the linear and radial gradient tool included, you cannot save them as part of a preset. There are separate presets for these tools, but to include those specialist presets would make instillation very difficult and significantly decrease the usability of the presets.
Also, the ACR version of Monolith does not include the separate “Thomas Tools” presets that are included in the Lightroom Versions. Because many of the tools are based on the gradient filter, it would have been messy to try and implement in Camera Raw. Monolith for ACR is less expensive to reflect this.
The system requirements for both versions state that the minimum requirement is Photoshop CC. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, some of the Setup Presets in steely blue use camera profiles that were only added recently. Secondly, because I’m only a small one man operation, I don’t have the resources to support multiple legacy versions of software, so I can only maintain the current release (and the previous one if you count CC2014). Technically the presets should work with CS6 as well, but I can’t support that, and so I have to set the requirements at CC.
I’m very excited to announce a new product. I’ve been planning and working on this for a long time, and so I’m delighted that it’s finally ready for release. It’s called “Texture Box One” and, to put it simply it’s a huge pack of textures for dirtying up and ageing your images in Photoshop.
For the longest time I’ve been fascinated by textures. As a long time designer (in my other career) I have always used textures as design elements, as a way of makings something look more natural, and adding a layer of life to an image. Over the years I’ve collected numerous textures and used them extensively in design and animation as well as various photographic projects. But using the textures that I’ve found online and in stock libraries didn’t cut it so I started creating my own library. I shot hundreds of images of grungy materials, such as concrete and stone, dirt and metal, and then I used my own process in photoshop to extract the necessary patterns into specific texture maps that can be easily added to a composition as layers in Photoshop, or any image editing software.
The Pack contains nearly 800mb of files consisting of 400 high resolution grunge textures designed to add dirt, grit scratches and dust to add to an image to create a distressed or artistically aged look. These textures can be used in Photoshop as a way to treat a photograph, or as part of a design project, to weather and age a design.
As it’s my favourite time of the year for Photography, to celebrate Autumn, I’m knocking a third off the price of some of my Lightroom Presets for the month of September. Film Candy, Quick Lux and Monolith are all reduced by a third for the month. The normal price for these was €15 but for the month of september you can get them for €10 each.
Film Candy was my first set of Lightroom presets and is designed to mimic the look of old and expired films and faded prints. You can find more information about it on the product page.
Quick Lux is a set of presets designed to give your images a film like look, but rather than being based on existing films, is my artistic interpretation of the “film look”.
The first 6 of my Lightroom Preset packs are now available for sale in a digital bundle. I noticed that some people were buying all the presets at once and I wanted to make it a bit easier so I created a bundle. I also wanted to be able to give a discount if you buy all 6 at once, so I took the opportunity of the Steely Blue launch to introduce a bundle as well.
The normal price to buy the presets separately would be €75 – So you save €5 by getting the bundle. In addition there is a special launch discount, so for the next two weeks (until September 1st 2014) it is on sale at just €65 (which means you’re effectively getting one of the cheaper €10 presets for free) The bundle contains the following 6 sets of the Lightroom Presets:
The Bundle contains the same exact preset files that you would get if you downloaded the presets individually, and so contains 6 individual zip files containing each of the preset packs and their respective documentation. For full details see the product page for the bundle.
I’m delighted to announce that my latest set of Lightroom Presets, “Steely Blue” for Lightroom is now available. “Steely Blue” is a set of presets for Lightroom designed to bring out detail and enhance the colours in an image without creating a style that looks too much like a special effect. The look also enhances the dynamic range of the picture to which it is applied, by compressing the highlights and enhancing shadow detail.
There’s a long story behind Steely Blue, and it’s unusual name. I originally created the core look of this preset ages ago. In fact it was one of my first Lightroom presets that I created for myself. I’ve used this look extensively in my own work. The style actually came about by accident. I was working on a way to make images from my Nikon cameras have the traditional “Canon” colours (heresy, I know!) It was more to see if it could be done than anything. Anyway, the result ended up being something rather unique, and I really liked it. I found that on a lot of the initial images that I was using it, it gave them the cool steely look that was made popular in some science fiction movies (in particular those of James Cameron) and so I decided to call it steely blue.
It sat in my library of personal presets for ages, and I even made an Aperture version of it at one point and sold it on the Aperture blog. When I started doing Lightroom presets, I knew that I wanted to make Steely Blue into a proper product, and so, I saved it till last, as it is the one I use myself the most often, and the one that I’m really close to.
I’m delighted to announce the launch of my latest set of Lightroom presets, “Landscape Gold for Lightroom”. Landscape Gold is designed to give your images a golden hue. It creates a look which aims to mimic the effect of bright golden sunshine that is often seen in warmer climates early in the morning or late in the afternoon. While it is primarily designed for landscapes it works well with other types of image too.
There are four main versions of Landscape Gold. The names are based on popular “Carats” of Gold, and each version has a different level of tinting, so that some add a hint of gold, while the stronger ones tint your image significantly in a golden colour. Each “carat” or version has a number of “strengths”. There are three strengths of each version, “lite”, “medium” and “strong” and each of these has two versions, one with a vignette and one without a vignette. A number of modifiers are also included so that you can easily tweak settings such as vignettes and grain with a single click. There are also a number of pre-built grad effects included also.
Landscape Gold is another one of my presets that originally started life on Aperture. Because of the differences between each application, the Lightroom version of Landscape Gold is not exactly the same as the Aperture version, but is an inspiration based on it. The original Aperture version was designed around a single look, and the Lightroom version is a much broader set.
Here are some examples of Landscape Gold for Lightroom in action:
I’m delighted to announce that my latest set of develop module presets for Lightroom, “Vivid Extreme” is now available. Vivid Extreme was one of the first set of presets that I had originally made and put on sale for Aperture and I’ve finally brought out a Lightroom version. The idea behind Vivid Extreme is simple. Take the idea of the typical “Vivid” settings in most cameras and push it to the Extreme. I wanted to create a look that wasn’t so much a throwback to the days of film, but instead embraced modern digital imaging. I also wanted to emulate the “high saturation” look that is popular among some artists.
Vivid Extreme comes with a variety of different looks. They were named after the types of images that I was optimising them for when I was developing them, although they will all work reasonably well on different types of images, so the names are more like code-names! The looks also vary in strength for creating degrees of vividness! In some ways, with this set, I was trying to achieve with colour what monolith did for black and white. The pack also includes a set of “Setup” presets designed to set a few things up depending on your camera manufacturer and help speed up your workflow. I’ve also included a set of modifiers, vignettes and a few graduated filters to help bring out punchy skies.
Vivid Extreme is a more focussed and smaller pack than my previous ones, and it doesn’t include the elaborate “Thomas’s Toolbox” so it’s cheaper. It will be €10 but I’m having a special launch sale, so you you can get it for the next two weeks for €8.
After some very long hours in front of the computer, I’m happy to announce that Monolith for Lightroom is now available. Monolith is the latest of my Preset Packs to be ported from its previous Aperture incarnation over to Lightroom. As the name might imply, Monolith is a set of presets for creating black and white images in Lightroom. Monolith includes 14 Main looks, each with 4 variations, along with 3 Special effect presets and 22 Tool Presets which work as modifiers to the main presets. The Black and White looks vary from High Contrast looks to faded black and white looks to very low contrast faded looks. Some of the presets include gradients as part of the presets to darken skies, and are designed with Landscapes in mind. Monolith 12 is designed to emphasise flesh tones by making them whiter and to stand out against other colours which will be darker. I’m actually really proud of how it came out. There’s also 3 special effect presets for that “leave colour” effect, so for example, to make everything monochrome but the reds.
Despite what some bloggers out there would have you believe, creating presets for sale is not as straightforward as just changing a few sliders. You have to make sure that they’ll work with a wide variety of images and that each one doesn’t contain any un-necessary adjustments. I’ve put hours of testing and tweaking into Monolith for Lightroom and writing the documentation and getting before and after demos and videos alone took nearly 24 hours of work. The result though was worth it. If nothing else I have a great set of Black and White presets for myself! Anyway, rather than waffle on, here’s a selection of images processed with Monolith. It’s available now on the Store. The normal price will be €15 but as it’s a bank holiday weekend here in Ireland there’ll be a special launch price of €10 until Mat 12th.
I’ve also created a demo video to show before and after examples:
After over a year of going back and forth trying to port my Film Candy presets to Lightroom, I’m delighted to say that they’re finally available. Film candy for Lightroom is a set of Develop Module that I designed to create a stylised image based on the look of expired and instant film. It was originally inspired by the popularity of plastic cameras that became popular and the smart phone apps that followed. Unlike some other presents however, film candy is not designed to try and emulate old and used film, or even the smartphone filters that have become popular. Instead, Film candy is an artistic interpretation of those effects. Rather than try to emulate film, it is instead “inspired” by various film looks.
Film Candy for Lightroom also includes my own personal “Toolbox”. This is a collection of presets that I’ve accumulated over the years that allow me to make quick common adjustments with a single click. So, for example, I have three different vignette settings that can be applied quickly, as well as a selection of Gradients for things like darkening skies, or brightening the bottom of the frame. I use these tools every day in my Lightroom work and so I think they’re a great set of utilities to have.
Film Candy was originally developed for Aperture, and there have been three versions. I’ve been getting requests for some time to port them to Lightroom, and it turned out to be more difficult than I first thought, however I think the result was worth the wait. The original Aperture versions were small preset packs containing a few presets each. Film Candy for Lightroom combines styles from all three of the original Aperture versions, and creates similar looks for Lightroom. Unfortunately though, because of the differences in both applications, it’s not possible to get the looks exact, and so they are instead based on the same ideas rather than exact duplicates. The Lightroom version also contains the ToolBox that isn’t in the Aperture Version. Incidentally, I’m also working on porting Quick Lux and Monolith to Lightroom too.
By the way, If you’re wondering what the name is all about, it started as kind of a joke, It was the idea of candy you get when you go to the movies. As development progressed I started using various types of sweets (as we call candy here in Europe!) as codenamed for the various presets I was working on, and the idea stuck. Thus “Film Candy” was born.
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