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Important Store Updates

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In order to help create an even better experience on the store, I’ve made some behind the scenes changes to improve the functions on the store. The biggest of which is that I’ve added a second payment processor. I’ve had many requests for this, and so you can now make payments directly by credit card using via Stripe, rather than PayPal.

Stripe Payments

I’ve had a number requests from people who do not like or want to use PayPal to add an alternate payment processor to the store. To that end, the store will now accept payments directly by credit card via Stripe. Stripe is a reputable payment processor, and is the chosen provider for SquareSpace commerce and a number of other premium services.

You can pay by credit card directly in the checkout using the Strip payment option. Note that we still do not store credit cards on the site, and all payment processing is handled on Stripes servers.

For more information on Stripe see their website.

Additional Security

I’ve always taken security seriously on the store. Your payment information has never been stored on our server and we’ve always taken steps to ensure that our back end is kept up to date and has additional security software in place to protect the data on the server.

Now that I’m adding a second payment processor, I’ve also added additional security throughout the store. The entire store is now securely accessed through https, not just the checkout phase. While the credit card entry for the stripe checkout is integrated directly into our checkout page, as mentioned above, we still do not store or handle your credit card information. It will be handled by Stipe’s secure servers, and we never have access to that information.

If you have any questions see the FAQ page for more details.

More to Come

I’m committed to improving the experience even further. In the future I have plans to improve the design, making it easier to use. I also plan to offer additional member benefits for existing customers. I’m also going to offer more tutorials for previous customers, such as how to get the best from our presets and more.

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Introducing MonoLux for Lightroom

MonoLux for Lightroom - Virtual Box

MonoLux for Lightroom - Virtual Box

I had stated when I launched Coffee Tones for Lightroom last month, that it was my intent to launch a new set of Lightroom presets every month this year. Well, it was getting close, but it looks like I made it with a few days to spare! I’m happy to announce today, that my newest set, MonoLux for Lightroom is now available.

MonoLux is my second set of black and white presets for Lightroom. The set was designed with the aim of creating a rich but natural black and white filmic feel. Within the pack are 10 variations with some extra special effects presets. This set also comes with separate Grad, Grain and Vignette presets, as well as set-up presets to help speed up you’re workflow.

MonoLux makes use of Lightroom’s dehaze function to add depth to images, and so requires Lightroom CC 2015.1 or higher, or Lightroom 6.1 or higher. In fact, dehaze was integral to the look of the presets, and I think the way that I’ve used it creates an interesting black and white effect. Because the dehaze slider is only in the creative cloud version of Lightroom, I’ve included some presets which will let you adjust the de-haze amount without using the he slider.

[MonoLux is available now for just €5](because the De-haze slider is only in the creative cloud version of Lightroom, I’ve included some presets which will let you adjust the de-haze amount without using the he slider. ) and requires Lightroom 6.1 or CC2015.1 or higher.

In some other store related news, and in the theme of black and white, I’ve put Monolith, my first set of black and white presets, on sale too, with the price reduced to €8 from €15. Many of my other presets are on sale too, with up to 40% off in some cases. Finally, I’m discontinuing my ACR presets, as there simply wasn’t enough demand. For the few people who bought them, you can still get support and re-download them through your accounts, but they are no longer available for sale.

In the mean time, here are some more examples of MonoLux in action. For full details and more samples, stop by the store and check out the product pages for MonoLux.

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Introducing Coffee Tones for Lightroom

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I’m happy to announce that my first new set of Lightroom Presets for 2016 is now available. Called “Coffee Tones” the set is, as the name suggests, inspired by the look of coffee. It has a number of looks in both colour and black and white. All have some variation of warm earthy coffee coloured tones.

Coffee Tones is the first of a new set of smaller “mini packs” that I’m planning on releasing this year. Smaller than some of my other presets, it will be available for a very reasonable price of just €5. There are 10 main looks and a few of these come with some variations too. As always, there is extensive documentation included, and you can download the readme file before you buy to see what’s involved if you would like.

Requirements

Unlike my other sets, Coffee Tones requires Lightroom CC 2015.1 or Lightroom 6.1 or higher. The presets make use of Lightroom’s new Dehaze function to add contrast and warmth and so require the newer versions of Lightroom which support dehaze. The best version is the latest version of Lightroom CC as it includes full dehze controls, however, the dehaze function is supported in Lightroom 6.1, but you just don’t get any controls for it.

I know that it’s kind of a pain the way Adobe implemented this with two different versions of Lightroom, but using dehaze is an integral part of these looks, and it is important to the effect. Please make sure you have the correct version of Lightroom before buying Coffee Tones.

Samples

Here are some examples of Coffee Tones in Action. For more samples see the Product Page.

Coffee Tones for Lightroom Available Now!

Coffee Tones for Lightroom is available now for €5. See the product page for more information or to buy the presets.

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Christmas & New Years Sale

Christmas Sale

Christmas Sale

To celebrate Christmas and the end of the year I’m having a Christmas and New Years sale on all Lightroom presets, Photoshop ACR presets and Texture Box One in the digital download store. Im giving 30% off everything except the e-book guides. To take advantage of the sale just use the discount code at the checkout. The code is

MERRYXMAS2015

This will give you 30% off everything in your cart except any of my e-book guides. The sale will run till the 1st January and you can use the code as often as you want in that time period!

In addition, over the next two weeks, I’ll be offering spot discounts on various different products. There will be a different product on sale every few days. These will be marked down on the store so check back to see which products are on sale that day! You can still use the discount code with these sale products too!

Enjoy, and for those who celebrate it, Happy Christmas.

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Black Friday Sale: 50% 0ff All Presets and Texture Box One

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I’m delighted to announce that I’m having my first ever Black Friday sale. From now until Monday (Nov30th) you can get 50% off all my presets from the download store. You don’t need any coupons or codes, just head to the store and the sale price is already there!

This includes all my Lightroom Presets, and my ACR Presets. I’ve even knocked 50% off Texture Box One for the sale too.

To check out my Lightroom presets and take advantage of the sale stop by the store now and have a look around!

 

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My Guide for Processing Fuji X-Trans files in Lightroom Now Available

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As many of my long time readers and followers will know, I’ve posted lots of articles and blog posts on this site over the years about processing Fuji X-Trans files. Over the last few years, I’ve covered lots of different aspects, and I have quite a bit of information on here. I’ve been working to collate all those separate blog posts into a single guide (well, a guide for each application) and I’ve previously posted my guide for working with Capture One. Since that time I’ve been hard at work on the guide for Lightroom, and I’m delighted to say that it’s finally finished and available on the store!

In the past I’ve talked extensively about some of the issues with Lightroom’s rendering of Fuji Files. I know some people have an issue with having an issue with it, but I’ve tried to discuss it as fairly and as inoffensively as possible, while still acknowledging hat there is a problem there, and depending on your type of photography this may or may not be an issue for you. I talk about ways to minimise the detail issue in the guide.

I’ve actually put this project off in the past numerous times because of my hope that Adobe would improve the processing, and it has improved over the years. At least now they have acknowledged the detail rendering issue and are working on a fix. I’ve decided to go ahead with the guide anyway, because I think it will be useful to people in the mean time, and I’ll update it (for free) when the improved processing is eventually released.

I cover more than just the fine detail rendering and sharpening though. Here’s a quick breakdown of what else is in it:

  1. What Makes the X-Trans Sensor Unique: I discuss how the Fuji sensor is different from other camera sensors, and I talk about how this affects post processing
  2. Managing RAW + JPEG files: As many Fuji shooters like to shoot JPEG as well as RAW I discuss strategies and tips for managing both as well as how to set up Lightroom to bring in RAW + JPEG pairs.
  3. Matching the Film Simulation modes. I show you how to match the in-camera Film simulation modes with camera profiles in Lightroom, and how to create presets to use on import
  4. Matching the Dynamic Range settings: I show you how to match Fuji’s Dynamic Range settings, and I discuss how the in-camera ones work and what that means when working with RAW files.
  5. Sharpening: I discuss sharpening in detail. I cover techniques for sharpening X-Trans files. These are the same techniques that I use in my X-Trans sharpening presets (which I’ve included with the guide for convenience). I also talk briefly about outputting for the web, and how sharpening can affect that.

The guide is 30 pages long and I’ve included a whole bunch of presets with it too. Again, these are ones that have been on my site, but are in lots of different places. I’ve put them all together into a single download to make things easier.

The guide is available now for just €4 It’s a little more expensive than the Capture One guide as it’s quite a bit longer. I’ve also decided not to do a free online version this time, but instead publish a series of excerpts.

(I’ve previously published an excerpt already, from a work in progress version of the section on matching Dynamic Range settings. You can see it here. Note that this is an earlier draft)

The reason for this is twofold. I wrote it in a certain way, and converting it into a web version is just too much work at this time. I’ve already put a lot into it, and I’m kind of exhausted from it. I have put up an excerpt though as a watermarked PDF of the first 13 pages, (the link is in the description section) and I have posted thumbnails of the whole document. I will post more excerpts on the blog in the future too.

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Bleached Bronze for Lightroom now Available

BleachedBronzeBox

I’m delighted to announce that Bleached Bronze for Lightroom is now available. Bleached Bronze was one of the very first presets that I made when I first started selling presets for Aperture . Since I stopped selling presets for Aperture, I kept getting requests for a Lightroom version of Bleached bronze. Well, it’s finally here!

Bleached bronze for Lightroom is a set of artistic effect presets for Lightroom, designed to give your images a bronze effect. The idea is to give your images a warm, earthy toned metallic look, while still retaining some colour for a creative, cinematic style.

Incidentally, I had mentioned earlier that it would only be available for Lightroom CC or 6.1, but I re-worked it since then and it should work fine with any version from 5.2 or later

Because it’s a little smaller than some of my other Lightroom sets, it will normally sell for €10 but for the first two weeks it’s only €8. Here are a few examples of Bleached Bronze in use:

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You can see more examples of Bleached Bronze in use over on its product page.

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Using Film Candy 2 to make Boring Shots Arty

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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.

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Gelato is part of my Film Candy 2 set of presets which is available here on the Download store.

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Preset Compatibility with Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6

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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.

For ongoing coverage of Lightroom don’t forget to check out my Photography blog, and my Lightroom blog, the Lightroom Diary

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Film Candy 2 for Lightroom now Available

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.

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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.

Film Candy 2 is available now for €20. You can see the full details of the preset pack on the product page, including a full list of the included presets and lots of examples of Film Candy 2 in use.

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Steely Blue and Monolith now available for ACR

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.

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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.

ACR-Interface-SB

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.

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Both presets are available now in the Photoshop section of the store.

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Introducing Texture Box One

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.

Molly

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.

Texture Box One is available now on the Download store. The price will be €30 For more details, and to download a sample pack with a selection of full resolution images from Texture Box One, see the full product page on the store.