For the month of November and December, I’m having a sale on my Lightroom Preset Bundles. These include the Monochrome Collection, and the three other Lightroom Preset bundles that I do. For the next two months, these will be available from the store for half price.
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.
Go to the Develop module if you’re not already there.
Scroll down to the Camera Calibration panel.
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.
I wanted to demonstrate some examples of my recently announced Film Lux Lightroom presets in action on an actual project, so a recent trip into my archive provided a nice opportunity. I was going through some old images, and I was re-processing some that I wasn’t happy with originally.
This particular set is from a trip I trip I took to Washington DC a few years ago, and in particular to the beautiful suburb of Georgetown. It was late in the evening and it was a particularly beautiful sunny day. For the full story behind these images, see this post on my Photo Journal blog.
These photos are all processed using FilmLUX for Lightroom, and they are mostly using either the slide presets or the negative presets. I did some further tweaking using the additional grain presets supplied. Click on the image to view larger.
If you regularly use any of my (or any other supplier’s) Lightroom preset packs, then you may often find that you have some preferred presets that you use all the time. You may also find that you have a favourite that you use, but regularly make the same changes after you’ve applied it. If this is the case then you can always save a custom version of the preset.
I’ve actually covered this in most of the Read-me files that come with my own Lightroom presets, but I thought I would go into it in a bit more detail.
There are a few ways you can go about creating custom version of the presets. You can either turn off certain adjustments, or you can make tweaks to the individual settings and save those.
Turning off individual adjustments in a Lightroom Preset
Say for example you’re using one of my Coffee Tones presets, but every time you use it, you find yourself turning off the vignette effect. To make this more convenient, you can create a custom version. To do this you need to simply save a new version with the vignette turned off.
Before we look at the procedure for customising the preset to turn off the vignette, let’s look at some important points about saving presets in general.
When you save a preset in Lightroom, you will get a window with a list of individual adjustments, and checkboxes beside them. When you check one of these boxes, then the current settings for that adjustment are saved as part of the preset. Even if you haven’t actually adjusted anything, that setting will be saved. For example, if you have clarity set at zero, and you save it as part of a preset, it will be saved set at zero. that means if you then apply that to an image to which you’ve already adjusted the clarity setting, then applying the preset with the zero clarity, will overwrite the current setting. This is why it’s important to only turn on the things you want to save.
The adjustments that I use for my presets vary form preset to preset. However, I generally avoid using the following adjustments when making presets as these are generally part of my setup presets:
Exposure (see note)
White Balance (see note)
I try to avoid using exposure and white balance where possible, but some of my presets do have an exposure or white balance adjustment baked in. In particular Monolith uses exposure adjustments as part of the look, and Coffee Tones uses a white balance adjustment. I try to avoid using exposure as part of the design of a Lightroom preset as it’s something that you’re most likely to want to adjust from image to image, and the same goes for white balance, but sometimes they’re an essential part of the look. You will see when you apply a preset if the individual slider is changed or not, if that setting has been saved.
Ok, with that information in mind, back to the example. Here’s what to do to save a custom preset with the Vignette turned off:
Apply the preset you want to modify. Make sure it’s on an image that you haven’t already adjusted.
Click the + Button on top of the Lightroom presets panel in the develop module.
When the window opens, check the settings you want to save as part of the preset, and turn off the settings that you don’t want. In this example, turn off vignette.
At the top of the window, give your preset a name. For example you could call it the name of the preset your customising, with the word custom added.
Select the folder you want to save the preset into.
This will save the preset as a customised version.
Changing the Settings in a Lightroom Preset
The other possibility is if you want to save a custom version with an individual or multiple adjustments changed. In this case the process is much the same:
Apply your preset
Make whatever adjustments you want
Save your preset using the instructions above.
Combining Lightroom Presets
Another possibility for which you might want to make a custom preset is if you want to combine presets. For example, if you are always applying the same setup preset and the same look, then you can combine these and save it as a custom preset. Alternatively, if you’re shooting with a Fuji X Series camera and you use my sharpening presets, then you may want to combine a look preset (from one of my preset packs, or from another preset maker) with one of the sharpening presets. In all these cases the procedure is the same.
Apply the first preset. For example one of the Setup Presets.
Apply the second preset.
Save the preset using the procedure above.
If you’re combining one of my Fuji sharpening presets with a look preset, then you should apply the look preset first, and the sharpening preset second.
One important thing to remember, is if you’re creating custom presets, is to respect the copyright of the original creator. This is regardless as to whether you’re customising one of my presets or some one else’s. You shouldn’t post the custom versions to the web or other file sharing or other output. They’re fine for personal use of course!
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.
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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