I was lucky enough to receive a new set of Lightroom presets to try out and share my opinion of them on my blog. So read on for some photos and a discussion on using presets.. and using these presets.
To preset or not to preset? That is the question.
In the beginning of my digital editing I thought using presets was a kind of cheating. As time went on I wanted a better starting point because I was spending a lot of time on one image. I had bought a small handful of presets and was using them but they were too dramatic I continued my search and also made a few of my own. Right now I am looking for a more film look from my digital photos.
I don't typically bulk process my photos. Every different photo requires a different edit to me. Even photos of a similar subject I like to have it a bit different. Another mental joust I had with myself is if I am using film-like presets, won't my photos look like everyone else's photos that use film-like presets? Well.. maybe.. but that is how it was when people actually used film. What makes photos different are technique, composition, content, light.. a whole list of things. The processing only adds to the look you're creating.
Included in Pro Set II there are 80 presets for Adobe Lightroom. Organized into several groups.. Black & White, Color Effect, Earthy, Neutral & Pastel. All presets come with a few different versions that slightly change the tone or contrast or something along those lines. What I like about these is once I click I can still change everything I want in the develop module. Also, these presets are for RAW files.. not JPEG. Which was no issue for me because I only shoot in RAW.
Definitely my favourite presets in this set are the Black & White ones. They are fantastic. I have a real problem with editing my photos in B&W because the result is never the way I intended. It always turns out too contrasty, not contrasty enough.. too faded.. washed out. These presets bring me really, really close to the look I want. In the photo below the top photol has only had white balance and a little bit of exposure done to it in Lightroom.. then the bottom is the result of the preset with no additional tweaking.
I love how the B&W brings out the highlights in Elle Cee's hair. The tone of the face, her eyes, the clouds in the foreground.. all brought out by the B&W edit.
The next photo is treated with a Neutral preset. Again, I did exposure & white balance edits and then applied the preset. No tweaking was done after using the preset.
For me this preset, Silverfox II, has a really nice film quality about it. It adds a lot of depth to the image and is usually exactly what I am looking for.
Below you can see the original photo is a little flat out of the camera. Not terrible but lacks a visual element.
The preset, Russet I, is from the Earthy category and you can tell where that category received its name from. These unchanged application of the presets are to show you where the image is taken with one click. Take those and add the little changes you would do to make the photos your own and you are in business. And you won't have to be sitting at the computer for hours on end.
Here are a few more samples that were edited using Rebecca Lily's Pro Set II.
This is a great set of presets for Lightroom. I would recommend them for the B&W presets alone. I love them and they will be my go to for all B&W conversions. The colour presets give a very nice film look to them without over doing it. As well, with the presets you get 36 tools to work tint, grain, exposure, sharpening and that kind of stuff. All in all it is a real time saver for photographers to realize their vision.
If these presets look like something you would be interested in they will be available very soon now at http://www.rebeccalily.com.
*I am not affiliated with Rebecca Lily or her products. I was merely asked to give them a try and write about my honest thoughts. I do not receive any compensation if you buy the presets or click on the link.