07 Em­u­late film in Light­room

Use pre­sets to give your images in­stant im­pact with one click

Digital Camera World - - 10 THINGS ... TO TRY RIGHT NOW -

As any wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher will tell you, get­ting the ‘film’ look in por­traits is all the rage at the mo­ment – but it’s not just about wed­ding images. We’ve en­tered a post-In­sta­gram age, where adding a retro look to an im­age is no longer enough. There’s now a big de­mand for so­phis­ti­cated Light­room pre­sets and Pho­to­shop Ac­tions that em­u­late the look of clas­sic film and scan­ners.

It’s not hard to un­der­stand why. Un­til dig­i­tal came along, some truly won­der­ful film stock was be­ing made. One thinks of Ko­dachrome, loved by Steve McCurry, or Velvia, a big hit with land­scape pho­tog­ra­phers. With pre­sets, you can have the best of both worlds: the po­ten­tially rich tones of film and the con­ve­nience of dig­i­tal.

Light­room pre­sets are par­tic­u­larly easy to use. All you need to do is drop them into the De­velop Pre­sets folder, then restart Light­room. You then get a quick one-click fix that can sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce your im­age-pro­cess­ing time and help to keep your stylis­tic images con­sis­tent. As well as com­mer­cially sold pre­sets, you can get some good free ones at and

We’ve also got 12 pre­sets on this month’s disc.

Get started to­day

* Good com­mer­cial pre­sets to try in­clude those made by vsco.com, mastin­labs.com and get­to­tal­lyrad.com. Kirk Mastin’s Por­tra pre­sets are par­tic­u­larly good for por­traits, be­cause they give ac­cu­rate-look­ing skin tones. * Pre­sets are great for giv­ing your work a con­sis­tently at­trac­tive look, but they aren’t a panacea for poor cam­era tech­nique or un­der-ex­po­sure. They work best with a well-ex­posed shot taken in ap­pro­pri­ate light. * Pre­sets are only a start­ing point. Of­ten you’ll need to make fur­ther ad­just­ments to key pa­ram­e­ters such as white bal­ance and noise.


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