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Lightroom Presets.....

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Freelancer:
there are millions of lightroom presets to download. some comercial, some free.

i must say im not a big fan of these presets and here is why.

for a while i downloaded and installed every preset i could get my hands on.

but my images must be bad .... because when used on my own photos the gorgeous looking presets looked like crap (90% of the time).

you may say... well you need to tweak them.
but when i have to tweak them a lot anyway, why do i need presets?
to get a starting point...? well i noticed i am as fast when i start from scratch.

i even bought a preset that (should) give a beautiful "girl in a cornfield look".
you know that look (blond girl, white cloth, backlight, reflector, some flare... the typical ingredients).

the original image was shown and then a edited image... looked great.

i have a few images that should(!) work great with this preset (blond girl, white cloth, backlight, reflector, some flare etc.) ... well it did not come close to result that was presented.

after i asked the maker of the preset she told me "well yes the final image was further edited in photoshop too".

yeah well so much about the LR preset... after some discussion i got my 3$ back.

i have a lot of matt kloskowski presets.
i never use them as i donĀ“t like the results on my images.

i would like to know what your experience is with LR presets and if you find them usefull.
i think every image needs his own treatment and presets are no big help.

Drizzt321:
Personally I haven't used really any of the downloadable ones, free or otherwise. I've used the Adobe ones here and there, and created a few of my own primarily for things like ensuring the process version, adding in the lens auto-correct, general vignette and noise reduction settings for different situations. Nothing too fancy, but the kind of things presets are made for.

fr8oc:
I am like you...I have never found presets to work for me.  I enjoy my own interpretation of how my photos should look and prefer to start from my own negative (or raw file).

[dh]:
Same here -- I have never felt like I get any real value out of LR presets (other than simple automation-type stuff). Makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong and spending too much time doing all my post-processing manually.

To that end -- how long do others typically spend post-processing photos? I typically edit out all my throwaway shots and then spend maybe 1-5 minutes per shot on the potential keepers.

And-Rew:
I tend to enjoy doing things myself.

I'm very much a 'slider' person and enjoy experimenting until i get a look i like with.

I have some XeL presets to go with the LR presets, and whilst i've experimented with them, and have posted a couple of pictures in which they were used - i realised afterwards that i had also 'tweaked' the preset to my personal look.

So, presets are not really that important - but tend to get an airing when i get an image that is just not 'doing' it for me - then, if i'm in the mood, i will run the presets over it before i remove it from the catalogue - otherwise they don't get a use.

Crop, Grad Tool and Sliders - does me a treat  ;) (oh and the choice whether to present in colour or mono)

And on time spent processing - as above, 1-5 minutes - bit longer if i'm experimenting

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