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Author Topic: Lightroom Presets.....  (Read 2339 times)

Freelancer

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Lightroom Presets.....
« on: November 21, 2012, 01:10:26 PM »
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 don´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.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 01:17:36 PM by Freelancer »

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Lightroom Presets.....
« on: November 21, 2012, 01:10:26 PM »

Drizzt321

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Re: Lightroom Presets.....
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 01:22:09 PM »
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.
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fr8oc

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Re: Lightroom Presets.....
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2012, 04:03:43 PM »
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).
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[dh]

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Re: Lightroom Presets.....
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 04:29:30 PM »
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

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Re: Lightroom Presets.....
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 04:30:07 PM »
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

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Lightroom Presets.....
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 04:41:54 PM »
I guess I'm the exception to the rule.  I have downloaded a fair number of presets (mostly paid) that I use quite extensively.  For more "art" or nature work I tend to do more tweaking, but when I processing workflow for a wedding or event shoot, the quick tweak through presets is huge.

But there is a bigger reason that I have become a fan.  I like using Alien Skin Exposure 4 and am fairly adept in Photoshop CS5, but every time I exported in those programs I would automatically move into a TIFF file.  Minimum of 100+MB.  Your HDD starts filling up fast that way.  I found that an average month's work was typically in excess of 30 GB of space.  Add a few redundant backups and that is 90 GB a month.  Ouch!

When I stay in Lightroom, I stay in a DNG.  That's a big plus for me unless I specifically need something I can only get through layering.
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Re: Lightroom Presets.....
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 05:00:17 PM »
Quote
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.

I have hundreds of presets. All of them are my own. When I first started learning Lightroom – switching from a Photoshop workflow using layers and actions – I'd used presets created by others to help me understand the capabilities of the program as well as understanding how others process their work. As I progress, I found that each image is uniquely different, even among the same session or batch and applying the same preset to a group of images will often yield different results.

Presets are useful in that they provide a starting point to begin the process of fine tune adjustments. But as some have mentioned, there are times when simply starting from scratch will be faster and more efficient. When you have hundreds or thousands of images and a short delivery deadline, presets can be invaluable in speeding up the workflow. You can set your presets to be as simple or as complicated as you'd like. You can even vary how many presets a single image may go through to get to the end result. It really depends on you. For me, presets when used together in conjunction with Lightroom snapshots and history are even more powerful.

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Re: Lightroom Presets.....
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 05:00:17 PM »

squidgyg

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Re: Lightroom Presets.....
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 06:03:41 PM »
Are you applying the presets to RAW or JPEG's?
Presets could be developed for either one, and will look bad if applied on the wrong one.

dirtcastle

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Re: Lightroom Presets.....
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 08:08:54 PM »
I think LR presets serve two purposes well.

1. To see exactly how other people process and get specific results. Presets are a good learning tool.

2. To process a batch of similar shots without starting from scratch for each shot.

One problem with presets is their limitation with gradient filters, which are one of the most powerful tools in LR.


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Re: Lightroom Presets.....
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2012, 12:22:06 AM »
Quote
Are you applying the presets to RAW or JPEG's?
Presets could be developed for either one, and will look bad if applied on the wrong one.

I shoot in RAW...so to answer your question, I apply them to RAW files.  But you could also apply the same presets to JPEGs and continue adjusting them from there. Yes. The same preset will affect RAW and JPEG files differently, just as lens profiles affect RAW and JPEG files differently.

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Re: Lightroom Presets.....
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2012, 12:22:06 AM »