Thursday, 10 February 2011

Sharing my secrets with you...

You may have heard me blog in my lightroom reviews how I don’t edit my images any more and searching for gold. I have set up a workflow to allow me to find specific images in the most efficient manner possible. This is cause my workflow is based on speed. So when it comes to editing, I have the exact same sentiment. I want be able to find my images quickly and then I want to make them look great in as efficient a manner as possible.
In steps the ever-useful Lightroom presets… Over the years I’ve personally developed a number of presets that allow me very quickly to gauge how good an image is going to be. Of course there are many different styles of shots, so I have had to tinker and tweak the presets until they were perfect for the specific results I wanted.

And now I’m sharing them with you.
Over the next couple of weeks Ill be sharing 8 presets with you. Each one is specific to a type of image, and Ill give you the full low down about when to use it and what it does... Click the link to read more about my first secret...

lightroom preset, shem compion,,  reviews,  share, creative photography,  low light

lightroom preset, shem compion,,  reviews,  share, creative photography,  low light

I’ve been using some of these presets for two years now and they keep producing the goods.
The first preset I’m sharing is one of my favourite. 'Low light-noise reduc' has been developed when cameras iso performance exceeded iso 1600. I quickly found out that for certain dull light situations the camera rendered images very flat- and so I worked on this particular preset to rectify that and came up with Low light-noise reduc.

Low light-noise reduc Preset.

I use this preset for occasions when the sun is below the horizon or it’s late in the day and behind some dark thunderclouds. Often these are cool and wet conditions, like after a rainstorm. The problem is that a lot of animal activity occurs in these conditions: think Masai Mara late afternoon...
I find that cameras tend to over compensate on the magenta's and have a distinct lack of punch on the files they produce in these conditions. This is of course due in large part to the very low contrast. I’ve designed this preset to add a lot more colour punch to the image, increasing the contrast as well as the sharpness. I’ve also compensated for the higher noise, as you will typically be using a higher iso and use it comfortably up to iso 3200. If I photograph any animals or birds in the light conditions described above, I run this preset through all the images to give them a wonderful colour, some good old punch and a smidgen of lovely contrast. YOu will also notice how it removes the magenta cast and pushes the correct colour's into the image- some more secret recipe sauce that I have added.

The differences are quite subtle, but in dull light conditions you cannot be to harsh in your editing, as things blow out very quickly. Its definitely subtle changes, but certainly very noticible in the result! One of my favourite's...

Note: Do not apply this preset to photos in sunlight conditions. You will not like the effect!

To install: For Mac: Download to your computer and double click while having Lightroom 3 open. It will automatically ask you if you want to install in your preset folder.
For PC: I hope it’s the same…?!

To use: Presets are guidelines to putting you in the right direction with your processing. They are not one-stop shops. Use these as a starting point for your editing and processing. I have found that mostly they need no extra work, perhaps subtle tweaks after applying the preset, but this changes for every image. Use your own creative initiative to tweak your masterpiece.

Disclaimer: I cant be held liable for the preset not working, crashing your computer, producing a ‘virus’, scaring the dog or any other weird or wonderful things that presets are know to do…;)

Download Low light noise reduc preset now


Riaan Coetzee said...

Great Stuff Shem, these will really assist me! Thanks for Sharing Your Secrets!

Sarah's Space said...

So is this my Q for upgrading to LR 3...