Why You Will have to Use Presets as a Professional Photographer (I Used to be Improper)


My first-ever article on Fstoppers condemned the use of presets and inspired photographers to pay attention to rising their own colour grades and types. Looking once more, I however stand by the use of among the ones problems, then again now not all of them. You see, while using presets is dangerous, rising your own presets would perhaps if truth be told be really helpful to your photos and embellishing workflow.

Pictures is an paintings form that requires a large number of creativity, ability, and patience. A minimum of, that’s the approach it used to be as soon as. This present day, photos is a lot more about creativity, aesthetics, and speed. A large number of photographers, myself built-in, have get right to use to a myriad of kit that have the same opinion them achieve their ingenious vision in a query of seconds. Let’s be frank, there isn’t always time to dial throughout the image to appear exactly how you need it to be. Every so often, you need to use presets.

Faster than going further, I wish to emphasize the importance of working out how you can colour grade and relying to your skills to achieve any look you wish to have with the images. This is why when using presets, I strongly encourage you to use your presets somewhat than the ones bought from other photographers. Let’s speak about how you are able to get began making your presets and why you’ll have to in the end use them.

The Case for Using Presets

As an authorized photographer, I artwork such a lot. There can merely be up to 8 shoots each and every week in my time table. At the bare minimum, that is 8,000 photos shot, 72-100 retouched, color-graded, and delivered. I can’t take too long with that each. My turnarounds are usually each and every week, two at most. To speed up retouching, I artwork with a workforce of two retouchers. Necessarily probably the most time-consuming part of post-production for me is culling. While the 100-1,000 image selection is somewhat simple, narrowing it proper all the way down to the overall photos can merely soak up hours. I take a large number of time to think about what image fits the brief very best and what image will be the maximum tough. One thing this is serving to me make a choice the overall photos is a color grade.

On-Set Comfort

Having a more-or-less in a position colour grade on the image as early as capturing it on-set has grow to be a necessity. I can’t artwork when I don’t see the color grade straight away. It’s serving to me compose and artwork with the desired colour. As you could know, my artwork is color-heavy. I enjoy over the top colors and vibrant tones. The raw image that I take hold of incessantly lacks those. For example, as is, I hate how gels look. On the other hand, after a color grade, they seem much more potent. I used to take the time to make a color grade firstly of each look. After some time, I spotted that I am essentially doing the equivalent look over and over again. This led me to create some presets.

Presets have since saved me a large number of time and effort when improving photos. Positive, they are just about under no circumstances enough to give the images their final look, then again they are 80-90% there. As an alternative of having to manually regulate each surroundings, I give the desired look and then cross in and make the fitting adjustments.


Another issue that presets have given me is a continuing look. While I may have it anyway since I know what I truly like and what I don’t, they have the same opinion take that consistency to the next degree. Probably the most a very powerful problems that let you define your style is a certain colour grade: for instance, how muted your colors are, how so much difference there is, how so much clarity, and so on. While this is not the only issue that makes up a technique, it is likely one of the primary problems. Having a relentless and recognizable style let you create a symbol that individuals will know and recognize. This can lead to you being able to increase fees and artwork with higher-end customers. I know photographers who did this by the use of buying presets as neatly, then again once they face the reality of having to color-grade in line with a reference, their lack of awareness presentations briefly.


This brings me to my next stage, presets can inspire creativity. While instantly contradicting what I believed quicker than, I if truth be told changed my ideas about this. Having tried using my own presets, I incessantly find improving quicker, in particular if the shoot is not something I truly like. Thru using presets, I steer clear of being stuck and feeling uninspired. Experimenting with different seems, I can merely take a look at a brand spanking new way and magnificence that I may not have thought to be quicker than. Presets may also be a great way to extend your skills as a photographer.


After all, they let you learn. All a preset is is various settings that you just pre-configured. In my case, I configure problems similar to highlights, shadows, curve, colour wheel, grain, and clarity. I moreover keep a style of the equivalent colour grade with a lot much less and additional difference. I keep my adjustments somewhat small with presets. For example, I don’t cross beneath ±10 on highlights and shadows, while the curve moreover stays within reason. On their own, individual adjustments may not seem to be so much, then again when you take a look on the blended final result, it will be a large difference. That discussed, I truly like difference and component, so I have a few that take it to extremes and overlook about all conventions and rules. We’re talking about values of ±100 and curve shapes that resemble mountain roads somewhat than blank curves. To be frank, I am more and more leaning in opposition to over the top adjustments and looks. I believe like too many people are not using all of the conceivable of their improving device.

Ultimate Concepts

All in all, presets are an incredibly useful gizmo this is serving to you might be hired quicker, be consistent with your artwork, learn new techniques, and visualize photos quicker than ever improving them. Moreover they let you switch forward and keep momentum. Rising your own presets takes a large number of time and effort. On the other hand, believe that investment into all the long run jobs you’ll have. After all, in a couple of years, you’ll have an incredibly consistent look that is utterly yours. Don’t hesitate to experiment with the sliders and overlook regarding the rule of keeping adjustments minimal. In case you are feeling like an over the top look may have compatibility the image, go for it.

Do you use presets? Did you make your own or acquire them? If this is the case, which ones? Let us know throughout the comments!

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