Lightroom & Workflow

My LR4 Develop Presets Now Available

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It’s taken me a little while to update my most frequently used Develop Presets for Lightroom 4. In so doing I’ve collected 36 of my best starting points for development work in LR4, which uses very different stuff under the hood. If you’re using LR4, and you should (honestly, I’m no fan boy, but my photographs have never looked so good), then you can take advantage of this. If you’re still using LR3, then consider upgrading.

Today I’m releasing my Lightroom 4 Develop Preset Package. 36 of my most used presets and an 18-page PDF guide, which includes a How-To on installing them, and complete Before & After photographs of each preset to give you a sense of what these presets do. Now, before we go further, let me clarify my own position about presets, in case you’re curious. I view presets as extremely helpful in my own workflow, because they make me more efficient. These presets are really the only ones I use with any frequency and I made them all myself. I’m not offering them because they’re a magic bullet. They aren’t. If your photographs suffer from weak composition or a missed moment, these presets won’t make the photograph any better. They’ll just make 36 different versions of a weak photograph. But if you’re looking for some new starting points, these presets will help. Here are a 9 of the 18 spreads (hint: click one, let it open large, then use the arrows to go from large image to large image):

A second disclaimer, for those that don’t know me: These aren’t gimmicks or trendy presets I created just to earn your dollar. I hope you know me better than that, but some of you won’t. There are lots of presets out there – some of them free (and kind of crappy) and some of them excellent (and really expensive.) I’m offering these, at what I think is a very reasonable $10 for 36 of them and a manual – which means each preset will cost you $0.25 and the manual will cost you the remaining pennies. I’ve included simple instructions on installation and the guide has Before + After shots of all the presets. The rest is up to you. My hope is that you’ll download these, and not simply apply them but learn from them. Look at what they do, peer under the hood, play with them, and adapt them to your own workflow and particular aesthetic by making new presets. The more you pull these apart, the more value you’ll get out of them.

My LR4 Preset Package will only work with LR4. Because of the new process, they will work with LR3 but not reliably (I can’t even comment on anything before LR3. Please, for the love of Ansel Adams, tell me you aren’t still using the original Lightroom. We’ve all move on to better things. Join us!). It is available today for USD$10. No gimmicks, just my own collection of Develop presets from which I begin much of my own daily work. I hope they’ll serve you well.

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By the way, we’ve got a busy month and a few great products coming out. We try really hard not to overwhelm, but this month is just going to be a little more full-throttle than usual. We’re trying to get it in before December comes when we just really don’t want to add to the noise that’s already out there. Just wanted to let you know we’re conscious of this, and hope you’ll be as excited about this month’s offerings as we are! I’ll post when I can but I’m in Kathmandu for the first half of the month and head to Antarctica shortly after that. Will do my best to send postcards!

Quick Update: After I posted this I caught some heat from people who felt it was blatant hypocrisy to offer these after posting THIS RANT. The comment section filled up to the point it broke the page. I reluctantly deleted the entire string of debate for the sake of this page. Your comments were read, taken to heart, and where I disagreed with them, that was stated too. I still believe, as I stated in the text above (and the rant before that), that no plug-in or preset will make a bad photograph good, and that any teacher who claims it does, for that sake of flogging a product, is doing a disservice to his students.

Lake of Circles, Post-processing.

Here’s one of my favourite images from the trip up to the arctic last month, and a quick walk-through on the post-processing. In Vision & Voice I explain what I call the vision-driven workflow, and there are 4 steps: Identify Intent, Minimize Distractions, Maximize Mood, and Direct the Eye. Identifying the intent here was simply […]

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