So lately I have been fielding some questions via e-mail and reading some great criticism on other blogs. All in all, I feel the response to my presets has been amazing, but in the interest of always improving, I want to say a few thing that may help clear up some common issues.
Issue 1: Over Aggressive Tone Curves
Alright, I admit some of my tone curves can be harsh when used on high contrast images. I have noticed this and I am currently revising some of the worst offenders to help alleviate the problem. Frankly, it is hard to duplicate the effect of film, as each batch is different, and every frame can differ based on condition in which the photograph was taken. If you notice your image is breaking (excessive posterization in shadows, strange artifacts, etc) I recommend you take a look at the tone curve and make a few adjustments.
If the tone curve is steep, with deep shadows and bright highlights, you may want to pull the curve back on either side, flattening out the image. You may also want to adjust the Point Curve option in the Tone Curve window down a step: from Strong to Medium, Medium to Linear. These alterations may improve your image. The primary concern in my emulation preset is the color settings, with the tone curve coming in second. Try to fix any problems using the tone curve, it may help you out more if/when you take the image into Photoshop.
If you find yourself frequently altering the tone curve of a particular preset, you may want to consider permanently altering the preset to your needs. After making your corrections, right click the preset name and select Update. Hit okay afterward, now you have made the preset your own. If you find that you get better results, email me about your alterations…you may be the extra set of eyes that helps me improve my emulation. Contact emails are on the left side of the blog.
Issue 2: Adobe Camera Raw Presets
For a while, every preset I make has an ACR preset included in the release. The ACR presets are located inside a folder in the archive entitled “ACR Presets”. Every film emulation preset on LIDF now has ACR counterparts to the Lightroom presets. Most of my style presets also have ACR counterparts.
To install the ACR presets all you have to do is copy them to the corret folder for ACR to access them. They folders are as follows:
Macintosh: /Users/UserName/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRawFolder/Settings
Windows: C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Adobe\CameraRaw\Settings
Simply replace your current user name into the folder structure where you see UserName. These folder paths lead you right to where you need to copy the .xmp files found in the ACR Presets folder. Once you have them copied over, the next time you open ACR the presets will be available in the Preset tab in ACR (Which is the button furthest to the left under the histogram).
Alot of people were not aware how to install these presets, and if you are interested in converting Lightroom presets yourself, please refer to my post over on X-Equals. It walks you through the process, and gives more indepth direction on installing presets into ACR.
Issue 3: Non RAW Images
If you have been to LIDF lately you may have seen the poll on the top left side of the blog asking if I should make presets for raster images in Lightroom. Overwhelmingly the answer was no, but I saw enough intrest in raster images that I made a decision. I am going to start woking on Photoshop actions to accomplish much the same effect as my presets. This will likely be a way off, and the releases nowhere near as frequent as my Presets, but I plan on doing it.
I decided to forgo presetting for jpegs, as I found the results less than adequate, and I feel Photoshop is the place to make these pixelpushing changes anyways. Take away the power of RAW data and Lightroom is rendered fairly inept for my emulation purposes.
Keep an eye open, they will be coming.
Issue 4: Using My Presets
Finally, if you are using my presets and getting great results, let me know. I want to see and hear about successes. In the same right let me know about problems you encounter, feedback will help these presets improve.
If you use my presets on your own personal blog, drop me an email or a tweet on Twitter, and let me know. I love to see others work with my tools and I will happily send everyone who views this site to you to see what you have done. I enjoy showcasing those who use m presets.
If you are on Flickr and post images processed with my presets, you don’t even have to email me. Just tag you image with “LifeInDigitalFilm” or “LIDF” along with the emulation used in the description, I will find them as once a week I troll Flick looking for examples of my presets in use. If you have a number of images using my presets, I will showcase your Flickr stream just as I would a photoblog.
Maybe it is vanity, but I enjoy seeing my work paying off. Also I can see any inadequacies I did not encounter whilst testing the presets out myself. Again seeing them used can help me further refine and improve my presets.
Well thats it for today, another preset is coming tomorrow!