Something I am addicted to is trying new presets and techniques for my work. Usually I always adjust them back to my typical style, but it’s always fun to tinker with something new. Post Processing is a very personal thing and can really take years to develop your own style. I’ve decided that starting with this review, I would start posting some of my before and afters using certain presets to hopefully help other photographers find something that works for them as well.
Depending on the wedding, sometimes I use VSCO presets. For those unfamiliar, they were one of the first companies to create presets to replicate old film stocks. These tend to be one of the best set of presets when it comes to matching the colors between my second shooters and I when they use different cameras than me. Well, they just released a starter pack for those wanting to try VSCO, and I thought I would start my series of photography review posts with something you can pick up for free.
Let’s start off with the color, shall we? For all of these examples I will be posting three images : Strait out of camera, Preset applied no tweaks, and then final image with tweaks.
For the final tweaks, I generally always take down my oranges and tinker with an S curve. Pretty simple stuff.
Kodak Gold 100 Warm came out a bit contrasty right out of the box, so I tweaked it down a bit and loved it. Skin tones look really beautiful for sunset images with this one.
This one is Kodak Gold 100 +++. I wasn’t a huge fan of it really. Not that it’s a bad preset – because it’s not. It has a very pretty, tinted look to it but it’s just not my thing. However, if that’s your thing, then you will probably enjoy playing with it. It just doesn’t connect with me, so I probably wouldn’t use it.
Now let’s play with some Black and white, shall we?
If you know my work or me, you know I have a slight obsession with good black and whites. Even if the colors are wonderful, I tend to turn a lot of stuff black and white because it makes my heart happy.
Right out of the box, TRI-X +1 was nearly perfect. It gave me that beautiful contrast I love. I wanted even more contrast, so I just tweaked a wee bit and happiness was achieved. Honestly I am pretty in love with this preset and might actually tinker with it a lot more in the future.
This one was a bit tougher to work with. I am not a big fan of the low contrast, flat look. Again, not bashing that look – other people can rock it but it just doesn’t feel like… me. After tweaking it a bit, I liked it more. But definitely loving TRI-X +1 more 🙂
And we finish things off with some backlit magical goodness from a wedding in Las Vegas. For this final black and white, I tinkered with TRI-X -1-. One click edit it was a bit flat for my taste, so I didn’t have much hope for it. However, upon tweaking it a bit I sort of fell in love with how it made this portrait of Madison and Matt look.
Top winners for me : Basic Kodak Gold 100 + TRI-X +1.
Overall I think that this is a great starter kit for anyone interested in presets or VSCO. Honestly, I really enjoyed the simplicity of having only two “films” to tinker with. For anyone that has dreams of a one click edit preset : you will probably be disappointed. Although, to be honest, the fact that these aren’t one-click-edit presets is good because it lets you tinker a bit with them to make them more unique to your style and artistic voice. So go ahead and download, tinker, and create beautiful pictures to put out into the world.