GIVEAWAY: Lightroom 3 Presets

Afternoon all! I’ve been asked about my workflow after a shoot a lot so here we go!… along with some free stuff.

Shoot > Lightroom > Photoshop 

I really don’t like how photos come out of the camera:

Yuck! its so DSLR looking… and boring. 


FIRST After doing a photo session I’ll backup a copy of all the cards. Then proceed to make my initial edits. This means that I am going through all the frames and selecting the ones that I will edit. (Usually this is the longest process for me)

SECOND I will take the selected shots and load them into Adobe Lightroom. This is where I will make my second round of edits which includes: color correction and exposure correction.

Over time I started to notice that there was a certain color palette that I was attracted too and consistency use among different shoots. Cut down time on my workflow I started making my own user presets (the ones I’m giving away here.)

THIRD I would first apply my own preset as a base and then begin working and tweaking the photo within Lightroom. 


FOURTH Once I’m happy with my edits in Lightroom I’ll open up the file into Adobe Photoshop where a bunch more edits and adjustment layers are made. 

The End!


I’ve attached in the link below a zip folder of the presets I created over time to develop the “look” I use. (*Note: I have no idea what this look is called some of you have said: vintage/film/tones/colorful… lets just call is mellyish for now xD)

Inside there are 6 presets

1. Import:

When I import the first round of selects into Adobe Lightroom, I load the photos with my Import preset which pretty much sucks the contrast out of the file.  Mmm flatness! 

2. BW

This is my go-to base for making a black and white photo. Once again its completely flat.

3. BW-High Contrast:

Same as the previous BW, just with a little more punch.

4. Y-Highlight/B-Shadows:

Sometimes I like adding Yellow in my highlights and Blues in my shadows. 

5. Y-Highlight/M-Shadows

Other days I want Yellow in my highlights and Magenta in my shadows. 

6. Y-Highlight/R-Shadows

Sometimes Yellow highlights and Red shadows work.


Pretty much I like to start off my editing as flat as possible, make specific adjustments, then make even more adjustments in Photoshop.


Good luck and have fun! Download

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How Did You: Tori Kelly

I’m going to try to start blogging more of my behind the scenes things from my shoots on this blog. I’ve gotten a few emails last week regarding one of the images I took of Tori Kelly for her feature on NewMediaRockstars. So lets talk about the nerdy stuff in making the shot!

Since I don’t always have the luxury of scheduling the shoot time, I’ve gotten used to shoot when the sun is ridiculously blaring high. Its not fun. 

Shadows can be way too harsh and unflattering,  and generally I lose a lot of data in my files aka bye bye sky! 

The sun was pretty high for Tori’s session. For the image (above) I moved the singer/songwriter into a shaded area. The ambient lighting would be more even on her face.  This also made her positioned the sun slightly behind her, which created a nice rim light. Although the sun behind her also would cause Tori to either become a dark silhouette if I metered for the sky or blow out the sky completely if metered for the her face.

Expose properly for Tori, I metered for her face and then lit her using a beauty dish. To maintain a shallow depth of field I used a Singh-Ray Vari-ND (which also helped to cut down the ambient by 2 stops.)  



Exposure Time: 1/160
F Number: 4.5 
Exposure: Manual
ISO: 100 
Flash: No Flash
Focal Length: 85.0mm

Photo Gear:

Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II
Lighting: The Sun and  Profoto 7B
Accessories: Beauty DishPocketWizard II, Singh-Ray Vari-ND