For a while now, I’ve been interested in photography. It’s been a bit of a passion which has led me to merge both bikes and cameras together. The vast majority of the imagery around this website was created by me. When I’m in a picture, it’s usually one that’s been taken by George on my camera once I’ve set it up; we ride together fairly regularly and he likes to get some snaps too so we take it in turns to press the shutter.
I’m one of those people that likes to then take those photos and edit them before I use them, or even before I post them on Instagram. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I get enjoyment from it and that’s all that matters to me. You see, without getting too technical, I shoot RAW photos and the colours appear all washed out because the camera is taking in as much information as possible. Straight out of the camera, RAW photos don’t impress. A quick edit and they’re back to how I saw it, or how it felt.
Colours and tones can be used to push different feelings within an image. I know… that sounds arty. It’s true though. Bump up the warm tones, dip the blues and add some orange: fiery, warm, sunshine. Kill off the reds, add in some blue, desaturate the yellows: brrrr – it’s cold.
I learnt to edit photos using Adobe Lightroom. It’s a really comprehensive editing suite and, whilst you have to pay a subscription for it, it’s a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to edit their photos at a professional level. On a phone, the same effects can be gained by using something like Snapseed or Darkroom (original naming there, right?). I’d sit with a few photos, try all the sliders and change some numbers and see what happened. I watched YouTube videos on photography and eventually learnt what all those numbers meant and how they impacted images. Then I played again and learnt some more. Each time I took a photo, I started from scratch and edited it.
Nowadays, when I photograph events or products, it’s important to edit quickly. Clients don’t want to wait a week whilst you painstakingly edit each and every individual photo. Events can have literally hundreds of photos all ready to be edited. So, I needed to learn to speed things up. That’s where presets come in.
Presets are essentially like filters. You load up a set of images, add a preset to them all and then go through tweaking each one rather than starting from a fresh. It saves loads of time. You might’ve even noticed that the images on my Instagram profile go through stages – somehow they seem to look similar with the other images around them. Presets. They’re all edited using the same preset and tweaked from there. Then, when I fancy a bit of a change, I make a new preset and use that for a while.
There are millions of presets on the internet, some of which are free to download. That’s how I started. Then I bought some. They were better and I instantly felt more at home with my images. Then I made some and I created my own styles with my own presets. Now, years after first opening Lightroom, I’ve decided to put five of my most used presets – created by me – out into the internet.
They’re not designed to make your photography instantly better; you’ve got to have a good image first. But they are designed to help style your images easily, at speed, and give a consistent look across a set. If you’re after that sort of thing, then you can purchase them on Creative Market for the measly sum of £2.48, or whatever the current exchange rate turns $3 into.
I’d love to know if you use them. There’s a real buzz about helping people out and seeing how their creations change because of something you’ve created so do drop a comment, tag me on social media, or even email me. And happy photo editing, whether you buy them or not.