Lightroom Presets from Craft & Vision

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Photo processed with Lightroom 4 presetToxic Warmth Heavy

In my last article I wrote about using Lightroom presets to simplify the task of processing portraits (you can catch up here). One of the benefits of using presets is that you can buy, or download for free, presets created by other photographers. It’s reasonable to ask yourself, before making a purchase, whether buying presets can really make a difference to your images.

Sometimes, the answer is no. I’ve downloaded presets (thankfully free ones) that provided a special effect (that didn’t work with my Raw files anyway) and nothing more.

But sometimes, you may find presets that genuinely help you create better images. They are a tool, not a gimmick, and help you become better at using Lightroom.

Craft & Vision Lightroom presets

Craft & Vision have just released two sets of Lightroom Presets. I have tried them myself and found them genuinely useful, and I’m sure you will too.

The first set was created by Dave Delnea, professional photographer and Craft & Vision author.

The second set was created by David duChemin. It’s been available on his website for a while, and now you can buy it at Craft & Vision.

The sets cost $10 each or you can buy them bundled together for $18. Of course, being Craft & Vision, there’s a special offer – order before May 5, 2013 and get both packages for $16 when you use the discount code PRESET2. That’s 82 Lightroom presets used daily by working photographers, for only $0.20/each.

You can buy Dave Delnea’s presets here.

You can buy David duChemin’s presets here.

Or you can go wild and buy the bundle here.

Okay, that’s the deal, let’s take a closer look at what you get.

Dave Delnea: A set of 46 Lightroom presets that Dave uses to process photos taken for commercial clients. They are all colour presets and include a guide to show you how to install and use them.

David duChemin: A set of 36 presets, mostly colour but including some black and white, that David uses to process his photos taken for personal use and commercial clients. A guide is included to show you how to use them.

Using Lightroom presets

The benefits of using third-party presets are:

  • You can create different looks that you might not have thought of until you used a particular preset.
  • You can see how the photographer uses Lightroom to achieve certain effects – a great way to learn more about how it works.

It’s important to understand that Lightroom presets are just a starting point. Every Raw file is different, and not every preset is going to suit every Raw file (the guides that come with the Craft & Vision presets explain what types of photo the presets suit). A degree of common sense is required, and you will need to take control and make adjustments to your images to get the best out of these (or any) presets.

Craft & Vision presets in action

To get an idea of how useful the Craft & Vision presets can be I used them to process a couple of photos of mine. I processed the original image in both examples in Lightroom 4, to achieve a look that I am happy with. Then, I made a virtual copy and applied various presets to see if they improved the image.

It has opened my eyes to different ways of processing my images. I tend to get locked into processing my photos a certain way, and these presets have shown me a different approach.

These are my favourites:

Dave Delnea Lightroom presets

Original image

Original image, processed in Lightroom 4, no presets

Photo processed with Lightroom 4 preset

Backlight horizontal right

IMG_0423-[del-blue hour 001]

Blue hour look 1

IMG_0423-[del-desaturated green look 2]

Desaturated green look 2

IMG_0423-[del-forest walks look 2]

Forest walks look 2

IMG_0423-[del-washed tropics look 2]

Washed tropics look 2

IMG_0423-[del-washed vintage 001]

Washed vintage look 1

David duChemin Lightroom presets

Original image

Original image, processed in Lightroom 4, no presets

Photo processed with Lightroom 4 preset

Golden hour

IMG_9413-[dch-honey on land]

Honey on land

IMG_9413-[dch-midtone lift+vignette+clarity]

Midtone lift with vignette and clarity

IMG_9413-[dch-milford greens]

Milford greens

IMG_9413-[dch-new direct positive vignette]

New direct positive with vignette

IMG_9413-[dch-new maasai split tone]

Maasai split

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