A while ago I started creating and selling adjustment presets for Aperture over on my other website, The Aperture Blog, and over time they’ve proven to be quite popular. The first in the series was a set of looks I created called “Film Candy”. The original idea was to create a set of faded film looks, something along the lines of the early versions of Instagram. I was experimenting with various tints at the time, and this reminded me of some multicoloured sweets I was fond of when I was younger, and so the “Film Candy” name was born. The set went down well and I later created Film Candy 2. However, as I’m using Lightroom more and more as my main tool, I’ve been working hard over the past couple of months to port the looks over to Lightroom as Lightroom Develop Module Presets. I’m pleased to reveal that they’re nearly ready to go.
Film Candy for Lightroom won’t exactly match the Aperture version. It’s more of an “inspired by” product. However, the Lightroom version will be a different beast altogether in terms of complexity. There are far more presets. Each version of Film Candy for Aperture comes with around 8 each, with a few variations. Film candy for Lightroom has 25 (at the moment, and I'm still tweaking). On top of that, there will be a companion set of modifiers to work in tandem with the main suite. This will contain pre-built tools such as vignettes, grads and grain settings, designed to compliment the main film candy presets. It will be more expensive than the Aperture versions, but not massively so, and I intend to keep the price competitive.
The Art of Creating Lightroom Presets (And Aperture Presets Too)
It may sound like a simple thing to port these over from Aperture but it’s actually been a lot of work. I’m used to using multiple copies of the various adjustments in Aperture to make tweaks, which you can’t do in Lightroom. However, it’s been a good learning experience. I did read somewhere recently, on some photographer’s blog a rant about people selling presets, claiming that it’s really easy to just change a few sliders and then sell them as a preset, but this is really unfair, as it actually requires a lot of work.
One of the things I do is to try and only build presets that I would use myself, and ones that are based on looks I use for my own work. I have a library of settings that I use on a regular basis, but these are tailored to my own personal use and wouldn't work on a wider basis. Once I have a look that I use regularly, if it’s something I think people will like, and if it’s maybe a little different from what’s out there already, I will start working on creating a version of it for use as an all round preset. This is harder than you might think. It takes a lot of trial and error to make sure that what you’re designing works well across multiple types of image, and photos from lots of different cameras. There is a lot of testing involved, a lot of tweaking and a lot of going back to the drawing board.
I’ll have more details closer to launch time. I’m hoping to have another set of presets ready to launch around the same time too, which will be another variation on some of my popular Aperture ones. In the mean time, here is a sneak peak of some images processed using Film Candy for Lightroom.
These were all taken with a variety of cameras. Once I have the presets finalised, I'll be posting an in-depth look with before and after images so you can get a better idea of what Film Candy is doing. In the mean time, if you're an Aperture user, you can see the current rage of presets I have available, including Film Candy 1 and 2 on the Aperture Blog Preset Store.