Why the preset I bought is not working on my images?
Have you ever bought a set of presets from a photographer you admire, unzipped it, added to your catalog and tried to use on your own photos and it looked nothing like what theirs look? Well, then this blog post is for you! There are several little reasons why sometimes someone's presets might not be working properly with your images and we are here to figure this out together. I have listed 3 of the most common reasons why.
I. WHITE BALANCE / KELVINS.
Well, isn't it the devil?!
Some people simply hate dealing with WB and Kelvins but sometimes, it's necessary to add that to the equation as see what comes out.
I would say that 80% of the time, people have issues making some presets work for them simply because their white balance is just not set right.
Balancing Kelvins can be frustrating sometimes, especially when you are running around and trying to get things done and a million details are happening right in front of you (aka: wedding life), but the more you practice it, the more you get the hang of it.
The idea is simple: the higher the number, the warmer the tones are and the lower the number, the colder the tones are. Kelvins are very helpful when it comes to shooting indoor dark places like old churches and cathedrals since you can assume control to bring a more natural color to your images.
A lot of photographers shoot with AUTO WB, and that's ok since they already have their own system but there are photographers that shoot balancing Kelvins, and that's sometimes can be the main reason why your colors are not turning anything like theirs if you happen to be shooting in AUTO.
The best way to figure it out if that is issue is just by trying and testing. Try to photograph a few images with a more warm tone and then some with a colder vibe and check it out if on post process you can bring those colors closer to what you wanted.
You just neeeever know.
Yes, freaking location!
As much as we'd love that greens were just greens and that browns were just browns, they do tend to change drastically depending on what state or part of the world you are.
Shooting sometimes west, you can get some really "creamy" greens and sometimes shooting in the east (specially south), we tend to get some vivid "almost impossible to control" greens.
Depending on where your preset supplier is mostly based / mostly shoots, using their presets on your photos might result into some different tones.
That is still not a reason to give up on the investment you have made. Keep testing it around and seeing what the outcome is.
III. CAMERA GEAR.
We all know that different brands offer different tones. Considering that we all have passed the old war of "my brand is better than yours" since I am assuming none of us are sponsored by any, we have to add to this problem solving list the fact that the gear we use might be just different from that they have. Since presets are developed based on RAW file edits, that can be a major factor to this. Someone who shoots with a camera that pulls more green will probably get their warm tones in a different way than how you have got yours. Do i have to change my gear for that? Not at tall. You might just have to keep tweaking it until you can figure it out what works best for your taste.
With that being said, presets are expensive and sometimes the issues is not YOU, it's all the other factors. When buying someone's presets, it's a very nice way of supporting their business but we all have to keep in mind that is also their personal style and that's their thing! The intention of sharing what we use to edit images is to mainly give you a short cut to get you to where you want to be. Make sure you test, try and keep pursuing what you like and what fits you best. Being inspired by others' style is such a rad thing, but even more rad is to be proud of what you have created and worked so hard for :)
I hope you get to make good use of all those presets that didn't work before for your images, yay! xxx.