Interview with Tomas: How Did You Start Using and Creating Presets (Part II)

Interview with Tomas: How Did You Start Using and Creating Presets (Part II)

This time 123Presets owner Tomas Simkus is sharing how he started using and creating presets himself and how to get the best out of your presets. There are some simple hacks that you can do in order to make your photos even more professional looking after you use the presets. 

Young man standing near  beautiful nature

How did you first start using presets? What do you like about them? 

Presets help every photographer. Mainly, it helps you to save lots of time and receive amazing results. And the most important part for me was that it helps you create an authentic and consistent photography style. 

I started creating my own presets during my first years of taking photos when I found out what they were. Especially when I was taking photos during parties and events and had loooots of photos to edit fast. So with presets, I was able to quickly and most importantly with quality put the same settings on all the images. However, you always need to make adjustments because each photo is unique, the lighting and environment is different. But by using one set of presets I could easily keep the main feel for the photos and the adjustments would take very little time. 

What I like the most about presets is that you can use them both on desktop and mobile. Mobile is perfect for travel photography when you don’t want to take your laptop and you just want to edit the photos in a time-efficient way. And you don’t have to be a photographer to use it. These presets are loved by people, especially influencers, who love beautiful content on their social media. This allows you to create photography that is worth the professional photographer’s name. 

How did you decide to create your own presets? What do you focus on when creating new ones? 

I started in a really weird way. I really didn’t expect that I will create so many different and unique presets. But I started because one company asked me to sell my photography style. Once I sold it, I realized that if one company ones them then probably others will want them too. In general, sharing and creating one photography loving community sounded like a very good idea. 

When you take a lot of photos in different places, you naturally start to see them in a different way. Your imagination runs wild with ideas on how to use Lightroom possibilities and create unique presets, which is exactly what I have done. In the beginning, I thought I will create five of them that will portray my style. However, later I felt that I really like experimenting and creating new combinations. That’s why I created more and more. So these different combinations match the wants and needs of different people for various purposes. I love it when people share their results, they inspire me to create. By the way, thank you guys for that. It’s the greatest award for the hard work.

While creating new presets I think about professional photographers who will consider lighting, angles, and composition and people who simply want to capture moments from their lives. Before releasing, I test the presets in different environments and add multiple settings to the different presets that are sold in one style package so that by trying different presets people would find the right one for each and every one of their photos. 

My goal is to create a collection of products that would portray the main style topic but also add multiple presets that would work well on very different conditions, e.g. indoors or outdoors, harsh or subtle lighting, etc. For example, minimalist presets that focus on fewer colors and higher contrast or travel presets that are all about bringing up the vibrant colors. It’s extremely important for me that the presets I create would work on various photos, look stunning, and easy to use.

Minimal lightroom presets example

What’s important for a good preset? 

I think the most important thing for a great preset is to be easy to use and look good in different environments. 

This answer will be more interesting for mobile Lightroom users. Not everyone knows about the mobile lightroom, the app’s possibilities and how everything works. I think one of the biggest things that people don’t know is that the same preset settings will work in the same way for all the photos taken in different environments. 

However, the difference in lighting on the beach and at home is huge. When we take a photo and it’s too light or too dark, the preset will not be able to do its job in the best capability. These are two very different environments and it’s impossible that the same settings would look good on both. As I have mentioned before, I always try to add multiple presets options that would work well in different environments. 

How to make your photos look better with presets?

All of the presets are 100% customizable in the mobile Lightroom app. So if for example, you like the general style but need to bring up the brightness for a particular photo, that’s not a problem with the app. 

1) Check your exposure

If the photo is overexposed or underexposed, it will not look good even after you apply the very best presets in the world. However, don’t worry, you can still change it. If the photo is overexposed, turn the exposure to the left and the photo will become darker. If it’s on the contrary, underexposed, then turn the exposure to the right and the photo will be lighter. By the way, the color settings will not change by doing this. Only the photo will become brighter as much as you want. Also, even if your photo isn’t dramatically underexposed, you could still play with the sliders to reach the very best results for that particular photo. 

1. Underexposed photo example        2. Overexposed photo example     

Underexposed girl photo woman smiling and looking at the camera 

2) Orange skin is not a problem

We are all people and have different skin tones. So sometimes your skin in particular lighting could have an orange tint. And of course, nobody wants that. If that’s the case, don’t worry, you can easily change that. Just go to Color mix and minimize the saturation of the color that you don’t like. In this particular case, minimize the saturation of orange. 

1. Slight saturation changes               2. Too little saturation 

Woman at the beach woman posing at the beach on a windy day

Less is more is definitely true when editing your photos after applying Lightroom presets. Too little saturation can result in bland looking skin. Too much saturation in orange color will evoke the unwanted orange skin tone effect. 

3) The best results don’t come after just applying the preset

Don’t get me wrong, you will have photos where you just apply the preset and they look great. However, as a rule of thumb, it’s always good to play with the settings a little bit to find the best light balance for that particular photo. 

Thank you for being part of our photography loving community. You can find the very first Tomas interview here, where he has shared his start with photography and his tips on how to become a better photographer. 

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