I came across some free presets some time ago, but didn’t really give them a try until a couple of days ago. They are the free presets by On One Software, called WOW. These were developed for On One by Jack Davis. There are two sets of presets that come in one installer. One set gives you a bunch of color correction presets and one click tone and other color adjustments. The other set gives effects like Antique and special gradients. I kind of like them. One thing that is nice with how presets work in Lightroom, is that the Navigator gives a fast realtime preview of the effect before it is applied. The downside is that the preview is really small, and I end up trying presets and then “undo-ing” a lot.
The image above shows the ‘Antique’ preset. I toned down the exposure a bit. Added a vignette, and voila.
There are also some adjustment brush presets. Those are really neat. Some of the brushes that come with this set are for skin softening, and teeth whitening. They work pretty well I think. Much faster than doing it in Photoshop. For me, anyway. I found that the preset for lightening the irises was too much on the pictures I was testing with. No problem, you can play with the brush settings yourself and tweak the look after you have painted the brush. Even better, you can “scrub” the adjustment. If you are in the edit mode, hold your mouse over the pin, click, then drag right or left to adjust. This works like magic. Watch the sliders and they will all move in different amount proportional to what is there when you start. This works to push up and down the effect very nicely.
The effect you see above is a brush. The Wow-Background Blowout brush. The brush does quite a good job around the hair and dress when the ‘auto mask’ brush is on. I think if I took more care it could have been even better, but with just a couple of minutes, it cleaned up the window shade background quite a bit. If you haven’t tried brush presets before, you should give them a try.
If you don’t know where the brush presets are… head over to the develop module, and select the brush tool. There is a label called ‘Effect:’ and beside it the effect drop down. There are a few that come with lightroom, but here is also where the Wow ones would show up.