Digital photography has an era before presets, and after. They've been around for a while but recently some high quality filters have become standard for many photographers. In this episode we compare the best of those preset packs VSCO, Mastin Labs and Replichrome (RadLab), and talk to Chris Dowsett about new ways of thinking about color.
In the end we recommend that if you will only have one set of Lightroom presets, they should be Mastin Labs. They add character and punch to photos, but are subtle and nuanced. The Kodak Portra Pack targets skin tones and is perfect for portraits. The Fuji Pro Pack enhances greens and blues which is great for landscapes, and can also help a person stand out a little more from their background. It is my personal all around favorite. For black and white I only ever use the Illford B&W Pack, which has a great blend or contrast and detail retention. All three stay true to the film emulation they were based on.
Although we spent some time experimenting with Replichome by Radlab, we didn't find a need for it.
These sample images are not at all scientific, and have minor exposure and white balance adjustments to account for how the different filters are meant to be used. They have all the grain removed, and as you can see are some of the more subtle presets each company offers.
As I mention in the episode my go to presets are currently Mastin Labs and I should mention that my links to his preset are affiliate links, so purchasing via that link helps support the podcast.