How to Achieve the “Film Look” Without Using Presets.

March 16, 2015


Cassandra Campbell

The problem with presets: sometimes they just don't work. Understanding the basic ideas behind your film presets will allow you to achieve the look you want when you are faced with frustrating photos.

1. Matte

Adding a tasteful matte to your images is one of the best ways to give style to your photos and create a VSCO-type look.

To do this, find the tone curve on the develop module in Lightroom. Click on the diagonal line and make a point near the bottom left corner. Now click and drag the bottom portion of the line up until the line becomes horizontal. Now you can adjust the matte to your liking by changing the position of the initial point.

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2. Adjusting the greens

The second biggest change that film presets make is to the green hue and saturation. If you are from the Midwest, you can undestand how the intense digitally-processed green grass and leaves in an image can really make your eyes hurt. To achieve softer, minty greens in your photos, find the green hue slider in Lightroom and adjust it to the right. This will make the greens more blue in color. The next step is to find the green saturation slider and bring it to the left. This will make your greens less saturated and softer in appearance.

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Adjust these things to your liking to make those trendy, #vscocam pictures that all the cool kids post.

Casandra is a born and bred East Coaster who finds herself braving the heat of the Valley of the Sun with her husband and three cute kids all for the love of Showit.