First off, let me just say....I love presets. I mean, what's not to love? Often a single click is all that's needed to transform an image to perfection. Our presets are incredibly easy to use and with 222 and counting, we have something fantastic for practically any photo. But I'd also be the first to admit that sometimes, an image might need more fine, detailed editing to help it reach its full potential.
That's why I created the Adjustment Kits and our line of Lightroom brushes, Silky Strokes. I wanted to make detailed hand-editing as simple, efficient, and FUN as using our presets.
In this article I'll do a quick overview of the different tools, and then show you some step-by-step edit "recipes" that use a combination of presets, adjustments, and brushes to achieve a truly polished finished product. Here's one to get you started:
Original image: April Harmon Photography
THE ADJUSTMENT KITS
The Silky Presets Adjustment Kits were designed as a unique set of workflow presets, made to be used either on top of a preset, or by themselves to quickly build a custom edit. Using them couldn't be easier, you simply apply your desired preset as a starting point (or start from scratch!) and then start adjusting!
Start with the Basics kit and tune your image's temperature, exposure, contrast, highlights & shadows, and clarity. It's amazing how just a click or two from this panel can get you so much closer to your desired effect! Sure, you could do all of this by hand using the sliders, but with the adjustment presets, you can slide your mouse up and down the presets and quickly preview the effect, helping you zero in on just what you need in a fraction of the time.
If you work primarily in black and white, this Basics kit might honestly be all you need for the vast majority of your fine tuning! If you're like me, though, and you love working with color, the Advanced & Finishing Touches kits are both amazing tools to have on hand.
In these two, you'll find everything from one-click skin tone fixes to light bursts and vignettes, as well as our 10 powerful tone curve presets, designed to allow you to make any image, with any preset, a matte edit or a clean edit. This is a feature I personally use all the time, and it's almost like multiplying every preset you have by 10! The possibilities are endless!
SILKY STROKES: Powerful Brushes for Lightroom 4 & 5
If the Adjustment Kits expand the possibilities of what can be done with your presets, the brushes pick up where they leave off-- by allowing you to make the same kinds of adjustments, but only to specific areas of the photo. Once you get the hang of using the brush panel instead of the presets panel, you'll find these brushes are every bit as simple and almost self-explanatory as the rest of our products! Each one has been carefully named to give you the clearest idea possible of what it's going to do.
I've created two basic types of brushes: retouching brushes for skin, eyes, hair, etc (all carefully tuned to be subtle enough for the most delicate portrait work, while still being very powerful) and brushes to effect the environment around your subject (or just the environment, if you happen to shoot landscapes :)) Here is the list of everything included in our Silky Strokes Master Collection:
Now, let's take a look at some more examples of these tools working together to make some pretty dramatic edits!
PRESET + BRUSHES:
Original Image by Nicole Dalton Photography
PRESET + ADJUSTMENTS + BRUSHES
So far I've mostly shown you bright, bold edits, but you can just as easily go matte and moody (I like to do some of both!) (Image above and image below both belong to yours truly, Fine Art Photography by Liberty Kifer)
(If you like the film look, by the way, keep an eye out this spring for a new line of Silky Presets ;) More on that later!)
And of course, sometimes, you won't want to use a preset at all! Often the Adjustment Kits and and brushes are all that's needed to take a lovely image to perfection! Image below is from the awesome Tumbling Leaves Photography.
ADJUSTMENTS + BRUSHES ONLY:
Well, I hope that gives you an idea of just how much fun and flexibility you can get by adding an Adjustment Kit or a set of brushes to your editing tool kit. I know for me personally, and my beta testers, they have opened up a whole new world of options for our own work, and I would be lost without them.
What would you like to do next?
SHOP the ADJUSTMENT KITS
OR--Check out the BEYOND THE PRESET BUNDLE and SAVE 20% on both!