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Why your images don't grab the attention they should
“the nature of digital photography: To get you a straight, boring, bland representation of reality “
There are 276 million new images uploaded to Facebook and Instagram everyday.
Your image is just one of them.
Even worse, Microsoft research found out that you only have 8 seconds to grab the attention of your viewer before losing their attention forever.
If you want to stand out, your images need to stand out. But you won't be able to with digital photography. How so? Let me explain…
Imagine you just made a nice shot. You go home, fire up the computer, load up the images. Your heart is pounding, and then you look at the computer…your heart sinks. What you see is all you wanted, but there's just something missing. Something you just can't put your finger on.
It's not your fault. No matter how great digital is, it has one flaw: The images are always a bit bland. So left to themselves they usually can't grab the attention because the eye is attracted to contrast. It's simply the nature of digital photography: It's function is to get you a straight, boring, bland representation of reality.
Film users had an advantage in that sense, the film they used had preset looks built into them. The images always looked like something you could use right away. You can almost call it pre-processing. But digital photography needs a little push in the right way with post-processing.
Unfortunately post processing can be a huge pain. It's very time consuming and if you have a lot of images to process, you are going to spend a lot of time in front of the computer instead of enjoying yourself shooting.
But that is not all. Not only processing your images takes time, sometimes you just don't know what to do with an image. What you had in your mind's eye just doesn't work out, the image doesn't resonate with you as it should…even if you KNOW something is there.
Even worse, the more you try to make an image work, the more likely you are to have tunnel vision and simply give up on it. It's like trying to read a book with your nose close touching the page. It's just hard to get the objectivity you need to explore other creative options.
So, how do you grab the attention of your viewers, save precious time and explore creative options? You use presets. Simply click on them and voilà, your images are done-for-you, or at the very least you have an excellent starting point for you to explore.
“sometimes you just don't know what to do with an image“
Designed for Street Photographers
Elixir BW Applied
don't expect these to work on anything but street photography
Most presets try to be everything for everyone, they are afraid to push the enveloppe. Not the Inspired Eye presets, they are absolutely NOT for everyone. They are for Street Photographers ONLY because they are designed to punch up the grit, deal with harsh light and play with the heartstrings of your viewers with some kick-butt tones.
Look at the image up top. I'm no magician but I knew you looked at the image to the right first. How do I know? Because the eye is attracted to contrast. But beyond that, you can see how the image was flat and after the image is boiled down to it's BW essence for a punch-in-your-gut effect. These presets, applied on any other type of image would fail.
Here's what I am saying: don't expect these to work on anything but street photography. Try it on a wedding image and the bride and groom will look like monsters. Heck, I tried one of the presets on my wife's portrait…unfortunately she was looking over my shoulder…and let's just say that she didn't talk to me for a while.
These presets will give you the opposite of glamour, of pretty. They will however give your Street Photography grit, punch, mojo.
Experience the difference for yourself
Here is a few before and afters for you to experience the difference for yourself.
Clockwise, presets used are: Vagrant, Elixir Color, Daywalker, Elixir Color
Compatible with Lightroom 4 and up
Inspired Eye Presets are compatible with any Lightroom version (PC/MAC) starting with version 4. Yes, Lightroom Creative Cloud is supported. Using these presets myself on the latest one.
You might already be sitting on jaw-dropping images
“I have photos that would have been passed over in my catalog if not for these!” – Christophe Debon
It's simply fun to explore the different options the presets offer your images
There's two ways to get new images. You can either get yourself out there and shoot, or you can revisit your images. Imagine this: you are browsing your catalog of images and your eyes land on an image you made 3 years ago. You go ahead and apply a few presets on it. After the 3rd preset, heart skips a beat. The preset just showed you a whole other way to see the image, one you haven't seen before.
When you look at your images for too long, you will get tunnel vision. Applying a few presets allows you to see the creative potential and boom, you are jolted out of your tunnel vision and you are once more exited about your images.
Fun Fact: Because I needed some images to show some before and afters in these pages, I went aead and processed some of my photographs with them. One image in particular, the one above, I passed by. But then I stumbled upon a preset that made it look real nice. I actually went ahead and pretty much abandoned my writing this piece. Careful: These might just be addicting.
Truth be told, the potential of your images has always been there but you preobably couldn't see it, because you've been looking at the same image over and over again for too long. Can you imagine getting exited for an image that you shot 5 years ago as if it was brand new?
Presets allow you to make the most out of what you already have. It's like having a few extra pairs of eyes looking at your work, showing exciting creative possibilities of images you already have.
Having coached photographers from all over the world, I can tell you from experience that what keeps many images from being remarkable is the post processing.
A wealth of Creative options
I was having some trouble with the image above, I simply wasn't getting the results I wanted. So I went ahead and processed it with the colors presets and only tried a few BW ones. Right off the bat I already saw one that got me excited. I won't tell you which one because the point is not what I prefer but wgat resonates with YOU most. Wait until you see these on your images!
Put life into boring street scenes
Because the presets are designed for Street Phtoography, they will bring life to boring/straight street scenes. The presets play around with the tones and curves so that your images look fantastic weather that is BW or color. Most of the time one click will do, or maybe you just want the presets as a point of inspiration in order to take off on your own.
To be clear, these presets aren't magic (even though that's what I tell my 5 year old son) they can only add to what's already there in the image. In other words, these won't magically make a bad image good, just being honest here. But these will make the most of what you have, an many images you already shot has untapped potential.
Elixir Color Applied
Elixir BW Applied
But…won't you be like everyone else?
no one ever accused any of them that their images look like everyone elses
I can hear ya. If I use these…won't these make me look like everyone else? I don't want nobody else's look on my images!
Fair enough… until we consider two things.
First of all, if you do not process your images, you are part of the large majority that uploads 270 million images per day. If that's not being like everyone else I don't know what is!
Second, let's look at how it's no isse at all with film photography
For most of the history of photography, people have used the same film stock over and over and over again, and no one ever accused any of them that their images look like everyone elses.
Presets, like film stock simply give your images a certain look. The content of the photo is up to you.
Plus we can take this a little further. What about cameras? Go to any crowded metropolitan street, chances are you will find a few people who have the EXACT camera model as you. Won't your images look like theirs? Of course not, because no one looks at that, they look at what the images are about.
Even if you can get images that are ready to use with the presets, you can make your own “special blend” and make them to your own taste with your own unique spin.
Testimonials from our users
The balance between the various elements manipulated in these presets are just right and they create a MUCH better starting point for this kind of work than I've ever gotten to on my ownRay S.
The presets are a very good way to discover the enormous potential of LR but more importantly the potential in certain images. I have photos that would have been passed over in my catalog if not for these!
Not only the results are outstanding in one click, but it is also a good lesson on how certain sliders affect the spirit of an image. The presets are very useful, and they also allow you to progress in your understanding of Post Processing. Here's a few images of mine above.Christophe D.
I have been using the presets for a while now, and I have to admit that they are my favorite presets in Lightroom. I generally don’t use any – but sometimes I just gravitate towards them!!!Jannette L.
Big thanks to Inspired Eye for all your time and effort in making these presets and then for having the generosity to make them available.
I really enjoy these presets…a lot. I like post processing images in my digital darkroom and having your presets gives me yet another option to work with….IMO a very no nonsense, lay it all on the line set of B+W presetsJoe K.
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Case Study: Stock Images
Because I wanted to show that these presets work very well for street photography and didn't want torely solely on my own photography, I went ahead an got some street photography stock images. They are usually designed to be as bland as possible, look at the results the presets have on them:
For reference, presets used clockwise: Elixir color, Daywalker, Elixir color, Vagrant
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✓ 27 BW presets, 4 color presets
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✓ 47 BW presets, 29 color presets
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