I am so excited about the new Spring Color, Flare and Haze Collection! Now, when you purchase the collection, you will see that it is for RAW files, but to all of you JPEG shooters out there, don’t let this confuse you. While the presets were designed with RAW files in mind, they can be used on JPEG images. I rarely shoot in RAW (Gasp! Please don’t be mad at me!) but the first time I used one of the presets on a JPEG image, I was amazed at how few tweaks I had to make. In this tutorial, I will walk you through how I apply the RAW presets to a JPEG file. This is a very general tutorial, and with each of your photos, your adjustments will be slightly different, but this will get you started on some of the common adjustments you will need to make when using a RAW preset on a JPEG file.
Open your image in Lightroom, and select your Develop module. Then, locate the first preset you would like to use.
In this case, I chose Color Preset – Vintage Spring. As you can see, it is overexposed, and the saturation is a bit too much for my taste. This is because we are using a RAW preset on a JPEG file. RAW files, when they are unedited, tend to appear a bit flat in terms of color and contrast, so presets created specifically for RAW files usually boost those areas. In turn, when you apply them to a JPEG image, they can seem too heavy, but like I said, this is an easy fix.
Most likely, the first two adjustments that you will want to make are Recovery and Fill Light. Recovery will restore the blown highlights without darkening the overall tone of the image, so I moved it all the way to 100. Fill Light will tone down the highlights on the entire image, but again, it will not darken the overall exposure. Next, I reduced the Brightness just a tiny bit, and then Vibrance I reduced to -6. Experiment with the sliders on these adjustments and you will quickly begin to grasp how they affect the image. One of the many great things about Lightroom is that it gives you a live preview as you are working, so you can immediately see how the adjustments are affecting your image.
In your Develop module, select the Graduated Filter, then you will see two circles appear on the left side of your image. You can drag the points of the filter to any location on your image. For this photo, I moved the filter further to the upper left so that it would cover less of the photo.
In order to tone down the Graduated Filter, I lowered the Exposure, Brightness and Saturation. Again, this is something that you will want to experiment with, so don’t be afraid to move the sliders in all directions as you are getting used to editing with the presets.
Now, see how easy it is to use the RAW presets on a JPEG file? So, if you only shoot in JPEG, then you can absolutely use RAW presets on your JPEG files. This applies to all of the preset collections at Pretty Presets, too!
Anna Gay is a portrait photographer based in Athens, GA and the author of the dPS ebook The Art of Self-Portraiture. She also designs actions and textures for Photoshop. When she is not shooting or writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband, and their two cats, Elphie and Fat Cat.