Featured Artist Zak DenHartigh Entry 01

I am an amateur photographer, currently 23 years old, and striving to get better. I take photos for fun because I like them. I have always used Lightroom to edit my photos, however, I never dabbled in using presets. I wasn’t until RockShutter that I began to experiment with presets… Now, let me backup for a second.

One of the reasons that I hadn’t used presets before, especially others’ presets, was because I thought it was cheating. I thought, “Why would I let other people edit my photos, I want them to be mine.” I had to let go of this stigma before I downloaded some of RockShutters presets and when I did, learned a couple of things. 

One thing that I learned is that the right preset on the right image is magic. It may take testing a few of them out, but when you hit the right one, you know. The second thing I learned was that I can use these presets as a learning tool. When I apply a preset to an image, I look at the sliders and all the settings in Lightroom to learn what is happening to the image and why. I can see what it is that I like and don’t like when editing an image. I encourage looking into the details when using presets. A lot of the leg work is done for you, so take the time to study the image. This will help you be able to create your own stylized images.

The preset that I used for this picture is called Vivid Moments from the Zinepress Collection. The reason that I chose this preset is because of the way the green and the shadows play around the silver hydrant. The greens and browns were enriched (vibrance slider at 9), making it feel full of life. The silver color on the shadows and dark greens just looks so good to me. When checking out presets, I like to see what has been changed the most, which slider is the most extreme, because they often have a great contribution to the overall look. On this image, the Contrast slider was +46. I slid it back and forth to 0 so I could see how it was altering the image. I settled it back to +46 before checking out more details in the image.

Whether you are new to photography and photo editing today, been doing it as a hobby for years, or a professional, I believe that there is a lot one can learn from a great preset and RockShutter offers them in abundance. 

And remember, If YOU love the end result and YOU are happy with it, that’s