Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rain in LA & Lightroom presets

My apartment is eight floors up from the street in downtown LA. Even so, street sounds carry amazingly well here and it's usually fairly noisy. I had been working very late and the streets had gotten awfully quiet, so when the unique sound of tires on wet pavement broke through to my attention, I knew that a rare event was taking place: it was raining in LA.

I grabbed my D70s and rode the elevator downstairs and stepped out of the lobby into a fairly heavy rain. I set the exposure to manual and popped up the built-in flash. After snapping a few frames on trailing shutter flash at 1/10 sec, I went back upstairs, downloaded the images, opened them up in Lightroom 3. What I settled for were two presets: EFF Dragan 4, which brings out the detail of the slick pavement surface for the bus shots, and a nifty preset called Vintage T-shirt for the shot of the pedestrian, for a desaturated but slightly old-fashioned candid look.

While not everyone appreciates presents, but they sure can save a lot of time. Bear in mind that once applied they can be easily modified to suit and then saved as your own customized preset. Besides paid commercial packages, lots of people have gotten on the bandwagon and are offering free downloads. I got some of mine here: Lightroom Journal