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Lesson 15 from: Creating the Moment Workshop

Forrest Mankins

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Lesson Info

15. Presets

A preset is information: Forrest explains how they are totally invaluable in informing our own perspectives.

Lesson Info


So we're gonna go ahead and actually get on the computer and start editing some of our images, but first I want to just take a second and kind of share my take on presets. And I've wanted to talk about this for a long time, and I've seen a lot of people speaking up and saying they would never sell or show their presets, that it's this personal thing that they don't want to give up, that it's not the way to learn, and that it can hinder people from making their own style. Personally, I call bullshit. I don't think there's anything sacred about a sequence of sliders, and I believe that hiding behind something like an edit might be a crutch. It might be fear based, the idea that if someone knew how I edit that I'd lose my advantage. And I'm not saying that photographers who don't offer their presets in any way are operating like this. I'm just saying that all a preset is, is information. There's the value of getting a good look instantly, and some people may just want that, which is total...

ly fine. The other side is that you're getting a one-to-one look at how all of the sliders and functions in Lightroom work together. So this can take you from rote knowledge, which is an application of the preset, to comprehension, which is actually taking the information from the preset and changing it, utilizing it into your own vision. And your bad photo sucks because it's bad, and your great photo rules because it's great. So an edit or a preset, that can help polish something that's good even more, but it's not gonna make anyone's photo good. And you can do an amazing edit on a bad frame (laughs) and no one's gonna care. So I just say let's forget about this holier-than-thou kind of talk about presets and realize that inside of each one is a lesson that we can choose to learn from or ignore. For those of you who can play an instrument, you'll know that a very integral part of the learning process is learning other people's songs, and whether that's Mozart or Zeppelin or whoever, it's all the same. So while you're learning songs you like, you're learning new techniques, you're accruing hours of experience and internalizing all of this into skill, which is how you're gonna progress into your own journey. Long story short, a preset is information, the same as a YouTube video about what ISO is. And I think it's exciting that we have opportunities like this to gain access to other people's knowledge. It's totally invaluable in informing our own perspective.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lightroom Presets

Ratings and Reviews

Mathieu Cladidier

A lot of philosophical insights but not much of practical tips to use! I love Forrest Mankins photos and youtube channel. I signed up for his workshop to get a bit more of an insider perception, which he delivered in his own style and which is great. However, at the end of the workshop, I have a hard time to really feel like it worth it. Maybe I was expecting too much of technical, really hands on tips. The whole thing is good overall, don't get me wrong but not as much useful as expected.

Matt Steindl

Creating a Moment Overall, this workshop had a ton of great insight into Forrest's process before and after creating an image. I learned a lot and really enjoyed the points he touched on with working with models and teams. I never had a workshop go into these sort of important details that forgotten at times. I wish the workshop had more "in the field" video content as it tended to get a bit cumbersome watching Forrest talk at the camera over and over again but regardless I definitely learned a lot and would purchase this workshop again in heartbeat.


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