Skip to main content

photo & video

The Adventure Workshop

Lesson 19 of 36

Presets: Switzerland

Alex Strohl

The Adventure Workshop

Alex Strohl

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

19. Presets: Switzerland

Lesson Info

Presets: Switzerland

(gentle music) Making your own presets. It's so important that you do your stuff from scratch. Your own cuisine. When it comes to the nitty-gritty when you're sitting at your desk, just starting from scratch is much more fulfilling. Takes longer but leads to better results long term. So a couple of best practices for making presets. Big thing is that they're not one size fit all. So, one preset might work for a certain condition but not for the other one so, when I do presets I like to match them to the conditions I had. Was it foggy, was it rainy, was it sunny? Where was I? In the desert, by the ocean, in a mountain? What time of the day was it? Sunrise, sunset, mid-day? It's important when you make a preset and you go to name it, that you write and you think about the time of the day it was and where you were. Also, presets are not static. You may build one and you like it and then you apply it to another image because you want to go quicker. You might like what you did right there...

so you then you can update it, number two, number three, number four. You can have many iterations of it. And then as you go to keep your preset sheet pretty clean, delete them as you go and keep your favorite one. I probably have 10, 11, presets that I've built over the years but at some point I'm gonna have 30 and I'm going to clean them up. So just be on top of it, keep it clean and leave them evolving. Presets are useful cause they save you a bunch of time, so you have this thousand photos to edit from this shoot. Well, you build one for the whole shoot and then you just apply it and tweak it. It just saves you a ton of time, that's good but when you have a different set, just challenge yourself and start from scratch something new, you know? I wanna edit this photo which is a little more complex. It has more colors and a bit stronger light coming in. Let's do it. So first thing I usually do is that I start with the white balance, make it a little warmer here. You can also use this on the whitest part of the image which is probably right here. The most neutral part of the image. You know this looks alright, maybe a little warm. Alright. Let me go into my brightness. Contrast really touch it again. Blacks, get my clarity down. My curve's two points. This is highlights, this is shadows, and this you use to fade. See the difference. So fade it was cool a while ago I think that you just want to keep it tasteful and make sure in a year it's not going to look silly. So right now. And again I can review on the white. This you can play with, too. I don't use it a lot but it's like an extension of the curves. If you don't like using curves, which is alright, you can play with these. But again, for me, curves just way more control. Usually no more than three points. This is for your highlights but I don't like to kill the highlights. You can tell when somebody's killed the highlights. Put some of the shadows back. Alright, it looks a little dark down here but we'll look at it after. My grass really, there's not much I want to do with it. Cause this looks like fall but it wasn't fall. It was summer right? So I kinda want it to look like the way it was. So the greens I'm not going to play with too much, maybe just make them a little bit warmer. Saturation again not a whole lot I want to do here with my greens. I want this to age well. Blues, I usually like to pop a little bit my blues. So you see what it's doing to the sky up there, too? No good, I don't want the sky to be blue. Just my river. So it's alright if it changes up there in the corner. We can kill that after with a grading filter. The blues are here. I might touch the hue in the blues. make them a little more baby blue, pastel like that. My highlights. They're looking a little warm up here, I might want to cool them down just a nudge. Just a little bit it's very subtle as soon as you just do it too much you can tell. But see it's getting a little purple now. Now we go back. So I can maybe go into the greens a little bit. Yep, just a little. The shadows by default I like to warm them up into the oranges. But that's kinda like, part of developing your feel, your signature thing. It's not unique to me, but I enjoy the warm shadows and cool highlights. But what is it that you like? Just play with it and don't try to recreate this. I like where this is going. Sharpening not much I want to do. Noise reduction we're good. Color correction we really don't want to mess with it. Alright maybe fix a little bit of vignetting. This was shot at 2.8. I shoot most of it at 2.8 cause I like the way it leaves the foreground softer and we can see this area better. Up here maybe bring the saturation in, make this grass pop a bit. I you want to go into fall this is it. If you want to go into a special world this is it. Not for me really. Yeah, keep that zero. Sometimes if you go into this, if you're in the fall and you want to increase your oranges, you can balance with this. Making reds a little stronger. You can increase this. You can kinda balance it with the reds going to opposite way. But here, I don't know what I wanna do. I just think this green was really the way it was. We look at the next photo. It's good to just kinda double check. And you can even select a different source photo hit command here and this is two you're seeing. This one and this one. And then you would click it, Command click, and then back. Alright, we're looking pretty good. Radial filters. Here I wanna get rid of this blue up here that I don't enjoy too much. So let's start with that first. We don't want it to touch the mountain too much it's gonna look suspicious. Okay. I'm probably just wanna kill the saturation here. Not too much. And then just bring up the shadows. There we go good. Good. Alright. Now I'll balance this with a filter, reset all my settings you can go either way. The dehaze doesn't work very well on the sky cause there's no haze. But on some foggy photos it makes a big difference. So here maybe just a notch. Kinda give this more of a surreal feel to the background. Here in the middle since I took down the clarity earlier you saw, this is my way of bringing it back. Is one of these radial filters, using a sharpness of no more than 35 on this area. I may just stretch it a bit cause it's more to look at my two subjects. Sometimes I just give it a bit of exposure. Just a notch, subtle. Alright. Overall I like the way it looks. This is dark enough, and it's natural dark. Sometimes I bring a gradient filter here on it just to make it even darker so the eye goes straight where I want it to go which is here. But in this occasion it might look a little unnecessary. If we delete it, I think it's good like this. It's natural. Whenever I can I keep it natural. If you add this gradient filter and make it really dark on the bottom of the image I think people can see what's going on. They can see what you're doing and that's never really good. So overall happy and I might edit a photo now and in a week I might edit it differently. But I still want to keep my colors consistent. We're done. So now go ahead and save this preset and I'm gonna call it Swiss Sunrise 2. Cause we already have a 1 here. Let me check and make sure everything is good. The calibration, yep boom. Then you can go to any of the photos from the set and throw it on and have a good result. All I have to do is play with the white balance and then I'm cruisin'. That's how you make another preset. (gentle music)

Class Description

Alex Strohl brings his Adventure Photography Workshop to CreativeLive to explain his approach to photography, editing and the sometimes overwhelming but super important business side of things. In this workshop- Alex takes you on a journey through his shooting process, developing your own style, editing your images and then strategies to get yourself noticed and grow your career.

You’ll learn:

  • Basics of camera techniques and making memorable images
  • Developing your own workflow and style
  • Getting noticed and working with brands
  • Taking action to accelerate your career

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


David Corrochano

There's a lot of useful information on how to start up your bussiness or your carreer as a photographer. Great advices, he shows his personal workflow, from the beggining of a shooting till the end. That was what I was looking for. The editing process maybe could be reduced in only one chapter. Worth it.