Yesterday I posted a portrait of Kyle John Suckling which was part of a series of images captured for his upcoming album release. The lead photo uses a little Adobe Lightroom 4 preset I have been developing for creating dark, gritty portraits. The aim of the preset is to add age but retain sharpness and clarity. I mentioned in the Kyle John Suckling post I would offer it as a free Lightroom 5 preset and today my mailbox filled up was requests and offers of testing.

The original Kyle John Suckling image published yesterday.

For this reason I have rushed to make the draft version of the preset available. I say draft as images tend to need a bit of work to get right after the preset is applied.

The preset works best on bright, well exposed images as this means the detail is retained when the image is dramatically darkened during the black and white / sepia processing.  I have grabbed another out take photo to demonstrate the Lightroom 5 preset in action.

Original Image SOOC

Free Lightroom 4 Preset

EXIF : X-Pro1 Camera with 35mm lens. ISO 200 1/90 sec at f / 1.4 (RAW). The X-Pro1 creates remarkably sharp images, so good you really have to zoom right in to appreciate just how much this sensor captures.

FlixelPix – Grit

I applied the preset with no additional adjustment so you can see the type of image it creates.

Free Lightroom 4 preset

I think it is hard to see the benefit of this preset with a small image so make sure you visit the large version on Flickr to see the true effect. I would encourage you to get as close to the image as you can to really see the detail.

You might need to increase the Exposure on darker images but then Lightroom Presets should always be using as a starting point for an image. Rarely does a preset work perfectly with an image without some degree of tweaking.


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This preset is optimised for Lightroom 5 and use with RAW image files. You may also be interested in my X-Pro1 Mono Preset.

You can download other FlixelPix Free Lightroom Presets here or check out 10 top tips for getting the most from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

About The Author

David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is also an official Fujifilm X Photographer.

  • http://www.silviaganoraphotography.com sil

    Hi!

    I really love your Grit preset! I’m pretty new to Lightroom and own version 3.6. Can it still be used?

    Thanks so much!

  • http://www.flixelpix.com David

    Sil, the quick answer is that I don’t know. The good news is it won’t do any harm if you try and import it? It would definitely be worth trying anyway.

  • http://www.silviaganoraphotography.com sil

    Thanks David. That’s what I’m going to do. :)

  • http://www.photographworks.com David Bennett

    I can report that the presets work in Lightroom 3.

    And very well, too :-)