TWiP 449 – Presets! Good, Bad, or Lazy?

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TWiP 449 – Presets! Good, Bad, or Lazy?

We haven’t discussed the stock, or micro­stock photography industries in quite a while on this show. But in this episode, we discuss Corbis, owned by Bill Gates, being sold to Visual China Group — China’s equivalent to Getty Images.

VCG is also the same company that in 2015 led a $13 million dollar investment into 500px — a deal that frequent TWiP co­host and co­founder of 500px Evgeny Tchebotarev told us about when it first happened.

Also in this episode, we talk about Canon’s bold new marketing experiment called “The Lab”. And we dive into a round­table discussion about presets… good, bad or lazy!

Before we get started, we also wanted to let you know that Frederick is excited to be speaking at the Out of Chicago conference June 24­-26. For a limited time, they’re knocking $100 off the registration price if you use the code “twipchicago” when you sign up. Just head over to TWiP.Pro/OOC to see all the details. See you in the windy city!

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  1. A side-story, but the Corbis collection sold to China apparently includes the infamous Tiananmen Square tank photo.

    1. Interesting, because our tour guide in China told us that the Chinese government teaches their citizens that the tank incident didn’t exist. That photo is not publicly available in China.

  2. Great topic about presets! … Just thought I’d add a contrasting viewpoint:

    Each camera brand (eg. Nikon, Canon, Fuji) produce jpg images unique to their individual cameras. If pro’s choose to use in-camera jpg’s, would they also be labeled “Cookie Cutter” photographers? Fuji is famous for their in camera film emulations… would you label Valerie Jardin cookie cutter? Would traditional film shooters who use Kodak Portra/Tri-X, also be cookie cutter? Ansel Adams, Saul Leiter, Michael Kenna certainly would not be considered cookie cutter.

    VSCO presets (Film Emulations) encourage much more creative freedom, and choice, beyond what the camera brands provide. Each preset can get very close to the film stocks they emulate, which enables photographers to dramatically change the look of their pictures. Presets should be simply viewed as another tool, to help photographers achieve their desired results.

  3. Presets good bad or ugly. I understand the fear, but many are missing the point. Three successful photographers that use presets all the time are Trey Ratcliff, Pye Jirsa, and Jared Platt. Jared Platt developed a system of presets that saves incredible amounts of time. Wedding photographers shooting 1200 images don’t have time to go image by image, they need to batch edit fast. Presets allow photographers to replicate particular looks and styles for batch editing. Presets brushes, Presets toning, etc. all that means money. Now I don’t know if they also meant film emulations, but I love DxO and Alienskin for film looks. These companies spent thousands of dollars in labs to get the formula just right. I’ll paraphrase Sue Bryce and say why should I waste time creating looks someone else already made better? And I’ll agree with Frederick and say, they’re good starting points and I can add my spin on it too.

    So I disagree with F-stoppers. Most people who Instagram or filter shots are not your serious photographers, but people who are having fun. And serious amateurs who use the filters to awesomize their poor creativity eventually grow out of it as they get better. These are tools that help us develop identity over time. No need for fearmongery f-stoppers. If that worries you much, go back to full manual and pick up a hammer and chisel.

  4. I’m slowly catching up on TWIP postcasts. Others may have already discovered this. But Pixsy, mentioned by Martin Bailey, has apparently been so deluged with requests that they’ve stopped accepting new subscribers. They’re admitting them in small numbers weekly, according to the e-mail I received.

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