Brixton Film and I teamed up so I can present their presets and bundles to photographers and I'm super excited to show them off because I'm in love with the results. I curated travel photos from a recent London and Scotland trip I took that I've been meaning to edit so why not use Brixton Film?!
In this blog I cover:
- The importance of presets
- The few things I disliked about Brixton Film presets and why + before and after shots
- Why I'm a fan of Brixton Film presets + before and after shots
- A curation of photos from London and Scotland covering location, the presets I used, and a little info on some of the places seen.
- Me offering advice. I'm always here to help!
- The conclusion + most loved and used presets from Brixton Film + why
Why use presets?
Editing with presets is essential. Basically, there are two main reasons to own presets, whether you use your own or purchase them. First, the faster and more consistently you edit the better.
Second, presets can create m o o d & s t y l e
At times, I still feel like I'm on the search for presets that work for me and when I make my own they don't seem to translate across my other images. Any other photographers figured out how to combat that? Hit me up.
If you can tell, I like my images to have emotion. I don't like stale photos. I want wind blowing in hair, light to draw the eyes in, and a bold, striking color illuminating the scene. I want the image to exude mood.
Brixton Film does not disappoint when it comes to color. Some of the presets were too strong for me, but I found the ones that I began to consistently use. Rich shadows and highlights paired with strong dynamic ranges pleased me.
Before you scroll down to see the results, I must explain that I have every single bundle and add on. Each bundle offers presets and each add on offers an extra layer of simple editing.
The two bundles I used the most were Essential and Modern. They're the most versatile for all types of photos from my experience.
I prefer the best news last so I'll start with the things I didn't like.
The few things I disliked:
The names of each preset.
With Brixton, the names began to blur together between bundles. Names like Hot & Cold vs Soft & Warm really threw me off. I couldn't remember which one was which, although, I do recognize that the presets are new to me and I would start memorizing them over time.
Ultimately, I do prefer more mature and simple names, even if they are creative. Instead, I would prefer each preset after a name -- Mary, Isabelle, Anna, etc. Or name them after a place -- Denver, LA, NYC. Or just name them based on numbers kind of like VSCO. I prefer a uniform consistency with preset names.
Some of the presets were way too edited for me. They were giving Instagram filters a run for their money. Using a subtle curve and split tone, a mature use of shadows and highlights, and a minimal manipulation of hue + saturation makes for the best image.
If I'm placing a preset over an image and then needing to take the split tone down 20 notches and then consequentially readjusting the temperature and tint then the preset is way too extreme.
First, let me start with saying I never use Instagram filters (but if I did, Valencia all the way, am I right?) so I picked the 2 most outlandish ones I could find which were X-Pro II and Hefe.
Here they are
as I shutter at the sight of presenting them to you
Now I will show you some of the presets I probably will never touch on Brixton and that is for two reasons.
1. They aren't my style but if they are your style or they can work for you then that's great. Less is more for me, though.
2. I love way too many of the other presets with completely different styles so why bother with these?
RAW -- Landscape & Wildlife Bundle : Preset Yosemite --- Portrait Bundle : Dragan Light
Honestly, fixing these would take so much time that it's not worth it. There are a handful of these extreme presets amongst the Brixton bundles and that's one thing that overwhelmed me when I was getting to know the presets.
However, I found and used the presets that weren't so wild and those really grew on me. I also found the ones that were too extreme but had potential and edited them how I preferred and simply copied and pasted them to the rest of my photos in that sequence. You'll see what I mean next.
What I like about Brixton:
Some of these images are a 1 click edit with few changes and some are heavily edited but they stay true to the mood of the preset, which is what I wanted to exhibit in my examples.
I love the add-ons for simple editing, such as "cool highlight" or "less saturation." Those were great to have for 1 click edits.
The preset Cool Water under the bundle Photojournalism is what I used for a sequence of action photos. It's hardly a 1 click edit but I loved the mood. Here you will first see the RAW image + Cool Water with no edits + Cool Water with my edits. I then took the preset and copied it to the rest of the images.
Raw --- Preset 1 click edit --- Preset with my edit
Now I'll show you a preset I do enjoy because it causes subtle change but still conveys a rich mood with constrasting shadows. It works wonderfully on streets and buildings although I do suggest toning the blue hue down when using it. The preset is under the Modern bundle and is named Blast.
Raw --- Preset 1 click edit --- Preset with my edit
As you can tell, I've barely made any changes at all. It's amazing! I love being able to click on the preset with a vision of rich colors and contrast and I barely have to do anything. The main edits I want to focus on are dodging, burning, and playing with the curve a tiny bit and this simple preset allows me to do that.
Another preset I used quite a bit was under the Essential bundle and named Warm Memories. This preset I had to reign in more than Blast with it's super vivid colors and red shadows. Once I figured out exactly how I wanted it, though, it worked like a charm. Here are two images that I barely had to edit with this preset.
Raw --- Preset 1 click edit --- Preset with my edit
All I had to do for both of these images was take the exposure down, which was an in-camera choice, and decrease the red saturation and ta-da!
This preset is so nostalgic to me. It reminds me of the perfect rainy day with my comfy sweater, a cup of tea, and an old-fashioned color tv show with rich blue skies. I can't get enough of it.
The ones I used the most are so beautiful and moody with rich shadows and cool highlights. They change the image from RAW and flat to a whole different dimension of depth and the perfect mixture of warm and cool. I love warm photos, rich blacks, and color color color. I had so much fun editing with two specific presets. What are they you ask?? You'll find out at the end of the blog!
Of course, I used many others but I couldn't stay away from these. You'll see why.
Now, ladies and gentleman, I present to you my Brixton Film Preset photos. *Drum roll please*
(P.S. On the images with titles on them? Scroll through them! There are arrows + the title tells ya the preset I used because I'm awesome. You're welcome.)
If you've ever browsed Pinterest for more than five minutes then you've probably seen the famous Churchill Arms pub on your feed. It's always brilliantly decorated season-round. In the warm months it's either as you see it above or even better with thousands of flowers and during the holiday it is covered in lights and pine trees. If you're walking around Kensington in London (as you should) then make sure to see this masterpiece.
While waiting to eat at The French House in Soho, my friends and I explored the nearby area of Chinatown. I'm still kicking myself for not having taken photos of my food from The French House but let me tell you it was gooooooood and presented like a work of art. The classy cuisine was well priced and we decided to eat there because my London friend has a book, Tired of London Tired of Life, which gives you a list of things you can do each day in London. Realistically, you can't do something every day but it's a great way to get out and see London and it was the inspiration for many of the locations in this blog.
The Victoria and Albert is one of my favorite museums in London. I've been twice which is nothing in comparison to my friend who has been countless times. Little did we know that through the courtyard and into the next building of the museum is this stunning gem of a cafe. Upon discovery, thanks very much to Pinterest, we visited and found ourselves delightfully drinking tea and eating scones in the first and oldest museum restaurant in the world.
A few days after London, my friends hopped in a car and roadtripped to Scotland, visiting Edinburgh, Stonehaven, Inverness and the Culloden Battlefield, Isle of Skye, and the Glennfinnan Viaduct, which if you don't know is the Harry Potter bridge. We hiked a lot, drank beer and ate pub food, listened to live Scottish music, slept in hostels, got rained on, laughed so much it hurt, and drove all around the beautiful Highlands.
Seriously, one of the best trips of my life.
Let me help you
If you ever have any questions on how I edit or want help editing something then message me! If you ever have travel questions or want to know where I was in any of these photos then tell me. I'm always here to help!
If you're curious and want to purchase Brixton Film Presets then click here. Don't forget if you want to purchase any presets to go through me! I can advise you on what bundle will be best for you as well and help you through the process. I hope my photos convey how beautiful, colorful, and rich the Brixton presets are. I found my favorites and I'll be sticking to them.
The most used presets here are:
Essentials "Warm Memories" + Modern "Blast."
The "Warm Memories" preset instantly creates a mood with rich depth and creamy cool highlights. I especially love it when there is a lot of sky in the image or contrasting colors such as yellow and blue.
"Blast" is the perfect street photography preset and I'll probably use it from now on with many of my travel street and city photos. With it highlights pop, greens and yellows glow, backlighting shines against shadows, and a cool tonal range attracts the eye that's perfect for cityscapes.
I also used Essentials "Winding Down" for the green scenes quite a bit. That's a really beautiful preset for a subtle look and a pop of fresh green. It was ideal for the cliff and sea photos in the Scottish Highlands.
Vintage "Carnival" worked well with my nightscapes against a blue sky and pops of bright lights. It is a bold and colorful preset. When I used it for daytime photos they had a vibrant pink hue to them.
For many of my nature photos with less tonal range that were predominantly green due to lots of trees, I preferred Vintage "California" and Modern "Soft & Violet." The presets are softer with a lower contrast and a subtle tonal range while maintaining the vivid colors that already exist.
Overall, these are the presets that stood out the most and I used the most.
Up and coming will be another blog post with these presets used on portraits so stay tuned.
Before I let you go there's one thing I gotta know!
Okay, 2 things. Did you scroll through the photos with the arrows that went left to right? I hope so!
But more importantly....
Which photograph is your favorite? Or which one stands out the most to you? I would like to know why. Sometimes, an artist just really likes to see things through the eyes of others and I am biased on my own work. Leave a comment and help a
starving thriving artist out!