August 7, 2017

Review | DVLOP Presets for Wedding Photography

Review

Here’s something a little different on the blog, a tech review! If you’re here for Indian wedding photography move on to the next post or click here for other blog posts in the Indian wedding category.

DVLOP is a new set of presets from a group of some of my favorite wedding photographers, the people that I look to for inspiration at the top of the wedding photography game. When they announced these presets which would also be part of a larger “Dual Illuminant” profile system to provide consistency across cameras, I was more than intrigued. As so here we are, DVLOP was finally released, and I jumped on the new preset bandwagon and picked up the presets packs for three of my favorite photographers: Jeff Newsom, Chrisman Studios, and Gabe McClintock.

As it’s Summer and wedding season is in full swing, I have a ton of new photos to test these presets out on, so I loaded up DVLOP into Lightroom and went to town. I am currently using a heavily modified VSCO preset base, which was the last set of presets I bought years ago, and have tweaked them to be my normal style for Indian weddings – vibrant and contrasty for Indian weddings, not the faded film look that VSCO is known for. The photographer’s style for most of these presets are natural light photographers shooting in exotic locations… aaaaand most Indian weddings are indoors in a hotel ballroom not on top of a mountain. So, how do these presets by photographers that primarily shoot natural light work for “the other 99%” of us shooting weddings indoors?

Here is a wedding from a couple of weeks ago, with some outdoor portraits before the event began and then an indoor mehndi night at the Biltmore Ballrooms Atlanta.

There’s a “READ MORE” link below to reduce some of the load times for the blog as this before/after image plugin is probably not the best for loading so many photos if you are viewing this blog post on mobile or any slower internet speed connection.

Gabe McClintock DVLOP Presets

Gabe McClintock – Gljufrabui + Gabe Point Curve + Gabe Palette

Gabe McClintock – Gljufrabui + Gabe Point Curve + Gabe Palette

Gabe McClintock – Seljalandsfoss + Gabe Point Curve + Gabe Palette + Radial Finisher

Gabe McClintock – Gljufrabui + Gabe Point Curve + Gabe Palette

Gabe McClintock – Niagara + Gabe Point Curve + Gabe Palette

Now for some indoor reception photos from an Indian Wedding Mehndi Night! I do like the warm tones and colors from Gabe’s presets, but one of the best parts of photographing Indian Weddings is all of the vivid colors from the bride, groom, and the guests!

Gabe McClintock – Gljufrabui + Gabe Point Curve + Gabe Palette + Radial Finisher

Gabe McClintock – Latourell + Gabe Point Curve + Gabe Palette

Gabe McClintock – Gljufrabui + Gabe Point Curve + Gabe Palette

Gabe McClintock – Seljalandsfoss + Gabe Point Curve + Gabe Palette

Jeff Newsom DVLOP Presets

To keep this semi-consistent… well, as much as you can with the crazy variations on a wedding day, here’s some more photos from the second day of this same wedding (Neha & Essa) but now edited with probably my favorite photographer, Jeff Newsom’s DVLOP pack. Similar structure of these previews with some outdoor portraits before the indoor reception at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly hotel.

Jeff Newsom – I’m a Potato + Jeff Tone Curve + Jeff Palette

Jeff Newsom – The Cake is a Lie + Jeff Tone Curve + Jeff Palette

Jeff Newsom – I’m a Potato + Jeff Tone Curve + Jeff Palette

Jeff Newsom – For Science, You Monster + Jeff Tone Curve + Jeff Palette

Jeff Newsom – For Science, You Monster + Jeff Tone Curve + Jeff Palette

Now let’s head indoors to see how the Jeff Newsom’s DVLOP presets hold up indoors at an Indian Wedding Reception.

Jeff Newsom – For Science, You Monster + Jeff Tone Curve + Jeff Palette

Jeff Newsom – For Science, You Monster + Jeff Tone Curve + Jeff Palette + Purple Uplight of Oblivion

Jeff Newsom – The Cake is a Lie + Jeff Tone Curve + Jeff Palette + Purple Uplight of Oblivion

Jeff Newsom – For Science, You Monster + Jeff Tone Curve + Jeff Palette + Purple Uplight of Oblivion

Jeff Newsom – For Science, You Monster + Jeff Tone Curve + Jeff Palette + Purple Uplight of Oblivion

Conclusions

Can you tell I’m a sucker for those warmer tones in both Gabe and Jeff’s presets? I did buy the Chrisman Studios pack as well, however their style I would say closest matches my current editing style and I didn’t feel it was such a dramatic shift. With both Gabe and Jeff’s presets, out of the box they work suprisingly well. Maybe not “one click and done” but pretty darn close. One thing with these presets is that they do really work best if you yourself are shooting in a style similar to the photographer’s style, which I would generalize as outdoor natural light portraits, not so much indoor off camera flash complex lighting. The main thing I had to adjust with these was the colors in the Hue/Saturations portion of Adobe Lightroom, as South Asian skin is already pretty warm temperature and these presets exaggerated it too much. I’m probably still not 100% where I want it to be but after some tweaking, I am getting the skin tones back to normal more consistently. I watched the tutorial videos by Jonas Peterson (another one of my all-time favorite photographers) and this was his general advice for photographers struggling with the out of the box look of the presets, that the presets work best in that particular photographer’s style.

Overall I’m liking Jeff Newsom’s presets the most, as they seem to work best with my particular style of shooting and “For Science, You Monster” works well as a base for indoor photos during the reception. Or it could be that I just love Jeff’s processing so naturally I love the look here, even though I was semi-critical of his workshop I attended years ago (maybe it’s also a “don’t meet your heroes” thing) he’s still my favorite photographer. The Jeff Newsom DVLOP pack is definitely my favorite of the 3 I bought from the initial DVLOP launch, a few fun variations with Jeff’s warmer style and a tone to the images with a little bit of work to get good skin tones from olive skin.

Gabe McClintock’s presets I found the most intriguing and that’s why I attempted to do a representative sample from various parts of the wedding day for the types of weddings I shoot (indoor Indian Weddings). Those warm, chocolately tones work for the moody style he creates in his images but I don’t think this style does justice to the colors and vibrancy of an Indian wedding, at least how I see the world. The outdoor photos look great with them to create a moody portrait, but then going indoors I don’t know if I really like the warmness for a vibrant Indian wedding. Maybe a moody American style wedding reception in a barn, but I’m not really liking the clash of moody and vibrant as a cohesive final product of wedding photos. That said, I did end up doing something similar to a Gabe McClintock shoot when we went to the Blue Ridge Parkway with Natasha and Zain a couple of weeks ago for their engagement. I don’t think I shoot in exactly the same style as Gabe does anyways in regards to his use of light and shadows, but the presets do look nice outdoors in good light:

Gabe McClintock – Gljufrabui + JEFF Point Curve + Gabe Palette (Mix and matched with Jeff’s tone curve here for skin tones)

Gabe McClintock – Seljalandsfoss + Gabe Point Curve + Gabe Palette + Radial Finisher

Gabe McClintock – Seljalandsfoss + Gabe Point Curve + Gabe Palette + Radial Finisher

Gabe McClintock – Snoqualmie + Gabe Point Curve + Gabe Palette + Radial Finisher

A few more bonus test images here at the end not from a wedding but rather an engagement session, where we had a little more control over the light. The final image is obviously an image created with external flash to really bring out those sunset colors we were getting over the Blue Ridge Parkway, but in the “after” image you can see that the Gabe preset warms those up and to me it diminishes the vibrant colors that were present. Again, this is how I shoot and it does not match up exactly with how the creator of these presets works, which is why DVLOP is not a one click editing solution.

Do I personally like them? Yes. Should you buy them yourself? It depends. Do you shoot in the style of any of these photographers and you think your photos will work with these sort of color tones? I wouldn’t say I was in any sort of “editing funk” but it’s nice to try something different every once in a while and flex your creative muscle in Lightroom, and these presets give you some structure as a way to start to edit a photo in a new way, and then guide it to align with your personal editing preferences. I love Jonas Peterson’s images, but I don’t think I quite see the world as he does and as those tones work for him when presenting the story of the wedding day, I really didn’t foresee them working with an Indian Wedding.

Final notes, all of these images were taken with the Canon 5D Mar IV, and using the DVLOP camera profiles.

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