If you haven’t seen our 2011 “Thanks for Sharing Awards,” take a look at the winning entries.
I asked the winners to share some of their workflow with our readers. Everyone has slightly different techniques. Here’s what Marcus Vickers had to say.
“I shoot everything in RAW, this way I can lower the contrast, tweak the saturation and do minor color correction without losing quality.
For color photos, I generally run a slight curve adjustment to help the colors pop. Then I use Exposure. If I’m looking for a specific film look, I’ll glance through the different film options first, and then I’ll make some slight customizations to the effect. Exposure’s tone curve is great because of the brightness, contrast, midtone and shadow sliders. They give me good localized adjustments. I usually add a slight vignette and a touch of warmth across the board; this makes photos feel more natural.
For black and white photos, it’s a very similar process. I’ll generally look at B&W films to figure out which setting is a good starting point. For street scenes, I like Kodak Tri-X 400 because of its high contrast, which gives me a grittier look. For portraits, I like to start off with an Ilford film, adjust the tone curve sliders, and bring the “Ink 1” slider up to give it a slight warmth. Exposure’s color temperature controls aren’t as extreme as Adobe Camera Raw’s.
Exposure really is the cornerstone of my post production. I’m hesitant to share this because I risk sounding like a salesman. It’s my “secret weapon” when processing photos. I really do use it on everything.
If I want to emulate film, I go with what I like. If I’m not using a film setting, Exposure has pretty much replaced Photoshop for the majority of my editing. I have better control over the look that I’m after.
Here’s an example; I shot this in Chinatown. I think it makes a great B&W image. I used my Canon 5D with a 24-105 f/4L IS. The shot was handheld so it’s a bit dark. I made a slight exposure adjustment in ACR and everything else was done with Exposure.”
Here is the settings file. Save the preset to your desktop first. In most browsers, right-click the link and choose Save As. That should save a file with a .f1s at the end of the name.
Then double-click the .f1s file to install. Next time you run Exposure 3 you should see it in the User Settings list.