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23 Sep

What The Heck Is A Preset?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Aggie Lal Lightroom Presets (@aggiepresets) on

Swipe across to see the unfiltered image. 

One of the things that we love about Instagram is that it has turned every one of us into a photographer. Endless rolls of 'film' mean that we're in no danger of being at a loss for social media fodder, but we do sometimes feel like our mosaic could use a bit more polish. Some of the feeds we love have excelled in creating a true signature 'look' for their images: check out @jacimariesmith, @goldfish_kiss and @travel_inhershoes to see what we mean.

The secret behind these gorgeous images, whether they're super-saturated, psychedelically bright, or intensely moody, is something called a preset. We've been hearing about them for years, but in recent months chatter about them has hit a fever pitch and we realized that it was time, finally, to figure out what the heck they were. We tapped influencer Aggie Lal of Travel In Her Shoes to decode the preset for us. Her @aggiepresets Insta is a great way to see how impactful filters and presets can be — note the difference in the images at the top of the story and the originals when you swipe left. Lal's preset shop is a nicely edited selection of gorgeous, beachy filters if you're looking for some for yourself, and you should definitely watch her YouTube tutorial if you're looking to learn more —sometimes a (moving) picture is worth a thousand words! 

BIKINI: Can you please explain what the heck a preset is for us?!
AGGIE LAL: Presets are nothing more than ‘filters’ you can create yourself from scratch using a desktop and mobile app called Lightroom. Lightroom is a professional coloring program for photographers, who use the software to create a certain look for their photos. It’s called coloring for a reason — the program gives you unlimited possibilities of changing any colors in the photo to your liking as well as exposure, contrast, and saturation.


BIKINI:  Got it. So how do you use them?
AL:  It's pretty simple. You buy a digital file that you install on your phone or laptop and it works like any other filter for Instagram or VSCO except they are more advanced. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Aggie Lal Lightroom Presets (@aggiepresets) on

Swipe across to see the unfiltered image. 

BIKINI:  You've really developed your own preset style — how'd you zero in on that? 
AL: I started by creating and using only one filter to help to keep my feed consistent and I have to say it has really helped me get that signature look. Over the years, I became a little more creative and created a wider range of filters that reflected my mood and style of what I want to achieve. From bright sky to gloomy city vibes, you can create filters to achieve the look you like.