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A piece of my mind

Editing | Finding your footing in a world of filters

Post processing is a very interesting, very subjective topic. When I first started taking photos two years ago I watched so many YouTube videos and read so many articles about how important it was to “find my style” and keep my feed consistent. During these two years I honestly think I’ve been through every style there is. I’ve done the orange and teal, moody edits with heavy blue tones, replicating Brandon Woelfel, only do B&W photos and everything in between. Looking back at those photos some of the edits are borderline offensive. I don’t think you’re ever done. I don’t think you ever find one style that will last you the rest of your photography lifetime. Although I’m happy with where I’m currently at, I’m sure my photos will look very different a year from now.

I can’t tell you how to edit your photos, and there is no wrong way to do it. At the end of the day it’s subjective. It’s not wrong to do something that’s popular, doing whatever you think your clients wants, using your favourite presets for every photo, or doing something incredibly weird and artsy. As long as you’re happy with the outcome. The only thing I can tell you is how I edit my photos and hope that it inspires you.

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I shoot commercially, more often than not with a model. The most important thing, the thing I always stress when discussing post processing, is keeping the skin tones intact and natural. My main focus when I’m shooting is nailing the shot in the camera. That means nailing the exposure, limiting the color palette visible in the photo and proper composition. You can buy whatever preset you want, but if you don’t keep these things in mind your photos will be all over the place. If you want a consistent feed, the colour palette is the most important thing.

As of late I’ve been favouring a soft, natural and warm look across all of my photos. Any and all edits that I do are very basic. I let the light and colours in the photo dictate the contrast. I balance out the light in all my photos and then apply more selective adjustments.

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Before

A photo of Sophie I took in Lofoten

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After

The finished photo

This was a very straight forward edit. The photo already looked good SOOC. I wanted to enhance the feeling of the sunset that was present when the photo was taken. I use my own custom presets as a base for all my photos. For this photo I used my preset WIP, which you can find in my preset pack. I balanced out the light, brought in some color contrast through the curves and added warmth with the white balance, HSL sliders and camera calibration.

Finding your own style takes patience and practise. It’s not going to come overnight and it’s ever changing. And that’s a good thing. Every hour that you put into Lightroom, Photoshop, Capture One or whatever program you are using will make you a better editor. Or if you’re lazy like me, you can just buy a preset pack and call it a night.

With this post I’ve decided to share all of my personal presets that I use as a base for all of my photos. The pack includes 8 different presets, both in colour and B&W. In the gallery below you’ll see each and every preset applied to the same photo. If you like the look of my photos, you can go ahead and grab the entire pack for $5 right here

Johan ÖhrlundComment