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Introduction / Notes From Doug | Lightroom Presets

When photographers began asking me to work on a set of Lightroom presets, what seems like years ago now, I told them I “was working on it.”  It was a low priority for me, though.  Photoshop offers much more control, and has a wealth of features that make it flexible from a development standpoint.  Lightroom is simple by comparison.  Part of what makes the program useful is its relative simplicity, but it’s also a handicap when you’re trying to do innovative things with it.  Packaging those things up in a way that makes the program EASIER, and not more complex just seemed impossible.  I’ve been very familiar with Lightroom since it’s original beta, but just couldn’t see how I was going to do justice to the Totally Rad name with the tools Adobe had given me as a developer.  I didn’t want to do it, but I was, at least metaphorically, dragged into the project by Chenin, Kristen, and some of our vocal and persistent customers.

It’s always been very important to me that everything I put “out there” is the best it can be.  If we’re going to sell something, it absolutely has to be not only a good value, that makes life better for photographers, but also something that’s the best in its class.  I firmly believe that our Photoshop actions are class-leading products, and settling for something less than amazing with our Lightroom endeavors was never an option.  The paradigm that existed for Lightroom presets was that they were either very basic, or very inflexible: a scalpel or a sledgehammer, so to speak.  Today’s photographers demand and require more than that.  They need power and flexibility in their tools.  They tools that transform and complete their images without having to also shove their vision into the narrow box that an industry guru has created for them.  Fortunately, reconciling those two extremes merely required some persistence, and a re-imagining of how Lightroom presets should work.  Much like our actions were a revolution in flexibility for photographers, our Lightroom presets are not only useful and novel, but also very adaptable.  You can get quick results that transform the character of a photograph, while still having a measure of control over the results.  What we’ve done is unlike any other set of presets I’ve seen, and I’m proud of just how damned good they are.

I hope you’re as excited by the power and flexibility in our presets as I am.  For 90% of raw shooters out there, they’ll be your new best friend.  Thanks for being a part of the Totally Rad Nation!  May you not only make beautiful images with our presets, but also have the time to enjoy them.

-Doug Boutwell