I once had a conversation with a highly successful Photographer about what he thought made a collection of photographs more compelling and his response was consistency. There are many things that we can use to get consistency, for example, one could be the framing style, the other mounting or even aspect ratio. For my stories I prefer to employ a look and feel consistency, so I look to use colour tones that are similar to each other. This can be easily achieved using the Lightroom Development module, but some times, it’s an older look that I would like to achieve.
For me, I love the old film types, like Fuji, Kodak or Ilford, for both colour and black and white work. To get a desired look and feel, a preset’s can work very well. The folks at VSCO have spent lots of time to create an amazing set of old film type/vintage styles that can be used on your digital files, the complete set are not free, but well worth exploring in my opinion.
Let us take this series of images on a walk that I took whilst in Japan. The first image is a village scene and is quite dark, but i’m going to adjust the exposure, correct any lens correction, then apply the look and feel preset.
These quick changes will show what the image is capable of.
Now that a base look and feel has been applied, any of the local adjustments can be applied. i.e. If may be that you would like to recover highlights, shadows or just set the white, black or the clarity, it’s up to you to add your own character.
To have these settings as well as any adjustments automatically SYNCED to the other images, first select the image that is the reference, then use the CMD key (to select individual ones) or the SHIFT key and click on the last desired image to select a range of images (the images in the film strip or the grid view, will show the images that have been marked for selection). Once the images have been selected, then the SYNC button (Marked in Red) will appear and can be pressed to apply the same settings to the other images.
Before the settings are SYNCED, the following menu will be displayed which will allow you to configure which development settings are copied to the other images. You will need to experiment which ones are copies accross, but essentially all settings to an individual one can be copied.
Once the settings have been copied, then each image can be tweaked. I.e. on the image below, the original crop has been modified in line with the original aspect ratio.
This one also has an additional crop applied to it.
Again another crop.
I am happy with the settings that have been applied from one image to the other and only a little cropping was required. This approach saves me a lot of time to come up with a look for the images, but also the SYNC and small adjustments for each image allows me to process all images with a consistent look and feel in super quick time.
The folks over at VSCO have a special trial edition of the film pack available, with inbuilt presets for two vintage films, that have been tailored for a selection of cameras, these are variations on Kodak Gold and Kodak Tri-X.
Of course the SYNC settings does not only apply to these types of presets, but also for your own that you have created/saved, or any development settings that you have created within the development module.
You can learn more about this set and have a play with them as well as the variations by clicking on the following link. Also, there is a help page dedicated to answer any questions that you may have, here.
I hope you have fun with this workflow.