Applying Film Looks

Project Description

This video introduces you to the preset categories. After watching you will know where to look for various effects in Exposure.

Photos: Miguel Quiles, John Barclay, Sergey Bondarev


Exposure has hundreds of effect presets such as subtle modern films to vintage looks to many other effects. They are divided into two broad categories – color and black & white. All of them are completely customizable using Exposure’s editing tools.  So you can use them as great starting points or as beautiful finished looks.

I’ll start with the color presets.

The first category we’ll look at is Print Films. These are mostly modern films that cause subtle changes to your photo.

The Print – Low Contrast category has low contrast versions of presets in the Print category. These are good for portraits. One of our favorites is Kodak Portra NC. It lowers contrast and saturation to make skin look smooth and healthy.

Presets in the Slide Films category are generally higher in contrast and saturation than print films. Try these for dramatic landscapes.

The Color Focus category has a variety of blurring and sharpening effects. Use the glamour shot presets for adding soft focus to a portrait. There’s also a black & white focus category with similar looks.

The Bokeh category has focus effects from Exposure’s Bokeh panel. Use these to draw attention to your subject or do creative blurring. After applying one of these presets, open the Bokeh panel on the right to adjust the location of the focus region.

The Polaroid category contains a wide range of classic Polaroid films. Many of them give a nostalgic, faded look.

The Cinema category has reproductions of classic films and screen processes. The most useful are the Technicolor variations, which feature highly saturated colors.

The Vintage category contains retro looks. Autochrome is one of the first color film processes. It features colorful grain. This category also contains a number of early Kodachromes.

Color Infrared has several Infrared film variations. Color infrared turns foliage red and skies dark. Give them a try on a landscape for a surreal look.

The Faded presets emphasize a clean, faded look without overlays or heavy grain. The emphasis is on lifted blacks to add a hazy or dreamy effect. Some common themes are tone curve variation, split toning and color casts, as well as subtle sharpening or blur effects. There are 12 color and 6 black and white looks. Many include a vignette and all include a small amount of grain.

Bright presets provide light, low-contrast looks that are great for outdoor portraits and weddings. There are 13 new looks, and the emphasis is on light and airy, with no grain or blur. Several of these looks feature subtle sharpening, vignetting, or highlights.

In Lo-Fi we have more extreme presets. These are toy cameras and cheap lenses, so you’ll see vignettes, light leaks, and lens blur.

Lo-Fi (Cross Processed) contains effects with even more dramatic color changes.


Now let’s look at Exposure’s black & white presets.

The Black & White Films category contains modern or recently discontinued films. There’s a wide variety of grain and contrast in the presets here.

There’s a low contrast version of each of these presets in the Low Contrast folder here. These are good for portraits.

In the Vintage category are older films and photography processes. You’ll find more noticeable effects such as heavy grain and split toning here. Some of the presets have adjustable overlay elements, such as dust, scratches, borders, and textures. Exposure’s Platinum Print presets provide delicate, rich platinum tones that imbue your images with warm blacks and expanded mid-tone grays, and new border overlays that simulate the matte brushed region that surrounds the image.

The Black & White infrared category has monochrome infrared looks. Some presets, like Kodak HIE have an ethereal glow around bright areas.

Finally, the Split Toning category contains color toned monochrome looks inspired by chemical darkroom processes. Try Platinum for a subtle classic look.