It’s my hope that with the following knowledge, you’ll be empowered to maximize the potential of your Andrew Sun Color Presets and bring out the best in your images.
Let’s get into it.
Firstly, it doesn’t matter which software you use (Lightroom or Camera Raw), as the Basic Tabs in each program sport exactly the same sliders with identical functions. After all, both pieces of software were engineered by Adobe. Secondly, rather than give you a messy pile of what other preset sellers like to call ‘tools / actions / modifiers etc.’ that are supposed to help you do really rudimentary things to your photos, like brighten them if they’re too dark etc. (DUH), I’m simply going to teach you how to do those things and more (i.e. edit properly), without relying on such limiting gimmicks.
White Balance (WB)
If your image is too cold (blue-ish) or too warm (orange-ish), choose a different WB, or manually slide the Temperature and Tint sliders until you’re happy with the outcome.
If your image is too dark or bright, touch Exposure.
If your image is too flat, consider adjusting Contrast.
If the brightest part of your image is too white (blown out), slip the Highlights down a little.
If you want to see more detail in your images (i.e. increase the visibility under hard shadows), drag Shadows up until appropriate.
If you’d like your images to have a bit more grit, boost Clarity, as this adds edge contrast (often misinterpreted as midtone contrast with a minor sharpening effect). Bringing Clarity down conversely, can have a smoothing effect if you feel there’s too much texture in an image.
Finally, if you feel your image is too washed out (i.e. not enough color for your taste), try a bit more Vibrance; and vice versa, slide it down if you think the color is too rich. I generally tend to stay away from Saturation as it’s not as smart at dealing with skin tones as Vibrance.
And that’s really about it as far as utilizing your presets go.
*The other parameters we’ve put in place (in tabs like Tone Curves etc.) are what defines the look you’ve purchased. So whilst you’re free to go check them out for educational purposes, I probably wouldn’t alter them significantly unless you’ve first backed up a copy of the original preset. If so, experiment away. In fact, I encourage it. All my presets can be used as is, or customized to match your workflow. So don’t be afraid to test their robustness and never stop upskilling. After all, photography is a vast art that rewards the lifelong learner.