We've all scrolled past a targeted ad on Facebook or Instagram with a caption screaming for us to buy their new Lightroom or Photoshop presets if we want to take better photos. Is it just me, or does it usually seem these ads are often from folks shooting Sony cameras?
This is definitely not a camera brand versus brand discussion, there are already way more than enough articles trying to have that debate. This is more a humorous observation that struck me the other day when I saw yet another image on Instagram with the caption telling me if I want to learn the secret to better images it all starts with buying the photographer's new Lightroom presets. Upon checking out the profile, you guessed it, they are shooting one of the a7 models.
This situation seems to be pretty common, at least in the land of Instagram and it seems like a bit of an odd coincidence, don't you think? I sure feel like every single time someone tries to sell me presets they also make sure to bring to my attention something about an a7. Is there some kind of Sony-meets-Adobe preset conspiracy we should all be on the lookout for? If anyone is in the mood to go looking for a conspiracy theory, start here. Is it because in general Sony shooters are often a younger audience more inclined to believe that it's the color preset that make a good photo? Is it because Sony is all the rage right now (possibly rightfully so, no dispute from me that they have been on fire these last couple years) and if you want to be popular on Instagram you've gotta conform to the norm?
It's at a point where the folks selling presets have started to feel like a used car salesman (yikes). We get it, your green and gold color preset pack will bring our images right in line with every other green and gold toned image out there. At the very least, it would be nice to see advertisements that actually have something to say or a point to make other than argue that your presets equal quality work. You be the judge, all I can say is that if one more person tells me to buy their presets and asks what camera I shoot I might lose it!
In an effort to prevent anyone from taking this a bit too literally (it's the internet after all), know that this piece is written from a place of satire and good friendly humor. I've got nothing against Sony and by all accounts they are totally killing it right now and are doing tons of cool and innovative things. Truth be told, auto-eye focus makes me super jealous and I certainly would rather be able to focus near the edge of my frame rather than focus and recompose. Furthermore, if presets are your jam keep rocking, no sweat. With that said, presets and one button fix-alls have never and will never be the secret sauce. Great work isn't great because of a preset; there is always more going on behind the curtain. I get that folks are trying to earn a buck these days but the whole, “buy my new presets 2019” feels like it has already run its course.