How I Improved All of My Photographs With One Lightroom Preset

How I Improved All of My Photographs With One Lightroom Preset

Recently, I realized that the best way to get more Instagram followers (and therefore really be a professional photographer) was to start making all of my photographs orange and teal. I downloaded some Lightroom presets and set to work.

Apparently, orange and teal can make any photograph better, no matter what. This means more likes and more comments — and more followers. This is really lucky, because a lot of my photographs are of things that, without the orange and teal preset, are not that interesting.

The first preset that I downloaded was a bit disappointing; it just wasn't as orange and teal as I wanted. Looking at the settings more closely, I could see why: the saturation was turned down to -15 percent, and while the split toning had put loads of orange (34 percent) in the highlights, there was no blue or teal in the shadows. I was annoyed. Look at this beautiful picture of Venice.

orange and teal lightroom preset make your photos pop

It's popping, but not, you know, popping popping.

I resumed my search, and soon, I was in luck. This time the changes in the Camera Calibration panel were much more convincing. Instead of being in the 30s and 40s, the hue sliders were +100 (red primary and green primary), and -100 (blue primary). The split toning was left untouched (I guess they forgot?), but that didn't matter, as I quickly adjusted them to my liking.

Some people say that a Lightroom preset should be a starting point for an individual image and that the characteristics of a photograph should determine the editing process. Fortunately, this is where orange and teal is a real time-saver: it works for everything — portraits, landscapes, cat pictures — you name it. For example, look at this picture of some dogs in a field.

dogs in a field lightroom presets to make your photos pop

Suddenly, photos that I'd never considered publishing were really jumping off the screen. It didn't matter that skin tones now looked like someone had just stepped out of the core of a nuclear reactor. What mattered was the complementary color wheel and the sense that, however overcast it was when shooting, it was now golden hour. If it works for Michael Bay, it works for all of us. Even this picture of my dog after a trip to the vet was now what young people are calling a "banger."

teal and orange lightroom presets will gain you instagram followers

I quickly realized that I was producing art. This is no shopping trolley. This is a social commentary on the wastefulness of consumer culture, its solitary presence offering a brutal critique of city living, capitalism, and urban decay.

orange and blue filter will make your images jump off the screen

So, here's my advice: it doesn't matter that tens of thousands of other people are using this trick. Jump on board and make even the most unlikely photographs real winners on social media.

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65 Comments

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Ian Meyers's picture

Photographers hate him! He became pro with this one weird trick!

Mick Ryan's picture

Quick! Read his article before he deletes it from the internet.

David Love's picture

You had me triggered for a second. I get people all the time asking me for presets. They don't understand that it's not a one size fits all type thing.

Bill Peppas's picture

Really hope this is a badly written humorous "article".
Otherwise... Will you be mad at me if I tell you that the photos I see in this "article" are terrible ?

Jeff Walsh's picture

You also seem super fun and chill, I bet you're a blast to hangout with

"Badly written"? Badly read, more like. Loved this!

Mark Guinn's picture

Thanks so much for this! Up to now, I've been unsuccessful as a photographer. However, after reading this I applied the orange and teal trick to several photos and posted them. I got several thousand likes in minutes, and I'm even hosting a workshop next weekend to teach amateur photographers my technique! #phabulousphotos

I booked 25 clients only 7 seconds after applying this preset.

Heratch Ekmekjian's picture

What is this Lightroom of which you speak?

Scott Ruffner's picture

I love this article. Great satire. That Instagram trend with the orange and teal makes me want to puke!

William Faucher's picture

At first I saw the title, and my entitled elitist photog in me decided it was time to write a long-winded comment about how stupid this is and how the images are sub-par. And then I read the article, and it really brightened up my morning alongside my fresh cup of coffee.

Thank you, dear Author. You are a blessing.

Andy Day's picture

Super kind words, thank you! My first attempt at humor for Fstoppers so felt like a bit of a gamble. Really appreciating you and others saying that you found it funny. :)

Mick Ryan's picture

Thanks for the laugh

Joseph Cuzzocrea's picture

Hahaha this is gold! Sadly too real in some regards but gold nonetheless!

Diane Marie's picture

Oh my gosh, too funny. I have to admit, though, I am obsessed with the orange and teal colors. I refuse to buy a preset, though, so I’ll have to settle for my 490 followers and the true enjoyment I have editing my own pics. (I think I enjoy it as much or more than the actual photography.) I am a noob, use Snapseed, and get excited when rated a 2, but my work is my own. LOL

Ben D's picture

As far as satire goes, this is right on the money. So many photography brodudes posting this kind of work on IG. It's like they are all echoing one another in both style and subject matter.

Dude, that's a banger! :)

Yan Shapa's picture

With One Lightroom Preset...? -- Do you think we all retarded?....

Andy Day's picture

That is PRECISELY what I think.

Mads Peter Iversen's picture

Ha! Hilarious! :D

chris bryant's picture

I also use a similar preset, but I created it all by myself and now I have turned all my crap photos into professional level hipster art with one simple click of the mouse. I now have enough art to post every single day on instagramm for the next ten years. I love orange and teal.

Maury Kaplan's picture

It took a couple of paragraphs before the coffee kicked in and the true point of the article to sink through. And, yes.

Joe Healey's picture

Dude! I'm dying over here! hahahaha!

Now see? I had this all wrong! I've been using PURPLE. Ugh. No wonder my IG followers have stalled out. If only Picnik was still around...

Steve Cullen's picture

LOL...excellent article Andy!

Andy Day's picture

Thanks Steve! 😊

Dillon Murphy's picture

I know this is meant to be a joke but I made my own version of the 100, 100 preset and posted a couple pics with this teal and orange on gurushots and people love it! haha

Motti Bembaron's picture

I am still not sure if it's a parody or a serious article...

Andy Day's picture

Me neither. It's confusing.

As a street photographer, I find that using a high contrast black and white filter and adding a lot of grain has really made me a pro. I pretend to use tri-x film which I 'pushed' to 3200 ISO.

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