There are lots of presets out there for sale emulating the look of film. Enough so that when I heard that Mastin Labs released one I didn't pay too much attention. Fortunately, because of the nudge of a friend, I decided to look into it a little further and I am glad I did. This is the first time I have seen a Lightroom preset designed by a film shooter for film shooters to help them match their digital images from a wedding with those shot on their film. Fortunately for those only shooting digital, you can benefit as well.
Rather than put together a collection of 30 presets, 29 of which you'll never use, Mastin Labs has the Portra 400 Hybrid Pack preset. Yep, one preset, emulating one of the most popular films. Included with the preset is some other goodies (cropping tools to match the aspect ratio of film, 19 blogging templates for Lightroom, and training videos.) But what really makes the Mastin Labs Portra 400 preset different than all the rest is the creator and renowned photographer Kirk Mastin created it with hybrid (film/digital) shooters in mind. While all of us can benefit from it, those who shoot film for part of the wedding but digital the rest now have a preset they can use to match the look and feel as close as possible to maintain a consistency throughout the photos.
In the instructional videos included with the presets, Mastin shows how to use an anchor image (film shot photo) at the wedding to then match up the colors and tone using the preset. This is also very helpful for film shooters who include a second shooter that might be shooting digital shots at the same time or even for film shooters that would like to get more shots of a scene without overshooting the expensive film. Now this of course doesn't mean you can't use the preset if you don't shoot hybrid (film and digital.) Here are a few of my own photos from a recent engagement session where I shot strictly digital and even without the use of an anchor image the preset makes it easy to get the beautiful Portra 400 look.
If you think the Mastin Labs Portra 400 would be a good fit for you now is the time to make the leap. From now till the end of Cyber Monday (December 2nd) it is on sale for 40% off it's regular price. That means rather than pay the normal $119, you can pick it up for $69 - saving yourself $50.
Visit the Mastin Labs Portra 400 Hybrid Pack website for more information, samples and videos of the presets in use. Want to learn even more. Kirk Mastin was recently interviewed for a Musea podcast where he talked about it as well.