Avoiding Lack of Identity Caused by Overused Lightroom Presets

Wedding photographer Antonio Boalis tell us how he found unique style with PsdFilm

Agfa scala 200 Photoshop emulated Agfa scala 200 source
© Antonio Boalis / PsdFilm: Agfa Scala 200
PsdFilm: How long have you been in photography?
I'd say photography is my life, more than 20 years actually.

P: So, did you shoot film professionally?
Yes of course, until 10 years ago the digital cameras did not offer professional quality.
The film was something very beautiful. More difficult and risky to use, that's for sure! but very special...

P: What kind of photography do you do?
I have worked in almost every field, but last 10 years I do exclusively wedding photography, it is where I enjoy the most!

P: Why do you like the look of film in your current work?
I think what happened to me was the same to the whole community, a big need to run away from the cold perfectionism of digital photos.

Kodak portra 400 vc Photoshop emulated Kodak portra 400 vc source
© Antonio Boalis / PsdFilm: Fuji FP 100c *cold
P: The trend in film emulation is headed by Lightroom, why have you chosen Photoshop?
I know, I used Lightroom with VSCO few times in the past, also Replichrome and MastinLabs, just to compare. I felt confortable using them.

But after discovering your emulations and how they unleash the power of Photoshop I don't want to use any other thing. I think the color management they do is quite fascinating and very special, sophisticated.

Those best selling Lightroom packages out there are responsible for all the photographers have the same look in their portfolios. Using PsdFilm I feel my work is unique, rare, like not seen around.

"Those best selling Lightroom packages out there are responsible for all the photographers have the same look in their portfolios.
Using PsdFilm I feel my work is unique, rare, like not seen around."

P: And what about the film grain?
Well, this aspect is really amazing. I think we don’t need to mention Lightroom results when pretending to emulate film grain, right? [laughs].

I was so surprised by the very real aspect that gives the grain of PsdFilm to my digital photos, they really got that imperfect look of analog images.

Also, sometimes, I like the emulation of a film, but it has a very high ISO for my style, so I go to grain layer a edit it, to reduce the ISO. This aspect just places your emulations 10 steps ahead of any package for Lightroom.

Fuji superia xtra 800 Photoshop emulated Fuji superia xtra 800 source
© Antonio Boalis / PsdFilm: Fuji Superia X-Tra 800
P: How did you incorporate PsdFilm into your workflow?
I work with a Canon Mk3, shooting in RAW format. At the computer, I throw the files in Adobe Camera RAW and maybe adjust the exposure a little bit, but to tell you the thruth, 99% of my photos don’t need.

Once in Photoshop, I use your emulations. I’ve got your complete collection, the 128 emulations. I like playing with a few of them each time I work in a new session, till I find the best look for that light and color situation. Then I select 2 color films and 2 black & white films and I edit all the photos using them.

To finish I export my images in JPEG, in a folder I name “final work”. Then my clients choose the best ones for them and I compose an Album with their selection. When I get the Album and see the emulations printed it’s amazing, they really look like authentic film photos.

P: And to finish, would you give some advice to amateur photographers?
Sure! I would say them to have lots of patience and perseverance and to work hard till they find a unique style in which they feel comfortable.

Kodak tri-x 400 Photoshop emulated Kodak tri-x 400 source
© Antonio Boalis / PsdFilm: Kodak Kodachrome 64

Find more of the work of Antonio Boalis at @antonioboalis

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