When I downloaded this preset I had promised to tell a little about the Control Points, how I use them to adjust the preset at points. Most presets don’t need that many adjustments, this one a bit more, depending on the photo of what you want as an end result. The photo in the title is an example of an end result, albeit rendered a bit darker because I have that set by default for the header image on my website. I show the result without darkening at the end. I’ll start below with the starting photo.
Start in Affinity
You can see here the photo opened in Affinity Photo, which is the photo editing program I use instead of Photoshop which I find too expensive. Affinity Photo is equivalent and works beautifully fast, so worth checking out.
I think the photo could use some more atmosphere and I’m going to apply it with the preset that you can download here, the Street Atmosphere preset for Color Efex. On the download page you’ll also find a link to an article that explains how to install the preset in Color Efex. Below you see the image in Color Efex with the Street Atmosphere preset chosen but otherwise still without any adjustments.
In Color efex
You see, this has already changed the picture quite a bit. However, there are a number of things I would like to change. Through the Glamour Glow, the sharpness of the hair has disappeared a bit. The Dark Contrast has created a bit too much detail in the blurred areas. I’m going to get rid of those with the Control Points. You can see them in each setting with a + or a – for adding or removing an effect.
Above you can see circled in green that I have put a Control Point down on the hair. The control is set all the way to 0 and the range is made so large that it only covers the hair. A control point is also color sensitive which also helps in proper selection. The hair has become noticeably sharper as a result! In this case, this is the only editing I want to do in the Glamour Glow, as mentioned, often I do more editing but it depends on the photo.
Now to the Dark Contrast, this gives detail in the dark areas but also in soft areas that are intentionally blurred and I don’t want that. You can see above that I use a lot of Control Points to remove this and get the soft background back. To see this again just compare the letters on the sign, you can see a marked difference. Here I think this photo is done. In another photo I may want to do a little more. I have one more thing I want to show.
I also added the Low Key setting. this not only allows you to make the photo dark but you can also turn the saturation way down so that you get an almost black and white image. As promised, the end result in a clean picture.
You can download the preset here.