When it comes to photo editing, Lightroom Presets aren’t anything new. In fact, the preset market is quite saturated, with hundreds of options out there for hobbyists, professional photographers, and everyone in between.
There are generally three categories of Lightroom Presets: 1) free presets created as lead magnets and marketing tools, 2) low priced packs created by social media influencers and other popular photographers, and 3) professional Lightroom presets created by experienced companies.
In this review, we will be providing our thoughts on the Modern Pack, Pastel Pack, the Crush Pack, and their Retouching Toolkit. Here are the pros and cons of the Lightroom Presets by Visual Flow:
What We Like about Visual Flow Pack
Visual Flow is based on a framework they created called “Lighting Condition Based Development.” This is a fancy term that basically means that the presets are named, and designed to be used, according to the lighting condition of the image.
For example, their “soft light” preset is designed to be used in scenes with soft light, like cloudy scenes or window light scenes. Their “Tungsten” preset is used on images shot in orange light, and so on and so forth. Overall, their packs come with 10 presets, each covering all of the major lighting conditions photographers normally face.
The before and after images above illustrate an example of the soft light Lightroom preset from their “Modern Pack.” Image copyright Lin and Jirsa Photography.
Editing photos by lighting condition is intended to speed up the workflow, since many of the same adjustments will apply to multiple photos from the same scene. You may need to tweak exposure and white balance, but that usually gets you to a final image without any other major adjustments.
Another element we really like about this system is their use of the DVLOP profile system. The Visual Flow Presets use DVLOPs unique profiles that neutralize the differences between different cameras.
So even though different camera makers like Canon, Nikon, Fuji and Sony render each color with slight differences, the final images turn out the same when edited with Visual Flow.
If you’re a photographer with different cameras or a professional wedding photographer with second shooters that use a different camera brand, this is a great feature.
The presets get you pretty good results with better consistency than most other presets we’ve used. They created them by “testing thousands of images,” according to their website, for each lighting condition and then averaging the final settings applied to the presets. What this does is it makes the presets work as intended more often than they would have if they were only tested on a small set of images.
Image above edited with the HDR Preset from the Pastel (Light and Airy Preset) Pack.
The Power of the Retouching Toolkit
Photographers will appreciate the retouching toolkit because it essentially eliminates Photoshop. This set of brushes and tools lets you retouch skin, dodge/burn, add sun flares, and add other interesting effects all in Lightroom. Note: this is a separate purchase from the individual preset packs.
What We Don’t Like about Visual Flow Presets
These Lightroom Presets, at the time of this review, are priced at $95 per pack (with $25 off each subsequent pack). This is on the higher end of the Lightroom Preset market, making it primarily geared towards working professionals.
If you’re looking to save on Lightroom Presets, you can technically create them yourself or experiment with cheaper options. If you’re a wedding photographer that relies on speed and efficiency, the price point should not be an issue.
But if you’re a hobbyist just looking to create photos for social media and personal use, the price might be hard to swallow.
Only One Look Per Pack
Each pack is designed to give you a consistent look in any lighting condition. While the system is great for speed and efficiency, it does mean that you’ll only get one style for each pack that you purchase. The Modern Pack is their warm and natural look, the Pastel Pack is their Filmic, light and airy look and their Crush Pack is the popular bold, vivid, high contrast style.
Remember that you’ll only get one look for each pack that you purchase so you won’t be able to play around with different looks without an additional purchase. You can, however, use different presets within each pack for creative effects. You can also use the Retouching toolkit to add creative sun flares and other interesting effects.
We recommend the Visual Flow Lightroom Presets because they have created something different and innovative in a marketplace full on “one trick ponies” and unreliable and inconsistent products. What we mean is that they have developed a system, thoroughly tested that system, and continually support that system.
So as a photographer, you know you’ll get the support you’ll need and the community support, examples and demonstrations you’ll need to apply it to your own work. They are also educating photographers on general Lightroom Tutorials for your ongoing education and providing community interaction in their dedicated Facebook Group.
Jessica is the co-founder and content manager here at AnySoftwareTools. She has been fascinated by the startup culture in Silicon Valley and she loves building things from zero to one. When she is not writing, she loves getting close to nature and shoot photos with her iPhone and Canon EOS 80D.