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Presets for Lightroom to make digital look more film-like

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UPDATE: please see my Sept. 28 review of VSCO presets for Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw. They're good! 

One of the challenges of digital photography is making digital photos not look like they were created by a computer. This is a struggle at times, especially with some images created by my 10-24 wide angle lens at the shorter focal lengths.

As anyone with an iPhone knows, there are some dandy apps available that take crappy phone camera photos and, at the least, make them look like they came from crappy film cameras. At the least, many of these apps give a photo a lot more character -- the kind of character once associated with film.

I'm not sure that filters for processing photos from big digital cameras are as good. But I recently downloaded some free presets for Lightroom 4 by onOne that work pretty well. Again, the key word here is "free."

I took the above photo with my new 300mm lens on my Nikon D5100 and then used the onOne preset "Grandma's Lemonade." I like it. The photo doesn't have that digital sheen and does have that film look.

Below is a more problematic photo, taken with my wide angle lens at 10mm. I fixed the distortion as best I could and then added the 'vintage-retro warm' filter from onOne. It's not perfect and no doubt film would likely look better. But it's more film like, without the hassle of buying, developing and scanning.

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Thoughts? Any useful tips or tricks? 


These photos are ©Steve Hymon and may not be used elsewhere or reproduced without advance permission from Steve Hymon. All rights reserved. 


  1. Cool photos, I use Lightroom presets on my photos, my favorite are from:

  2. found your blog searching for Film Presets. Not having much luck : ( Might make my own. I really want to find something that look like Fuji Color Pro film...i shopot film & digital & want my pictures to be cohesive when I shoot both formats during a shoot. Anyways, nice pic & if you figure something out before me let me know!

  3. Hi Ashley;

    I believe I've read that some of the Fuji digital cameras actually have presets to mimic Fuji film in them that can be applied after you shoot photos; such as the Fuji X100 (a camera I want but can't currently afford).

    Also, just did a quick google search and here are some presets including one for Velvia;

    Good luck and thanks for reading,


  4. Thank you for sharing. I want to try these filters by onOne. I used it last year And now I want something new. Looking at your picture, I wanted to do things like that with my photos.