Quick Review: Chris Martin’s Vintage Film Fades Lightroom Presets

A while ago, I tested out Chris Martin’s vintage film fade presets. Upon initially trying them out, I thought that they were two of the most versatile presets available out there in that they can work with any photo with any exposure or color setting to create some retro-grade gorgeousness.

After a while of testing the presets through various review products that have come in and out of my hands, I must say that Chris’s presets are simply genius; and they’ve busted me out of creative binds and blocks very many times.

What They Are

Chris’s presets are designed for Lightroom and Photoshop. Basically, they take a photo and so automated processing for you to get a certain look. People often share presets with one another because they tend to make workflows faster, they can be fun, they can be inspirational, and the good ones are also very addictive at times.

There are a bunch of presets out there to make your images look like different film renderings, but Chris’s presets are designed to give your photos a softer and more analog look without looking technically perfect in some ways. Instead, the philosophy behind the presets is that they embrace the look of film that has been pushed. Having shot lots of Portra, Fuji Pro, and Tri-X I know what this look generally renders.

How to Use Them

After purchasing the presets, my preferred method of making the presets active in Lightroom are using the develop panel, and then right clicking the left hand pane. After doing that, an import option comes up. I ensure that I import the presets under my User Preset area when I do this.

When this is all done, it’s just a matter of looking at the photos and clicking on the preset. If you have an older machine, it could take a bit longer for the image to render; but this partially has to do with Lightroom 4’s engine.

Image Samples


As you can tell, I’m smitten with the black and white look.

Who Are These For?

I’d really recommend these film presets for Wedding Photographers. This look is big, has been big, and shows no sign of slowing down just yet. Take a look at Green Wedding Shoes, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

It is also nice for street photographers; especially the black and white renderings. Otherwise, it may be of use to portrait photographers, but I don’t see that being done too much.


Chris’s film fades are very nice to work with and can help break up the monotony of your standard processing: which for me include carefully tweaking every single slider in Lightroom. Give them a try.

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