Review: Priime Lightroom Presets

The folks over at Priime have been doing some really interesting stuff over the years. They’ve had tutorials and tend to focus in some way or another on the fashion industry; but their newest Lightroom presets are expanding on the company’s iOS app and bring presets to the world’s most famous photo editing software: Lightroom. Now, I know what you’re thinking: not some more film-emulsion based presets. In fact, that’s not the case.

Priime CEO Arthur Chang tells us these aren’t based on film emulsions, but instead on just getting pleasing looks. “The presets are a set towards creating a set of modern day presets, stuff that is actually seen commercially and not strictly film based,” he says in an email to the Phoblographer. To that end, they’re named after some cool locations and hubs for photographers to go shoot.

Features

They’re honestly just presets, and for that I recommend checking out their website.

Ease of Use

Alaska + Green

Before I get into this, I want to offer some editorial disclosure. I’ve been testing these presets for around a week or so now and the installation on a Mac was really my only issue so far. But Arthur says that’s going to be fixed in time for the release (which is today). These aren’t standard presets though. They’re a package that needs to be imported and then there are camera profiles that need to be imported too. I used these presets with the Fujifilm GFX 50s files in Lightroom.

My main editing software these days is Capture One and so coming back to Lightroom is a bit odd for me. I genuinely believe that if these presets were in Capture One I’d have better colors and editing capabilities, but that’s not at all to say these presets are bad. In fact, they’re a nice and refreshing difference from all those other film based presets out there.

The oddest thing about the presets though has to be their names. Like Instagram, the names aren’t designed to really talk about what you’re getting. For example, when I think about Atlantic, I think about shooting portraits along the shore of the ocean. But the look? It’s got its own considerations. To be fair though, I understand this as La Noir Image subscribers get automatic access to our black and white Presets.

Utah + Warm

The presets have a number of options and each has its own variant. Some variants push the files a bit more while others tweak the colors. Some are better for portraits while others seem to be better for landscapes. But there’s no clear telling and, like Instagram, you basically just need to sit there messing around until you get something you like. If you’re just starting out with Lightroom and have no idea about how color theory works, fine. But if you’re experienced then all of this is really just extra look options to give you a fresh new view of things. In some ways, it’s bound to make you feel like you’re starting over again.

That’s not to say that Priime’s presets aren’t nice. In fact, they’re some of the nicest yet most subtle that I’ve seen and in some ways remind me of a lot of more common VSCO work and edits.

In addition to the presets, you get a few image tweak variations which are OK again if you don’t really know what you’re doing. But if you’re a photographer that is more or less set in their ways, then it’s just another option I’m not sure you will need. Very personally, I’m a photographer who goes even as far as manually setting my white balance in camera and tweaking images to be perfect in-camera. So when they hit Capture One, very small adjustments are made.

But again, I understand that I’m not every shooter out there.

Extra Image Samples

Alaska, Portrait

Oregon, Warm

Oregon, Portrait

Oregon, Magenta

Montana

California, Portrait

California, Vibrant

California, Gold

Atlantic, Warm

Atlantic, Portrait

Conclusions

For around $50 and an introductory price of $40, I genuinely think that Priime’s presets are very worth it. However, that statement has more to do with how much Lightroom knowledge you have. If you’ve gotten to the point where Lightroom frustrates you because you can’t get photos out of it you really, genuinely like, then it’s time to move up to Capture One. If Lightroom does stuff that satisfies you well enough though (and even for me, that’s possible) then depending on how satisfied with your own editing skills this probably isn’t for you. Instead, I believe the Priime presets to be targeted at the photographer that doesn’t understand a whole lot of what can happen in the editing process. You may just be working in nothing more than the basic editing panel. If I stop right there, I’ve clearly identified the photographer that these are targeted towards.

But if you’re the type of photographer that works from the bottom of the development panel all the way up to get the images that you want, then you probably don’t need this. However, I’d again tell you that the presets are a refreshing look at how some editing is done.