Review: Portra Pushed Pack for Lightroom & Adobe Camera Raw by Mastin Labs

Mastin Labs are the creators of some of the most stunning film emulation presets for Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw. What we love about Mastin’s presets is that they spend so much time and effort, meticulously testing each new preset against film scans, so it’s barely possible to distinguish the digital image from the film one. And in case you’re not familiar with their products, before you start commenting that nothing can ever replace film, know that Mastin Labs do not aim to replace the true, classic and all time favorite type of photography. Rather, promote the new wave of creatives – the Hybrid Photographers, who love shooting film and digital and try to keep both portfolios similar in looks and feels.

However, this article is not only about introductions. Mastin Labs just released their Portra Pushed presets pack, which we’re absolutely in love with!
As we’re also on the “dark side” these days, with the launch of our second Osaka style kit, we’ve naturally gravitated towards these moody, high contrast LR & ACR presets.

First, a quick Ed note. There are two ways you can “push” in film photography. One is during the shooting process, when you set your camera’s ISO higher than the film. The camera speeds up the exposure, thinking that your film is very sensitive to light, and you end up with an underexposed shot. The other is during the development stage, when you leave your film in the developer for a longer period of time than normal (usually done with underexposed film). This causes the bright areas of your image to become even brighter, while shadows stay fairly at same level, giving your photo higher contrast and grain.  It’s a tricky process, as you have to tackle some areas, without compromising other ones. If you want to preserve the details in the shadows, it takes some time to learn.
With the Mastin Lab’s Pushed Portra pack the process is obviously much easier, literally just 1 click of the mouse. The presets offers that genuine look of pushed Portra 160, Portra 400, and Portra 800 to your digital photos, adding a moody, high contrast look, and masterfully retaining clean skin tones. No wonder the tagline for this pack is “a moody, not muddy look” – when you test the presets with portrait images, it adds that really fascinating moody glow to the subject’s face, without going wild on saturation.

To cut things short, here are some test shots for you to compare, of film scans and digital snapshot edited with the Pushed Portra pack. Hopefully now you understand why we’re so excited about these film emulating presets!

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[twenty20 img1=”27173″ img2=”27172″ offset=”0.5″]

[twenty20 img1=”27171″ img2=”27170″ offset=”0.5″]

If you love what you see, and can’t wait to get your hands on these amazing presets, you can find the Portra Pushed pack and all other products created by this amazing team here:
Note: This article includes affiliate links, and you’re supporting Flothemes each time you use any of them.

With Love,
Flothemes Team

One comment

    wedding photographer cebu

    17:16 April 5, 2017

    I can't wait to try this one. Contrasty but clean images right there.

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