Aperture 3 Portra Presets Release

Okay, the Kodak Portra film emulation presets for Aperture 3 are live in their full version as of last night. I see this morning that more than a few of you that helped with the beta testing of 160NC have already figured that out as well as figured out the coupon code thing. If you just want to grab it right now, here it is. Don't forget to use your coupon code if you helped with the beta testing. Now for the full story.

First the details of what's in the package. Yesterday I broke the news that while an interesting idea, I would not be releasing individual isolated one film presets. Instead I was releasing packages of closely related films. This time the package contains all of the first generation Kodak Portra films. This includes 160NC, 160NC, 400NC, and 400VC. All of these are very subtle variations of the same basic look. So are the real films. Most people would not be able to consistently tell them apart. The fact is that I actually focused in on characteristics I was able to ferret out and exaggerated those slightly between each of these films. While the differences are subtle they are useful. My entire intent with these from the beginning were not wild night and day effects but a range of subtle and broadly useful looks within the same family. Hopefully that's where I ended up. I think so.

As you may have seen with the beta for 160NC, each of the film emulations has 7 variations designed to mimic different shooting and processing conditions.

  • The normal version
  • An over exposed version
  • An over exposed version with color tint in the shadows
  • A seriously crazy over exposed version. Crazy as in crazy over exposed not a crazy effect visually.
  • A true pushed version where the film is developed longer.
  • A pushed version with color tint in the shadows.
  • A variation that was pushed a lot as in 2 or more stops. This is as wild an effect as it gets in this pack.

So overall that's 4 different films with 7 variations each. They are not miles apart but all in the same family of looks. In fact one photographer that was helping me test the final versions said…

What I like best about this pack is that they’re different enough that I have options to accentuate the picture under different conditions or moods. But not so wildly different that they are all over the map. For instance, I could use all of these in a single wedding album and it wouldn’t look like I was stylistically schizophrenic.

This is what I was going for rather than every single look conceivable under the sun with wild fluctuations between each film emulation. That's about the best thing I could have heard as feedback and part of what motivated me to release and announce this today instead of continuing to tweak it for the next three weeks. I have a habit of doing that.

A couple of additional things I would like to highlight. The first is a major decision related to the above comment. I made a subtle but noticeable adjustment to the very slight color toning built-in to all of the emulation's highlight rendering. When this happens with real film it's not always exactly consistent. With the presets I made it very consistent in color/hue across the entire set of presets to unify the look. There are subtle variations in intensity across the presets but not too much in actual color. I feel this was the right way to go here. It is a tiny bit skewed from the beta Portra 160NC as I went with a slightly different highlight toning than was originally built into that preset. I hope you like it.

The other item that I mentioned yesterday is there is now no specific version for the Fuji X-TRANS sensors. I felt that was really cluttering things up and it seemed to be a very consistent adjustment across every preset. I have moved the modifications to a specific pink hue to the "Add-Ons". The other reason I did this was that I truly did not have enough feedback one way or another during the beta from X-TRANS users to know if it was on the mark across a wide range of situations and scenes. By packaging it into the Add-Ons any additional tweaks and modifications will be far quicker for me to roll-out for Fuji users.

For all of you that beta tested please use your coupon code for a discounted price (your original purchase price) and as an additional thank you that same $1.99 purchase price will be taken off each and every other item you might want to grab though the end of September as well. Heck my stuff is unbelievably low in the first place. So go ahead put anything in your cart as you want, every item will be discounted as a thank you for helping out so much with the beta.

For those that want to checkout the small writeup and documentation included with the Portra presets for Aperture 3 for free here it is. Just add it to the cart, hit check out and it will download immediately for free.



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