A long time ago, onOne Software brought out their free WOW presets pack. There’s been an additional ‘Effects’ preset pack added since. Now I was more than skeptical about these free presets initially, because for the most part, they just offer increments of common tools. I mean where’s the sense in that? Well, actually, now that I ‘get’ it, there’s a lot of sense in it. Using presets in this way allows you to see quickly what the preset does, and allows you to build up to a look. Full blown presets can be hit or miss, because they really depend on the photo being similar in tone and exposure to the image that was used to create them. Sometimes you can like the effect, but there’s no way to dial it back, if it’s too strong. By building up a little at a time, you can get to where you want to be. The WOW preset pack has that ability with a lot of the presets. You can mix the Auto Tone/Curves with White Balance and Vibrance presets for example to build a custom look.
The first pack contains White Balance, Auto Tone/Tone Curve, Vibrance, B&W, Tint and Vignette presets. The 2nd, called the Effects pack, contains vintage looks, glow, edge and gradients. My only real criticism is the Vignettes are a Lightroom 2 post crop vignettes, rather than the much prettier version in Lightroom 3.
Of course onOne also do a range of plugins that work with Lightroom too, which are well worth a look, and I’ll cover them in the future. In the meantime, pop over and download the freebies from the product section. Don’t forget there’s also a free version of Phototools 2.5 and Photoframe 4.5 to check out too (You do need Photoshop as a host for these plugins-any version from CS2 up).