A high-contrast portrait of a man wearing a blue scarf

Contrasty Portrait

Contrasty Portrait is a free Lightroom preset that gives portraits a brilliant, colorful, and bold look. It produces rich vibrant colors that are enhanced by custom film tones. It is optimized to be used for both indoor and outdoor portraiture, making it applicable to images regardless of lighting.

You can use this on selfies, headshots, and various other portraits. Because of its flexible high-contrast aesthetic, you can even use this preset on your travel photos. Its crisp tones, plus vivid hues, can also help you achieve a cohesive look across multiple images, especially on a social media feed like Instagram.

Tints Highlights and Shadows

A vibrant high-contrast portrait of a man wearing a black jacket

Dramatic Tones. Contrasty Portrait creates its signature look by coating images with a blend of accent colors. It adds a vivid green tone throughout and tints the shadows purple. These all complement the preset’s apparent contrast boost.

Try to examine the result in the After photo above. The preset transforms the man’s portrait: it is now bolder with punchy tones and vibrant colors. Notice, too, how this new look changes the entire feel by infusing the portrait with a dramatic mood. The image now makes a louder, bolder, statement. The compelling impression that it leaves is much like that of the urban style.

A vibrant high-contrast portrait of a woman wearing a brown tweed coat and a black rimmed hat

Bold Accents. In this photo, try to pay closer attention to the green tint and the purplish shadows. You can easily observe these on the subject’s clothing, her face, and the tree in the background.

The combination of these color accents complement the preset’s film look that will later be defined in the tone curve. These, more particularly, help underscore the deep and thick hues. See how these particularly affect the woman’s skin tone and expression.

Subdues Tones for a Matte Effect

A brilliant portrait of a woman with a long black hair, looking with her eyes closed

Vivid Matte. The preset makes its contrasting colors stand out even more by creating a matte look. It does so by narrowing the tonal range: it softens both light and dark regions. As a result, images would always have detailed tones. With Contrasty Portrait, your photos won’t get overblown highlights nor harsh shadows.

It is easy to see the result in the After photo above. The bright white areas now look more brilliant; even with the punchier tones, the highlights remain defined enough. Notice how the entire texture of the photo changed as well. You can definitely see the added matte effect throughout the woman’s portrait.

Heightens Midtone Contrasts

A vibrant high-contrast photo of a couple outdoors

Intense Tones. Contrasty Portrait makes sure that the elements remain sharply defined. With such a result in mind, it amplifies clarity. This means that midtones look more vivid. See how these look richer and more intense in the couple’s portrait above.

You can notice the result more clearly by observing the skin tones, their hair, and the man’s striped shirt.

Complexly Refines Color Saturation and Luminance

A vibrant and high-contrast photo of a man standing on a cliff side, wearing a light blue button-down shirt

Refined Vibrance. This is undeniably a high-contrast preset, but this aesthetic is not solely a boost in the contrast slider. This strong look comprises several color adjustments.

To produce its classic analog look, Contrasty Portrait creates an Agfa Vista 800 custom film effect. It also tweaks the camera calibration settings to have saturated red hues and unsaturated greens.

You can find the preset’s finer adjustments in Lightroom’s HSL panel. For the dark yet intense look, Contrasty Portrait lowers the saturation of all colors except orange and yellow. It then adds more light to all hues except for the basic red and blue.

Contrasty Portrait is for Lightroom Mobile, Desktop and…

Like all our presets, you can absolutely use Contrasty Portrait preset as is, right out of the box. With any preset, you might need to make adjustments to accommodate your specific camera, settings, lighting and subject matter.

  • Entirely Adjustable
  • Compatible with Lightroom 4, 5, 6 and CC
  • Performs with both PC, Mac, and Mobile
  • Applicable to both RAW and JPG images
  • 100% Free

Film Free Lightroom Presets

Free Lightroom Preset by Forrest Lane

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