Spectra is a free Lightroom preset that recreates the look of the Polaroid Spectra. It produces the bright and soft tones that we expect from analog cameras. Like the original Spectra, the preset's enhancements work well on both indoor and outdoor images, across all types of photography.
You can use the preset on portraits, travel photos, landscapes, and interiors. Although its tones appear somewhat subdued, Spectra's colors still come out rich and full. Because of this unmistakably Polaroid aesthetic, you can use it as an Instagram filter. Not only would it add a charming retro look but also help create a cohesive look for your feed.
Enhances Light and Color
Bright and Colorful. The Spectra preset optimizes light and color for its distinct aesthetic. To do this, it increases exposure, amplifies contrast, and intensifies vibrance. It blends these elements well to produce the desired analog film aesthetic.
Balanced. Try to examine the results of these fundamental settings in the After photo above. The image is noticeably brighter and its colors are more defined. Note how the red lenses are vibrant but not intense; in amplifying vibrance instead of saturation, the preset reinforces only the midtones. This more conservative adjustment keeps the natural look.
Tints Highlights and Shadows
Accent Tones. The preset further defines its motif by applying pastel color tints. It adds lime tones to highlights and pink to shadows. Both of these color accents blend to create a unique retro vibe that combines warm and cool hues seamlessly. They help soften the entire look as well.
In the portrait above, try to examine how these tints accentuate the features of the subject. The pink shadows soften her expression, while the lime highlights lightly cast a neutral glow. On the whole, these tints help set the nostalgic atmosphere.
Pastel Glow. You can see more of the tints in this urban photo. Try to compare the blue sky in the Before and After photos. Observe how the lime tint washes over it as an accent. On the other hand, the pink shadows soften the dark regions of the wall and ground. You can easily see how it also lightens and mixes with the brown tones, including the man's pants.
Narrows the Tonal Range
Lightened Tones. To recreate the Polaroid Spectra's signature matte look, the preset subdues its tones. It mutes highlights completely, lowers whites, and lightens dark regions. Spectra even reinforces these adjustments further in the tone curve.
You can compare the intensity of tones in the Before and After fashion shots above. Notice how these tonal enhancements not only contribute to the film look but also regulate the applied brightening. These settings are essential to preserving details in the lightest and darkest regions of the photograph.
Spectra is for Lightroom Mobile, Desktop and...
Like all our presets, you can absolutely use Spectra 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
This Free Lightroom Preset was last updated on May 3, 2020