Top tips for using presets and overlays for your images

A fair few years ago if a photographer wanted the option to add some form of interesting effect to a photo that they felt was perhaps lacking something, they would have to rely on scratching up the negative or overexposing the image. Things have come a long way since then. Now, it is possible to create some rather unique images that have new and interesting alternative effects with the simple use of an overlay or preset.

What is an overlay?

An overlay is an easy and quick way in which a photographer can add something to an image that they might have felt was missing when they took the photo. All that they need to do is insert a layer to the photo and then find the overlay that they want to use and overlay it in Photoshop. Overlays are quite possibly the easiest way in which you can ensure that a photograph stands out and come in a wide range of different cool lighting effects and interesting textures.

Types of overlays

Photoshop overlays offer a fantastic range of special images that have no background but can be applied to any photo. They come in a huge range of different styles and themes. For example, you can overlay rose petals, fireworks and sun rays.

When you upload your photo to a photo sharing platform like ClickASnap you will find a huge selection of overlays that can help you add just the right mood to your photo. These include things like soap bubbles, snow or even party decorations. How you use them is entirely up to you. As well as overlays that are suitable for use with photographs there are also overlays that can be used to add an extra dimension to your videos.

What is a preset?

Presets are completely different to overlays and are a configuration of settings that have been specifically designed to help you achieve a particular style or look with your photos. They can be used with either lightroom mobile or lightroom desktop. All you need to do is install them and then when you are in the develop module you simply click on the particular preset that you want in order to apply it to your photo.

The type of thing that you can achieve with a preset includes the ability to correct colour, for example you can make a photo darker or lighter, you can also make the colours in your photo richer or even select a particular colour in your photo that you would like to change. If you have ever found yourself staring at a photo of something where the colours are not as you would expect, this may well have been achieved with the use of a preset.

Choosing the right preset or overlay

Whilst there is no denying the improvement that you can make to your photos with a preset or an overlay there is a point where you need to know you have added enough to your photograph. There are some fantastic overlays available. However, you need to make sure that the one you select for your photograph makes sense in context of the content of the image you have captured. A snowy scene will not. for example. look right with a party balloon overlay. However, something that enhances the cold and wintery aspect of the image will work really well.

A fantastically framed photograph, that is everything that you want but with the wrong type of lighting can be transformed with the careful use of the right preset. While it is important to remember not to take your image too far or you may ruin it, overlays and presets can really help to make your work stand out.