Free BW Emulsion Lightroom Preset for Photographers


I'm a little bit late with last weeks freebie, life is so busy and the sun is shining so beautifully. This is our last days of Summer holidays, so we tried to enjoy this time as much as possible.
A few weeks ago we released our first Lightroom Presets collection and I thought that this is a perfect time for some free gift.
A little bit of grainy, Black & White photography film emulsion looks for you to enjoy. This preset and all Lightroom presets from Annabella Presets Collection are .xmp files Presets and they will work with Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, Adobe Camera RAW and Adobe Lightroom CC. Please make sure your software is updated. Our presets are created for RAW files but they can work on JPG with some limitations.
You can find free tutorial How to Install Presets in Lightroom here.








How to use Photo Overlays the right way. Personal tips for using one of my fave Photoshop editing tools.



Whatever you like it or not Photo Overlays are here and it looks that they are going to stay here for long. There is a huge fan base of Photo Overlays users and you are probably one of them since you are visiting this blog. I'm sure that you met some photographers who are totally against the use of any additional editing tools.
You know what? Photo overlays are not only what growth of digital photography bring, these tools have been in use for a little bit longer than Photoshop and DSRL cameras. And the growth is strong.

When I released my first photo overlays pack - Falling Leaves, about 4-5 years ago on Etsy, there was a very small amount of this type of digital products. A few days ago I checked how many items are listed under Photoshop Overlays tag and the number of products and shops surprised me. I'm waving now to all the sellers that just do copy & paste of our product descriptions, listing products under the same name that you can find in our shop, even make bad quality items ''inspired'' by our overlays released 2-3 years ago. Those ''designers'' haven't got an idea that listing Kimla Designs overlays & textures in their shops for a $4.99 is not allowed. Only last month we reported three shops on Etsy selling our items, which does not comply with our Terms of Use. I've never publicly written about all these issues, but having to deal with piracy can be overwhelming, believe me, and this is not only on Etsy.

There is a place for any photographer, digital artist or graphic designer, I just wished some of the "artists" learn how to be more original and honest in their work.




This post will answer a few questions about Photo Overlays and I will share my personal tips on how to use overlays the right way or let's say - my way.





What are the Creative Photo Overlays?

In short - Photo Overlays are image files, saved as a JPG's or PNG's, that you can apply on top of your own images. There is no need to install them in your Photoshop. In fact, they can be applied with the help of any other software supporting layers - PS Elements, older versions of Photoshop, Gimp or PicMonkey.
We created a free Complete Guide to Photo Overlays some time ago, so feel free to check this post too.

What Can Photo Overlays do to your own images?

With Photo Overlays you can add all the elements your own images are missing. These are extra additions, which you can place on top f your images with the help of the editing software.

For example: you are shooting family session on a beautiful Summer meadow location, full of colorful, blooming flowers and you would like to add some little butterflies flying around the children - it was hard to shoot them or they even weren't there, but you feel they will enhance rather ordinary family portraits, the parents will love to see them too and you absolutely love to surprise your customers. There is no better way to help yourself and use butterfly photo overlays.

Another example: Christmas mini session, very busy time of the year for any photographer. There is no better way to create some Christmas magic than to add some twinkling bokeh lights to portraits, but you are worried about little ones - if this will be safe, with so many people visiting your studio those days, all the props and small kids running around... What about adding these lights in Photoshop? There are so many different Christmas Overlays to choose from, many different shapes or beautiful colors and you don't have to worry about safety.

Do you need more examples? You are into creative, conceptual photography and you would love to shoot some portraits at golden hour. You booked a model, MUA, hired beautiful vintage clothes, paid your assistant and found the most perfect location. You know you have only 1 hour to shoot, everything is ready, all the people involved are waiting, your model is in full makeup... and just before the sunset, the clouds arrived. But you checked the weather forecast a few times ahead of the booked date, but what can you do, the weather is unpredictable. You still shooting but the sun is covered and your beautiful, warm golden light is not here. You probably know what I'm going to write - use some Photo Overlays, fake it a little bit, you deserve it and if you do it the right way, nobody will notice.




How to use Photo Overlays the right way?


With the Photo Overlays, you should always remember, that they are an extra layer. You can apply them by simply drag & drop them over your images. 
If you like to use them the right way, learn about layers, different modes and effects that you can achieve with them. With the transparent PNG overlay, it is enough to use Normal mode - all the petals, leaf overlays and any other elements can apply that way.
With the Colour and Light Overlays, Painted Overlays, borders - you can try Soft Light mode or Normal one, but there are no rules, it really depends on the picture. 
When using JPG overlays, with the black background (most of the light/bokeh overlay, snow overlays, rain or fog overlays you should use Screen mode to hide black color). These are shoot with the camera, they are real effects, so to keep them as much realistic as possible we saved them on a black background.

It's always about your image first, so before applying any kind of overlay you should always remember to:


Clean edit your image first - correcting color, white balance,  contrast, light and shadows and maybe some retouching. Prepare your base before moving into a more creative part. 

Match the colors of the overlay with your images. You can either pick the right tone from the ready to use overlays or tweak the colors in Photoshop. Easy. 

I've seen purple neon petals added to images from white orchard session and I noticed only petals, so this kind is a no from me.

Before applying any photo overlay think about the right position. Check once again light and shadows on your image. The position of the sun. Maybe you should use dodge and burn tools, wrap tool, blur your overlay more or use motion blur effect. 

You can alter each overlay, be creative with them and I probably mentioned this many times on the blog - Photo Overlays are just tools. Don't be afraid to use them.

    Basic knowledge of Photoshop or any software supporting layers is essential. 


    It's all about blending, layers, different modes and very basic editing techniques. We have many Free Tutorials on the Blog if you haven't found them yet. 

    Sometimes I am getting an email that our photo overlays "do not match my pictures" or "I'm not able to apply them correctly". It's all about finding the right image - what will work with some pictures it won't necessarily fit other. If you are not able to apply an overlay, maybe there is some other way to do it, some other easy method. Photoshop is a really fantastic software, you can create magic with it. 


    Photo Overlays won't fix bad image but they can beautifully enhance the perfect one.


    Hope this post answered some of your questions. This is just my way of being creative with Photo Overlays. Maybe you have any other personal tips? Please share them in comments. 

    If you are using our overlays in your work and you would like to be featured, feel free to tag us on fb @kimladesigns or on Instagram @kimladesignsphotography.


    Under the Rowan Tree new Photo Overlays are here


    Our first Autumn 2018 products are here and you can be sure that there will be more new releases very soon. Seasons are changing, soon our fave season of falling leaves will start.

    I love how this new Under the Rowan Tree pack turned out! We tried to keep as more realistic look as possible. We had also in mind shooting through branches and movement effect. You can be sure that your Autumn portraits will look great with these overlays. You can learn more about this new overlays here.

    If you are looking for a more Autumn inspired editing tools, you should check our 5 Bestselling Autumn Photo Overlays of 2017 post now.



    There is more to choose from here.

    Freebie Friday Golden


    It's Freebie Friday on the Blog and I'm sharing one more free Photoshop Overlay with you all. This is a sampler of our Golden Field Overlays pack.

    Before I share this free, let's talk about shooting and editing at golden hour. Yes, I  absolutely love this time of the year and I'm trying to shoot at the golden hour as much as possible.

    Have you seen my latest post with the Tips at Shooting at Golden hour yet? I'm sharing a few of my personal tips when shooting golden hour portraits and how to take advantage of this beautiful light.


    Do you like shooting at a golden hour? I must say shooting and editing golden pictures are both my faves. Over the years we created many editing tools, just to help you edit fast and beautiful. I used to apply textures over my pictures, you can find my free Photoshop Tutorial and learn how to get this beautiful golden tones with Afternoon Light Textures here. There is also a free tutorial where I'm using Golden Hour PS Actions here.

    Don't forget about a very popular Golden Glow Freebie available to download here.

    Just recently we released Annabella Golden Lightroom Presets Collection and this turned out to be my fave editing tools this Summer.



    As I mentioned early, today's freebie is a sampler of Golden Field Overlays pack. This is a PNG file and overlay has been saved on a transparent background. 

    How to use it? simply drag & drop it over your picture and that's it. You can download this freebie here.

    Tips for Shooting at Golden Hour



    Each Summer I fell in love again with golden hour light. This warm, magical light all photographers are looking for it's hard to replicate. I love the softness of it, the glow, especially when shooting portraits.

    This golden light can be found twice a day - an hour after sunrise (Blue Hour) and an hour before sunset.


    In this post, I will share my personal tips for shooting at Golden Hour.



    1. Know when and be there early

    I like to check the golden hour times with the Golden Hour Calculator but you can probably find this info on weather apps and news websites or local press. It's always good to check the weather forecast too. Amount of clouds can make golden light short.

    If you are not familiar with the location you are shooting be there early, find the sun and prepare yourself. Try to locate the spot on the horizon where the sun will set up.

    2. Shooting at golden hour

    Be sure you keep your aperture in mind.

    Keep it smaller when shooting landscape (f/8-f/11) to be able to keep more contrast, especially with the sky. You can also try to use filters to keep colours more natural.

    When shooting people I keep the wider aperture at f/2.8. I like soft, blurry background and soft bokeh effect. My white balance is also set up for Cloudy Days to keep colours true.

    3. Take lots of pictures

    With golden hour you have an only short time window to shoot and you will be surprised how it can change very quickly, so my advice is always to be fast and take lots of pictures. Have fun with all the magical effects - try rim effect, silhouette or bokeh and don't be afraid to shoot directly into the sun.






    Freebie Friday Sky Overlay for Photographers


    It's Freebie Friday and I'm here with one more free Sky Overlay.


    Not familiar with Sky Overlays and wonder how to apply them the best possible way?
    There is a Free Complete guide to Sky Overlays waiting for you + more free samples.
    You can download this freebie here