Pushed Portra Preset Review

The photography world has steadily seen more photographers favouring a darker, atmospheric editing style with warm golden browns and whimsical green tones. Looking at a wedding photographer giant like India Earl, it's not hard to see why so many people are falling in love with this stylized editing trend.

The new buzzed about Pushed Portra Preset from Mastin Labs, in my opinion, is their answer to this trend. Mastin Labs is a photography company that specializes in creating presets with an authentic film look perfect for the hybrid photographer. What sets them apart from other preset companies like Vsco or Replichrome is that they have a more subdued and grounded look to them. The Pushed Portra is no different than its preset counter parts in the fact that its origin lies in film photography as well. "Pushing film" is a method of underexposing film when shooting and developing. This alters the visual characteristics of the film, adding higher contrast. This is where the Pushed Portra differs. It is dark and moodier than its predecessors.

For my review, I tested the preset on photos in which the original Portra was intended for Portrait and Wedding Photography. As well Mastins claims their presets give "an authentic film look in 3 clicks or less" so I'm holding them to it and not doing any tweaking other than for white balance and exposure. Raw on the left Puhsed portra on the right.

Pushed Portra 160 +1, All Soft

Pushed Portra 160+1, All Soft

Pushed Portra 400 +1

Pushed Portra 160 +1

Pushed Portra 160 +1, All Hard

Pushed Portra 160 +1

Pushed Portra 400 +1

Pushed Portra 160 +1, All soft

Overall, I was very pleased with the preset. It really makes the photos look vivid and gives them beautiful colour tones. The point of presets in general are to make editing easier and this definitely does the trick.

In the the photo examples above, I white balanced and tweaked the exposure on the raw photo but a few times I applied the preset and had to tinker again to get the pictures looking just right. Mastins says the Pushed Portra is "Moody not Muddy" and I have to agree it gives your photos a nice contrast style edit but rooted in the timelessness of film. Even when the preset doesn't instantly work, for instance in none ideal indoor environments, with some tweaking it seems to be just fine. My one complaint is that sometimes the preset is overly contrasting but it's nothing that cant be solved with lowering the contrast slider down a bit. All this being said, I think this will be my go to preset going forward.


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