4.34Nicole Mason Presets // Review
Nicole Mason

Nicole Mason Presets // Review

4.34GP. score
3.8Public score
4 Presets (2 Color & 2 BW)
File types
Designed for RAW files
Adobe LR

Nicole Mason is wedding, commercial, and editorial photographer known for her simple compositions and muted palette of earth tones. Based in Portland, Oregon.

01. Intro

These presets are designed to work best in the warm soft lights of sunrise and sunset. They aim for a clean and simple color palette of pale earth tones.

At first stunning with de-saturation, they are quick to warm up and achieve a look that has long been elusive to many. These presets continue to surprise as you get to know them.

02. Live Edit

03. Overall Look

The first thing you’ll notice with this pack’s color presets is the extreme de-saturation.

Pulling the lion’s share of color from your images, it leaves a subtle color palette low on contrast with crushed highlights and warm shadows. You may just feel as if you’re lounging in a Kinfolk magazine.

Above photos are Canon 5d Mark III by Sam Arroyo.


Warmth in shadows/midtones.

Clean highlights.

Skin tones are desaturated and gorgeous.
NM Color 02 | Photo by Matt & Tish

04. One click boom

The beauty of this preset is how effectively it simplifies editing. You’ll spend far less time chasing color casts and white balance issues. Images may need very slight warming, generally 300-500k.

kristen marie parker preset photo

One thing to be mindful of is that the exposure adjustments are baked into the preset, so if you are applying over previously edited work you will probably need to go back and adjust exposure settings. 

Photos above are Nikon D700 by Kristen Marie Parker.

Matt & Tish
NM Color 01 | One Click
Matt & Tish
NM Color 02 | One Click

05. Technical

 These presets are based on the Adobe Standard camera profile. This makes them work with any camera supported by Adobe. I didn’t find any files from Canon, Nikon, Fuji, or Sony that looked significantly different from the Canon 5d Mark III these were designed for. Nikon users might notice a difference between d810 & d5 images, but a simple contrast adjustment was all that was needed to make them match.

The color presets have a slight RGB curve for overall tonality. They don’t crush the highlights or shadows, leaving a clean look. The heavy lifting is done with the individual color curves and the H/S/L sliders. The basic panel’s sliders are left relatively untouched, leaving for more room to make further adjustments.

The one slightly negative technical facet is that the exposure slider is included in the preset, making it annoying to apply over previously processed work. This is a simple fix once you’ve installed the presets, you can apply one of the presets and then right click on the preset and click “update preset with current settings”. Then uncheck the boxes for: exposure, white balance, spot removal, local adjustments, and crop.

Above photos are Canon 5d Mark IV by Matt & Tish Photography.

06. Consistency

Because so much of the typical color palette is desaturated, consistency gets high marks in these presets.

The subtle curve works well over a large span of work with little need to make many tweaks overall, leading to even more consistent final images. 

NM Color 02 | Photo: Matt & Tish
NM Color 01 | Photo: Matt & Tish

07. Typical tweaks

It’s recommended to start with the white balance dropper on a neutral and then gradually warm that reading by 300-500k. Skin tones come out beautifully with a very slight warmth. If you’re looking to bring warmth into outdoor images, simply bump the white balance by another 1000-2000 kelvin. 
Overall, exposure was close, but again, watch out for the preset changing your previously edited slider position. 
H/S/L: You might notice that some colors display artifacting- harsh lines at changing in tone caused by a color being pushed too far- due to the extreme desaturation. It was found most obvious on lips with red lipstick. To remedy you’ll want to look at the saturation/luminance of the offending color. In this case the positive red luminance on the preset Nicole Mason Color 01” needed adjusting.
Split Toning
Bringing back individual colors if there were artifacting issues.
-.1 -.3
White Balance
Slight warming if skin was too cool.

08. Strong Points

Ideally you’re in an old warehouse with the exposed brick walls painted white. A Monstera Deliciosa sits on an old ladder in the corner with the light sneaking through a single pane glass window softly enveloping everything in the room. However, if you don’t shoot in that studio dream every day, these presets will still impress in nearly every condition you aim for during a wedding or portrait shoot. If you search out quality light, they will reward you.

09. Weak Points

If you’ve exposed for the highlights, hard light will survive in this pack.  However, it will be difficult to get an extremely dynamic scene to balance with this preset.

All colors except for earth tones will struggle. If you shoot dark & moody, making those images really sing will take patience. Although these presets can accommodate darker images, they really crave soft light pouring into a darker space to produce a quality image.


10. Before/After

The two included BW presets are both gorgeous over a wide range of image situations. They’re based on a very similar curve, with BW01 having more shadow/highlight crushing and massive amounts of grain. They work well with the color presets in a set of images, offering similar tonalities.

NM Color 01 | Photo: Matt & Tish
NM BW 01 | Photo: Matt & Tish
NM BW 02 | Photo: Matt & Tish

11. Uniqueness

This pack brings a completely unique aesthetic from the majority of the offerings on the market. It’s desaturated, it’s trendy, it’s hip. It may take a few days for you to like your images with it applied because it is so different, but a little patience goes a long way here. If you love this look and want to solidify your consistency this pack should be a staple in your collection. 

12. Value

At $95 for two color and two black & white presets, this pack goes the distance. It’s equally as valuable as a one-trick-pony as it is the start of a new cohesive portfolio. We prefer to think of it as the latter. 

Nicole Mason Presets // Review
Good stuff
  • Unique look.
  • Stunning skin.
  • Easy to tweak.
Bad stuff
  • Extreme de-saturation isn't for everyone.
  • Not for all styles of photo.
Overall look
One click boom
Final Score
Based on 2 reviews

3.8 Users (2 votes)
Overall Look3.8
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