Tips for Using Adobe Lightroom Presets
Adobe Lightroom presets are extremely handy tools for creating unique and stunning images with literally a few clicks. In this article I’m going to take you on a video tutorial of how to use Lightroom presets including:
- how to import lightroom presets
- how to apply a preset
- how to modify your image after applying a preset
- how to create lightroom presets
- and lastly how to export and share your presets with others
What are Lightroom Presets anyway?
Simply put, Lightroom Develop Presets consist of a copy of some of the settings available inside Adobe Lightroom, already applied in a certain way, to create a certain affect on your image. For example, some of the things presets can do:
- add punch to your image for more drama
- create an edge vignette to darken the edges of your image and draw the viewers eye in to the center of the image
- convert your image to black and white
- apply a retro look like 70s style color film
- create a faded out or vintage look for your image
- darken or add drama to the sky
- make a faux “HDR” look to maintain detail in a contrasty image
There are many other kinds of presets possible in Lightroom, but to keep it simpler we’ll focus on Develop Presets only today. Just know that you can also create presets for your adjustment brush, graduated filter, export presets and more. They are all designed to save you time when doing repetitive tasks so if you find yourself saying “I do this thing a lot” consider making it into a preset. Here’s an example of what you can do with presets with ONE CLICK.
How to use Lightroom Presets
The best way for me to show you how to use presets is to do just that, so please watch this Lightroom tutorial, then continue reading below the video to see some of the preset applied on my images.
Example of some looks you can apply with Lightroom Presets
How do I get some of these presets?
There are many ways to find Lightroom presets including using Google and finding some for free. If you do a search you’ll find about 1.7 million hits for “free lightroom presets”. Are they all good? Hard to say, some yes, some not so much. You have to just wade through them and find the ones you like, so it can be time consuming.
Another option is to purchase some to get started. Once again there are many options, in many different prices ranges and variety packs. Two sets that I have, including the ones I demonstrated in the video above are:
Craft and Vision Lightroom Develop Preset Bundle – price $18 includes 82 presets by David duChemin and David Delnea (see images above for some before and after examples)
Stuck in Customs Lightroom Presets - price $19.97 includes 85 presets by Trey Ratcliff (see below for a few examples from this set). Trey’s presets take images to the edge and back, and many work well with HDR processed photos.
18 EXTRA Lightroom presets – created for me, especially for you!
Here’s a sample of what you’ll get:
- 3 presets for adding Sky Drama
- 4 vintage presets – Antique faded color looks
- 3 edge vignettes (2 for darkening and one for white edges)
- 2 haze or flare removal presets
- 2 HDR looks (soft and strong – see below for examples)
- 4 split toning presets for black and white images (see example below)
To receive this extra presets for FREE, just email me your proof of purchase of one of the above bundles and I’ll send you mine as well! Please email to: darlene (at) herviewphotography dot com (cannot put a link here sorry, it will get me too much spam)
NOTE: your receipt must be dated May 9th or later, if you bought these previously the bonus does not apply, nor do upgrades to older purchases qualify. This must be a NEW purchase – thanks.
ACTION PLAN AND MORE RESOURCES
So how are you going to use this information? Will you go find some presets or make some of your own? Do you have some favourite you use already? Please share in the comments section if you use Presets or if this is new to you, and show us some images you’ve creating with the assistance of one or more Lightroom Presets.
If you want to continue learning more about Lightroom here are some additional resources I would recommend:
- Lightroom 4 Unmasked – ebook by Craft and Vision. At $20 for 312 pages this book is a great value. The author goes into great detail covering each module including: Library, Develop, Map, Book, Print, Slideshow and Web. He also talks about how Lightroom is different, what a catalogue is, how to set up your preferences, how to back up properly, merging catalogues, setting up a good workflow, and a lot more!
- Kelby Training online – tons of video courses on all sorts of topics including Lightroom. You can subscribe for a month, or for the whole year and watch as many as you want, as many times as you need. If you can’t attend a live class or workshop, video training may be a good alternative option for you.
- Lightroom 4 by Scott Kelby – an actual physical book if you prefer having one you can hold in your hands. Get the coil bound one if that’s an option, it’s a thick book and it will lie flatter with that binding. Great reference book, I teach a Lightroom class based on the lessons in this book.
- PHOTOGRAPH – a quarterly magazine produced by Craft & Vision. Issue #3 just came out and inside each issue are 3 portfolio features which are pure, 100% inspiration – just images for you to go gaga over, and they are gorgeous! It also includes 11 articles from different authors in each issue. The great thing about this magazine is that there is NO advertising, NONE! So if you’re tired of reading traditional magazines off the shelf and being bombarded with ads on every page, this is a nice, cleaning reading experience – and because it’s a PDF you can even read it on your mobile phone or iPad! It’s $8 per issue, or $24 for a year, giving you one issue for free.
- A previous article I wrote about how to set up your Lightroom preferences
- If you are currently not using Adobe Lightroom, you might want to read this to see why I’m so hyped about it and why I recommend it - Top 10 Reasons Lightroom Rocks
- Lastly if you haven’t got Lightroom and you wish to do so – you can buy Lightroom on the Adobe website.
Note: the links you see in this article are affiliate links, which means if you click on them and purchase that item, I do get a small commission. By no means are you required do so, but if you do choose to do so, and support me so I can continue providing great articles like this at no cost, it will be much appreciated. Thank you!