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Tips for Using Adobe Lightroom Presets

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
  • Lastly how to export and share your presets with others
BW Lightroom Presets by Craft and Vision
These are made from the Craft & Vision bundle of 82 ready made presets

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

Darlenes Haze lightroom PresetCraft and Vision Color Adobe Lightroom Presets
Lightroom Presets by Craft and Vision

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.

I've recently begun creating my own and releasing them for purchase. My Lightroom presets are listed here.

lightroom alternative for photo editing softwareNEW: Adobe has announced changes to their licensing model for their products.

Lightroom Alternative: I've reviewed what I believe to be one of the best lightroom alternatives currently available. I encourage you to check it out before making ANY decisions about your photo editing software choices.

Read: Lightroom Alternative - Is Luminar the Answer?

ACTION PLAN

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.

Cheers

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  • Karen

    Darlene perfect timing. The LR course was excellent and I am already longing for an advanced course in the fall.

    • We can always do a private session, there might even be wine!

  • Bayar

    Hi Darlene, Very nice lesson about presets LR4. Thanks. Do you have art landscape course for 1 month in Edmonton. I want really participate kind of course. And how much it will cost?

    Thanks

    B.Bayar

    • Sorry there’s nothing of that length that I know of. Most workshops are a weekend or over a few weeks (once a week) but nothing on landscape that I can think of. There’s also not a lot of courses over the summer. I will be doing my Drumheller workshop in the fall again (that’s 3 days) is that of interest to you?

  • Janine

    Greetings from Cape Town, South Africa and thanks for the article and free presets, Darlene. I’m looking forward to using your Sky Drama, and have had good results with your HDR – I don’t know how to share the photos here. I’m not sure how to use your split tone or Trey’s cross process presets effectively – none of my photos ever seem quite right with them, but I’ll keep them handy. Thanks again.

    • Thanks Janine I’d love to see your results. Do you use any photo sharing sites like Flickr or Facebook? Just post your photos there and put a link to them here. The album must be shared publicly on the other site for us to be able to see them.

      Glad you like the presets.

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