The Advantages of using Lightroom Presets
Over the years I have created many presets for Lightroom - both for my business and personal use. Lightroom presets have become something of a passion of mine. With a good collection of presets, you can transform an image from raw to fully post-processed in just a few clicks.
Here are some tips on using my Lightroom presets, as well as general tips to improve your workflow and create stunning images. Let's go!
1. Spend time familiarizing yourself with the presets
Presets are more effective the more you use them. You may not be familiar with all the presets that you have, so you don't use them as often. It can be tedious to go through all the presets to find the one that you need, especially if there are >100 of them. Presets become more familiar when you use them regularly. You know where they are, how to find them quickly, and which presets work best for specific images. This mindset will make Lightroom more efficient. Who doesn't want more time?
My Lightroom preset packs are designed as a structured workflow and consists of 7 to 9 modules. This gives you the freedom to individually shape the final image with a selection of adjustment presets and develop a repeatable personal style in the process. A structured workflow frees you from the worries of where to start and what to do next.
2. Create a folder for your favorite presets
You'll find presets you use often over time. You can create a new folder within your presets catalog, and drag your favorite presets into it. It is simple to create a new folder using the presets panel. However, it can be confusing if you aren't familiar with this process. It won't work if you click the + sign at the top right, this is only for creating new presets. You have to hover over your presets and then right click, choose "New Folder" and name this folder. Then they can simply drag the presets from one folder to another.
3. Don't be afraid of tweaking and fine tuning
For those who have never used the Develop module before, it can be a little intimidating. There are so many options and also many ways to make your photo look amazing (as well as ways to make it look horrible). You can see the changes made by the applied preset in the right panels of Lightroom. After applying your favorite preset, you still need to adjust the basic settings of each image before going into the fine-tuning process. In particular, you’ll need to tweak the highlights, whites, shadows and blacks in the Basic panel of Lightroom.
4. Start creating your own Lightroom presets
After you have used presets for some time, you will feel more comfortable fine-tuning them to your liking. You will be more comfortable using presets over time. You can use any of my free and premium Lightroom presets for a base or as a starting point. You can then add to it, modify it, take it apart and rebuild it, and create a new preset. This is something I do quite often. It's a great way to learn, see the effort that goes into creating great presets, and it's also a lot fun!
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About the Author – Jan Erik Waider
I'm a visual artist and fine art photographer based in Hamburg. My work focuses on atmospheric and abstract landscape photography, capturing the essence of the remote polar regions. – Learn more about me and discover my fine art photo series, prints and books or download my Lightroom Presets or Capture One Styles.
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