Imagine that you are about to start retouching your photo and all the effects you are looking for are just one single click away. Have you ever thought about being able to work like this? Well, it's not as hard as it may seem at first glance. Presets are an essential part of any photographers post routine and help to speed up your work-flow and allow you to batch edit.
Many of you have asked, "What are Lightroom Presets and how do I use Lightroom Presets?" Let's dive in!
What are Lightroom Presets and Where to Find Them
Lightroom presets, also known as simply "presets", are one of the most interesting and useful resources you can find in the Lightroom editing program. It is a set of adjustments and changes that are made to the photo that are saved, so you can apply them with just one click on any image.
The panel of Preset Settings or Presets will be found in the Develop tab of Lightroom. By default, the program already has some presets but keep in mind that these aren't the best. For best results, either make your own which we will talk about in the next section, or buy some from your favorite photographers.
How do I apply a Preset to my Photo?
Applying a preset to your photography is very simple. To do so, you have to open the Preset Settings panel where all the presets that you have installed will appear. You then need to pass the mouse over them, and before applying them, you will be able to see in the thumbnail of the Navigator panel how your image will look after applying the preset.
If you like the look, click on that preset, and you will see how your image changes instantly. On the right side, you will see how the edit has been changed. You can tweak this preset as you see fit for each photo. For example, I usually apply a preset and then change the exposure and color temp based on that image.
If you're not convinced, you can always undo the action from the menu Edit/Undo or Ctrl+Z/Command + Z.
Saving Presets and overwriting old Presets
To save a preset you will click the plus icon shown below. Use the same method to overwrite existing presets or to made a small tweak to one that you have purchased.
Pro-tip: Keep in mind that some presets that look great on one photo will end up looking horrible on another. This is all based on lighting, color tones, and the overall image. Play around with different presets until you get the look that you are aiming for.
5 Advantages of Using Lightroom Presets
The use of presets can give you some advantages when it comes to processing and revealing your photographs.
• Save time editing
• Develop consistency in your images which converts best on Instagram. Creating 5 presets for yourself with a similar look will allow you to create a seamless Instagram page or branding.
• Learn editing techniques by studying the changes that are applied in the history panel. You'll begin to understand which editing methods give certain looks. For example, increased shadows give the blogger/lifestyle" look, whereas, darkened shadows and increased clarity can give a "street style" look.
• Presets are a great starting point from which you can continue working since they can allow you to re-edit and re-save as I mentioned above. Applying a preset does not have to end with a photo ready to publish and display. One of the strengths of the Lightroom presets is that you can always readjust them to your liking to get the best edit for your photo.
• Edit in batches: If you do a 100-photo session, you do not need edit one by one. Edit one of them, save the changes as a preset and apply it to the rest. From there, review each image to see if it needs a little tweaking. You'll thank me for this one when you save hours of editing time!