Want to find out how to create Lightroom presets and use them for your photo editing? What is a Lightroom preset and how can you add it to the program? Is it difficult to create presets on your own? I’ll show you 15 easy steps for making Lightroom presets. Believe me, even a beginner Lightroom user can cope with this task fast.
Lightroom presets are previously saved settings that allow you to apply changes to a photo in one mouse click. Add a matte shade to your image, make colors brighter or enrich a portrait with cold tones, selecting one of the presets from your Lightroom library. Pay attention that LR presets aren’t solely used for color correction; they are also helpful if you need to add text or watermarks to many different photos.
Before you learn how to make a preset, let’s define why you need it. For example, let’s say you are a studio photographer who has just conducted a photoshoot and got at least 100-200 images. This is the standard number as practice shows. However, you don’t have much time to edit each photo and it would be very nice to add a watermark to every image. Lightroom presets will help effectively cope with such a task. Configure presets in accordance with your needs; adjust not only color correction, but also a watermark to make changes with a simple mouse click.
It is not as difficult to create a preset in Lightroom as many people think. First of all, let’s figure out what tool we will need and how each one works.
Start by selecting a photo taken with the camera that you are going to create for the Preset program, and open it in the Design module. Reset all the settings, clicking the Reset button below.
What is a slider?
Lightroom sliders are scale tracks that can be adjusted to edit photo elements. You will use the slider to determine how high or low you want each element to be placed on the scale. For example, some elements that you can increase or reduce with the slider are the following:
Select the preset type you want to create
There are various types of Lightroom presets to familiarize yourself with when you want to pack them for resale. Your presets may have a certain mood, belong to a definite photographic style niche, or suit particular seasonal changes.
Some examples of package types:
Analyze the photo genre that attracts you most and think about how it affects your image editing style. For instance, do you prefer portraiture or landscape? Do you often try to make something like bright photos of a couple in a romantic place, or are you more interested in adding effects, such as increasing the amount of snow falling in winter? Your own style will help to determine how to create Lightroom presets for sale.
I installed Process version 4 (Current), which is the latest, and Profile to Classic Chrome (movie setting that I use most often). The available profile parameters depend on the camera.
Possible variation: you can create a different Preset version for each profile that you regularly use.
Importing Lightroom presets for X-T1 is very simple and doesn’t require special knowledge since lens correction is performed by a camera saved in an RAW file and is automatically applied by Lightroom.
Most cameras do not do this, so if it is relevant for you, go to the “Basic” tab and check the “Enable profiles” and “Delete chromatic aberrations” checkboxes. Then go to the “Profile” tab and set “Settings” to “Auto” so that Lightroom adjusts the settings according to the lens installed in the camera.
Set the white balance to “Shooting” and make sure that all other sliders are set to zero.
Possible variation 1: Check the “Autofocus” field so that Lightroom automatically sets “Exposure”, “Contrast”, “Basic”, “Shadows”, “White” and “Black” sliders. It depends on your preferences. I do so because I like to like to control these sliders myself.
Possible variation 2: Create one preset for color photographs, and another for those that you intend to convert to black and white, using the Black and White mode.
Follow the following simple steps on how to create Lightroom presets.
STEP 1. Select the photo which you want to work with. On the right (selected area) is the main menu, which contains the settings that mainly affect light and shadow. It is also useful if you need to enhance the picture or stylize it, using color balance.
STEP 2. The first two sliders are responsible for the temperature of the photo. The top slider is used to correct white balance. That is, if the photo turned out to be cold, you can make it warmer, and vice versa. The second slider influences the shadows. It deepens the shadows while slightly affecting the light.
STEP 3. Select everything that affects the light. For example, the exposure can make the overall position of the light darker or brighter, and the whole picture will be brighter. Highlights can add or remove glares, which helps if the photo is overexposed, especially the face area, although it does not become light grey. The Whites slider works in a similar way but it also removes the glow, while a little white can make gray.
STEP 4. The following sliders are responsible for the darkness. If you increase the shadows, you can make the photos softer, while the light part won’t be affected. Blacks are useful if you need to add contrast to the photo, but you do not want to use contrast because it can make the shadows much darker, leaving the image a little saturated. If the Blacks are slightly lowered (to the left), the photo will acquire a slight contrast, but the shadows won’t get deeper.
STEP 5. Also, there is a contrast that makes the POP effect in a photo. But there is an important nuance you should remember about making Lightroom presets. Namely, sometimes the contrast makes the photo slightly saturated with the dark area too darkened. You can also use it the other way around. If the photo looks too saturated, you can lower the contrast and color, and the light and shadows will become softer.
STEP 6. The last stage in this section of how to create a preset in Lightroom is the one that affects the overall color saturation of an image and its clarity.
Clarity - makes the photo a little clearer. You can use the slider to turn a photo into HDR style. Still, there is a small problem: Clarity makes the dirty shadows, which are very dark.
Dehaze enhances the main saturation of a color photo, while it does not cause parasitic shades, on the contrary, making the photo faded.
The last two sliders affect the saturation of the picture. Vibrance makes it softer, starting with shades, and then slightly removes the saturation of the photo and vice versa. The last slider, Saturation, makes a picture sharp or saturated, or B&W.
STEP 7. Curve is a very interesting tool, which can be controlled as a point-bending curve, or a little easier using sliders. There are additional elements which are responsible for light and shadow. Using them, you can make a more detailed adjustment of the light and shadows in the picture. You will also find three other curves in this section that influence green, red and blue. They are useful if you intend to do different effects. But you’d better not touch them, as they tone the entire photo. Also, using the curve, you can add a matte effect, raising a black point.
STEP 8. Hue directly affects the color and the shades that are related to the main colors – for example, red may be transformed into orange or pink. What about the other colors? For instance, to make the grass or trees more stylized, you can pull the slider, which is responsible for the green color and drag it not to the yellow side, but to the aqua one. The grass will immediately become stylized.
“Saturation” affects the saturation of a particular color, while “Luminance” is responsible for light and shadow. For example, if you need to make skin a little lighter, but you don’t want to use a brush and lighten the whole image, these sliders are very useful. Typically, an orange color affects the skin, and you can drag this slider up in the Luminance section and the skin will become lighter.
STEP 9. The preset section is very large and important. If this is the source or JPG, which contains information about the way this photo was taken, it will save your image. For example, many lenses distort photos because of the lens itself, and sometimes due to improper lighting, chromatic aberration may appear, which is sometimes very difficult to remove from a shot. If you check these two boxes, it will automatically correct lens distortion and remove chromatic aberration.
STEP 10. This is the section that is responsible for noise and sharpness of a photo. Obviously, sharpening makes the images sharper. And if the photo turned out to be very noisy, you can raise the values of noise suppression, as well as light and color.
STEP 11. Using this section, you can add B&W vignetting to a photo. There is also a Grain section if you need to stylize a photo, making it like an old film and add the grain to achieve the realistic look.
STEP 12. This is a large section that helps to stylize a photo through shades while the colors may look very different, which cannot be achieved through pinpoint color correction.
STEP 13. Photos with basic settings.
STEP 14. Save the preset.
STEP 15. Then we write the name of the preset, select all the values, or remove everything and leave only what we want. Then click Create.
If you don’t want to create a Lightroom preset and have managed to find and download paid or free Lightroom presets, upload them to Lightroom using one of the following methods:
1. Move the presets file to Lightroom
As for me, this is the easiest way, which allows you to move a preset to Lightroom with one mouse click. Find previously uploaded files on your PC, in the following formats: .xmp, or .lrtemplate. Click on them and move them to the Lightroom photo editor desktop.
2. Import Files from the Lightroom Desktop
Open the Lightroom photo editor, go to Develop, open the tab with presets, click on + in the right corner and import presets. After the photo editor accesses your hard drive, find the previously loaded presets and add them to Lightroom. View other ways of how to add presets to Lightroom.
It is quite easy to synchronize and use presets in the mobile version. First of all, install Lightroom CC on your computer and do the following:
You can import either a folder or several files, including combinations of presets and profiles, and Lightroom CC will import and place them in the necessary area on the interface.
After the presets and profiles are imported and ready for synchronization, they will be available on any device related to the same account, as well as with Lightroom account (iPhone, iPad, Android, and ChromeOS). View more about how to work and delete Lightroom mobile presets.
Sometimes, when you create preset Lightroom, you choose improper settings and want to redo it. Don’t hurry to delete your preset, just perform the following actions:
Though Adobe Lightroom Classic is a fairly simple photo editor, many users think that it is overloaded with needless options. That’s why many use Lightroom CC version, and even in this case, you can create Lightroom presets or simply download them from the web. Choose one of the following methods:
You can move the presets to Lightroom CC, similarly to Lightroom Classic. The most standard types are .xmp, or .lrtemplate. Click on files and move them from your hard drive to the Lightroom CC photo editor window.
Left click on any of the modules. In my case, it was “Edit.” In the pop-up window select “Presets”, then go to the additional settings and select Import. Select the preset file from your computer and it will be added.
This Lightroom preset makes the photo darker and more saturated, corrects the white balance, emphasizes shadows, makes a skin tone more realistic. It requires maximum artificial lighting and is not suitable for photos in natural light.
The preset makes the photo more vivid and rich while maintaining the black color. It emphasizes white and black colors that are perfect for wedding photos. Green colors become more distinct. The preset is suitable for photos taken in natural colors.
Blacks become true black, the contrast makes the photo more voluminous and removes the distracting shade of green, which gives contrast, clarity and sharpens the image. The preset is suitable for the product photos taken exclusively in the lightbox.
This Lightroom filter makes the photo matte, and colors – saturated, white and black – acquire a more realistic look. The preset is good for photos taken in the studio and outdoors.
This grunge Lightroom preset makes photos more sharp, clear, adds grains, brightens the shadows, corrects the white balance, and makes the colors more vivid and saturated.
You can create Lightroom presets on your own, but there are lots of free bundles on the web. Many well-known companies, websites, and retouchers offer free Lightroom presets. FixThePhoto also worked hard and created several bundles for different photo genres.
Our presets are 100% free to download and use for personal or commercial work.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.