I often get asked how I edit my photos. The answer to this question is actually pretty simple. I have a bunch of self made presets in Lightroom and it’s just a matter of picking the right one and adjust it until it fits the photo I’m editing.
First of all you need to know what a preset is.
What is a (Lightroom) preset?
A preset is basically a bunch of saved settings. Let’s say I edit a photo and I change contrast, exposure and saturation. I can save these changes as a preset and simply apply this later on other photos.
If you are in the Develop module in Lightroom you’ll see your presets panel on the left side.
How to make them?
You can easily make your own Lightroom presets by editing a photo until you’re satisfied with the result. Next you want to click the + icon in the Presets panel. This will open a pop up where you can choose which settings you want to save and how you want to name your preset. Then click on create and your preset is ready to be used on other photos.
Why buy them?
Making a large variety of presets might take a while, so sometimes it’s just easier to buy a preset pack on the internet. This has several advantages.
First of all you don’t have to do any of the work yourself and you’ll save time.
Second, if you’re not really familiar with editing it might be helpful to use someone else’s presets. It will level up your skills immediately.
And last, but not least, it will broaden your horizon. It might show you new ways of editing that you would never have achieved on your own.
Where to buy them?
Simply type ‘buy Lightroom presets’ in Google and you’re set! I have made a couple of packs myself that are now up for sale. Go to ‘Shop’, then ‘Presets’ and you will be redirected to an Etsy page where you can buy 3 packs of presets.
One is focussing on colour editing, mainly for photos that have a ‘green’ or ‘plant’ touch. Some of them work pretty well on regular colour photos as well.
The second pack is focussed on sunset photos highlighting the warm and bright colors.
The third pack is all black and white. From harsh and grainy to no grain and faded.
These packs are ideal starter packs if you’re new to editing and would like to learn the capabilities that Lightroom can bring to your workflow.
I hope to have more packs up in the (near) future so keep an eye out on this blog or my social media channels. If you have specific requests or ideas for packs you can always comment on this blogpost or just click the ‘contact’ button in the menu.
How to install them?
Installing presets you bought on the internet is pretty simple. Below you find instructions in 9 steps:
- If necessary Unzip the downloaded file.
- Go into Lightroom
- Click on Edit at the top on a PC. Lightroom, then Preferences on a Mac.
- Click on the second tab of the new screen (Presets).
- Click on the box titled, Show Lightroom Presets Folder.
- Double click on Lightroom.
- Next double click on Develop Presets Folder.
- Copy the downloaded folder, found in your downloads, into the “Develop Presets” folder.
- Restart Lightroom
The solution to all your problems?
No! Lightroom presets are not the solution for the bad photos and they will not make up for a lack of skills in either photography or editing. When you apply a preset to your photo you will notice it changes the tones and colors, but it still might be to dark or bright, to saturated or not enough, etc. After applying a preset you still have to make adjustments to make it fit perfectly. But presets do show you the possibilities and will show you the right direction.