What Are Lightroom Presets, Anyway?

Did you ever wonder how everyone can get their photos to be so repeatable with their style in Lightroom? Did you ever just say – Wow! That photographer really has such a great look that really carries through to all of their images. Lightroom presets are the answer! Some may purchase presets from others and some may create their own with their own style. No matter which way the presets are created, they can be a photographer’s best friend in keeping with their own personal style.

Simply put, a Lightroom preset saves all of the sliders in Lightroom. When you apply the preset to a new photo, it applies all of those Lightroom settings from the preset onto the new photo with just one click.

There is a great variety of different styles out there from many different sources. This makes it easier to choose the preset groups that more closely fit your own personal style. Sometimes it may be a combination of different styles. If you are trying to get that matte look that is so popular right now, there are presets available just for that. If black and white images are your focus, there is a wide variety of presets to help achieve just the right look that you may be going for. Want those colors to really pop? Take a look and presets can be found for that, too!

Presets just simply capture certain settings in Lightroom so they do not need to be re-adjusted with each image. It makes it into a quick “one-click” kind of option. It is a library, so to speak, of settings. They can be clicked and the settings are then applied to the image that is being worked on. Viola!

These presets can contain as much or as little of your settings that are needed. Some may be simply to adjust the exposure. Others can add different filters or split tones. White balance off? There can be presets for that, too! Want more or less contrast? Those are available, too! Basically all the settings that you can adjust in Lightroom can be used in a preset.

Now why would anyone want to have these presets with just part of the settings and the not all of them? Glad you asked. This makes it possible to stack different presets on top of each other. Maybe all the image needs is a minor tweak to get it perfect. A preset can be used to do that. Maybe the image is really screaming out to be more of a fine art style. Add on the different settings and styles quickly to achieve this. But every image is different and these settings may not be the exact match you need. That's why after you apply the preset, it can always be adjusted in the settings area to quickly fine tune each individual image. And don't worry, if you would want to have all the settings in one preset, that option is available when the preset is saved by choosing all of the settings to be used in the preset. See? It's the best of both worlds at your fingertips.

So if I haven't already got you interested in presets, you should give them a try for yourself. They may just open up a whole new world for you!

For an example of what Lightroom presets can do, check out this video:

6 thoughts on “What Are Lightroom Presets, Anyway?”

  1. In the video clip it says you have the presets available for download along with an hour long video on how to use them. How to I purchase or access these?

  2. Hey Jim love the podcast and all the work you do to share your love of photography with everyone. Any updates on when you are going to run the special again? I’ve been in Mexico on my honeymoon this week, got some great pictures this would really come in handy.

    Thanks and keep up the great work,

  3. Hi Jim,

    I’m a big fan of your show. I just wanna say you are doing a great job!

    I have a question though, how do I find these presets? Is there a link or something? I would love to have them 🙂

    Thank you! Andreea

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