How To Apply A Lightroom Preset

By | 25/10/2022

Editing photos can be a daunting process, but learning how to use Lightroom presets can be a great mode to get to grips with the software.

On elevation of that, it likewise gives you a smashing shortcut to delivering impactful images without too much effort.

It’due south worth noting that there are different types of Lightroom presets, including ways to add metadata when importing or add together watermarks when exporting.

This commodity will focus on Develop Presets to help you edit the look and feel of your photos.

Whether you’re using Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC, or fifty-fifty Lightroom Mobile – this guide volition become y’all started.

How to Download Lightroom Presets

There is a wealth of Lightroom presets available to download, both for free and for buy.

In my experience, free Lightroom presets are frequently a bit more than extreme and can make photographs look a flake ‘overcooked’.

Instead, you might desire to spend a small amount of coin on presets by 1 of your favorite photographers. Many sell their Lightroom presets via their website for as little as $five.

These Develop Presets tend to be more subtle and work better as a foundation you can build on when editing a single image.

If yous’re concerned that with presets, you’re but copying someone else’s style, don’t worry: one of the quickest ways to larn how to apply Lightroom is to take inspiration from elsewhere and and then use information technology to develop your knowledge to create something that is your own.

Whether you discover some costless presets or pay for a pack, you lot’ll need to download and save the presets to your computer’s difficult drive.

Allow’s expect at how to install Lightroom Presets.

How to Import Presets into Lightroom

Most Lightroom presets come as a pack rather than individual files. Frequently they volition make it as a zip file that needs to be unzipped showtime.

Once unzipped, you lot should detect a binder containing a number of .xmp files. You can go out these where they are for at present – see our guide: ‘what is an XMP file?‘

In Adobe Lightroom Archetype, make certain y’all’re in the Develop module (for a shortcut, printing D). On the left-mitt side, you’ll find the Presets tab which you may demand to click on in order to expand it.

To the correct of the discussion “Presets” y’all’ll detect a plus symbol. Click on it and cull “Import Presets…”

import from your user presets folder in the lightroom develop module

Getting presets to Lightroom is simple

For Lightroom CC, the process is very similar. Click on the Edit icon to bring up the Edit panel (or press “E”) and and so click on “Presets”.

From at that place, click on the 3 dots and cull “Import Presets…”

instructions for adding presets

The process is and so the same.

You lot can so navigate to the folder that contains the .xmp files that yous just downloaded. Highlight all of them and click “Import” on the lesser right.

find your presets folder and select which files to import

One of the ways to import presets into Lightroom

You should then detect that these Lightroom presets are now visible in your Presets tab.

Often, if yous are ownership a drove of presets, they will all exist contained in a drop-down that you need to expand by clicking the small arrow next to the main preset title.

How to Use Your Downloaded Presets

If you lot’ve merely installed a pack of several Lightroom presets, your first step volition be to spend some time familiarising yourself with them.

To start to understand what presets practise, a smart way is to apply them to a variety of photographs shot under very different lighting conditions. You’ll chop-chop learn when their furnishings are almost pronounced, and get an idea of how they’re changing your image.

If you accept photos that y’all’ve already edited, you may wish to create a Virtual Copy and completely reset the editing so that yous’re starting from fresh — and without undoing whatsoever work that yous’ve already washed.

It’due south best to utilize a preset to an epitome that has had no editing done to it considering, equally we will run into beneath, existing edits might not ever exist overridden past the preset.

Lightroom has a useful feature: if you hover over a preset in the Presets tab, you’ll find that the upshot is temporarily practical to your image.

(Cheque out these complimentary Lightroom tutorials for more useful tips similar this.)

use lightroom presets to give your images different looks

Applying presets in Lightroom Classic

photo editing is made easier with lightroom presets

Applying presets in Lightroom CC

If you’re interested in developing your knowledge of Lightroom, you may wish to spend a bit of time agreement how a item preset is giving a detail look.

Has it made changes to the Tone Curve?

What is it doing with the sliders in the Color panel?

Has it done something funky by adding a Divide Tone?

Looking at these settings will assist you become familiar with the inner workings of each preset, and the software itself.

user lightroom presets for easier photo editing

How to Create Your Own Adobe Lightroom Presets

The real power to be gained from mastering Lightroom presets comes from creating your own.

Too as beingness able to use a complete look and feel to a specific image, Lightroom presets tin can also exist used to speed up more detailed elements of your post-product workflow.

First of all, let’s run through how to create your own custom Lightroom preset.

Once you’ve edited a photo — mayhap using a downloaded preset as a starting point — you might wish to and then have those edits and save them for use with other photos.

Of course, you could copy all of those settings or even use Lightroom’s Synchronize feature, but creating a Lightroom preset can salvage you a lot of time.

To the right-hand side of the Presets panel, click on the plus symbol (Lightroom Archetype) or the three dots (Lightroom CC) and choose “Create Preset.”

Don’t exist too confused by the list of tick boxes that appears — you lot tin can dig deeper into this later on.

For now, hit “Bank check All” and then untick the following boxes: White Balance, Exposure, Graduated Filters, Radial Filters, and Transform.

If you’re using Lightroom CC, you’ll need to expand some of the driblet-down options. For example, you’ll find Exposure listed nether Light, and White Residuum is listed nether Color.

Call back to give your new preset a name that volition help you lot to recollect what it does.

choose which lightroom brushes and settings to apply to your photo editing preset

Creating a preset using Lightroom Classic

select lightroom brushes and settings for your preset

Creating a preset in Lightroom CC

When you hitting “Create” (Lightroom Classic) or “Salvage” (Lightroom CC) to complete this process, information technology might feel like nothing has happened. Even so, if yous expand “User Presets” in your Presets panel, you’ll see that your new preset has just appeared.

From the tick boxes mentioned above, you’ll notice that Lightroom allows a lot of customization, something that’due south useful every bit you go more than experienced with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Information technology’due south a good idea to turn off White Balance, Exposure, and Transform because those three aspects are unique to every photograph. If you’re editing a large number of photos, y’all don’t necessarily want to increase the exposure by +one, or crop every paradigm a certain fashion, for example.

Similarly, Graduated Filters and Radial Filters tend to be very specific tools, and having them applied uniformly to a batch of images is rarely ideal.

How to Apply Lightroom Presets to Multiple Images

A preset can be applied with a simple click. Information technology’s worth remembering that fifty-fifty if you take a number of images selected in the Filmstrip, clicking on a preset will only apply that preset to the photo that you’re currently viewing.

To utilise your preset to a group of images at once, you’ll need to follow the steps below.

  • Applying a Preset to Multiple Images in Lightroom Classic

In Lightroom Archetype, in order to employ the edit to multiple images, select the images, click on the preset to employ information technology to the electric current image, then choose “Sync…” from the bottom of the right-mitt console.

sync your lightroom preset across more than one photo

The window that pops up looks very similar to the ane that appeared when creating your preset, though it’south non exactly the same.

Once more, there are some boxes that you typically want to leave unticked: White Balance, Exposure, Local Adjustments, Transform, Spot Removal, and Ingather.

Leaving these unticked is a skilful habit to go into as it will stop you from accidentally wiping out whatever image-specific edits that you might take already done, such as correcting the exposure or straightening a photo.

When you hit Synchronize, all of the selected images will take the settings from the starting time photograph, effectively applying the preset.

  • Applying a Preset to Multiple Images in Lightroom CC

If y’all’re using Lightroom CC, the process is slightly different.

Select the image that you’ve finished editing and striking Command-Shift-C (Mac) or Control-Shift-C (PC). From the window that appears, go through and deselect Tools, White Balance, Exposure, and Geometry.

use presets in photo editors like lightroom for faster workflow

And so select all of the photos in the film strip that y’all want to edit. Striking Control-Shift-Five (Mac) or Control-Shift-Five (PC) and your settings will exist practical.

How to Take Lightroom Presets Even Further

Whether you’ve just applied a downloaded preset or ane of your own, in that location’southward however piece of work to do.

Some presets might make an paradigm darker as a upshot of changes to the Highlights and Shadows sliders. This ways that even if yous edited the exposure before applying the preset, yous might need to go back and make adjustments.

Similarly, you might need to tone downwardly changes to colors or tweak the Shadows slider so that details are not existence lost.

Once you’ve got your head around Lightroom presets as a means of creating a distinctive fashion, you may wish to use their potential to speed up aspects of your workflow.

For case, to reduce the effulgence of a sky in a mural photograph, you lot may want to use a Graduated Filter (keyboard shortcut 1000), reducing the exposure by -0.5, reducing Highlights and Whites each past -15, and possibly pushing the color temperature to -20 to give information technology a slight hint of teal.

use lightroom presets for graduated filters

Alternatively, if this is something yous apply regularly, y’all could have this ready up as a preset so that information technology tin can be applied in a unmarried click. Hit the plus symbol and choose “Create Preset…”

Then select “Check None” and make sure that the only box that is ticked is “Gradient Filter.” Don’t forget to give it a proper noun, besides!

use presets in photo editors for easier image editing

How to Install Presets in Lightroom Mobile

If you lot use Lightroom CC, you probably also utilize Lightroom Mobile on some sort of handheld device.

Installing presets direct on your mobile device is quite a tricky process, so instead, it’s much easier to utilize Adobe’south automated synchronization.

Because everything synchronizes using the Cloud, any presets that y’all install or create in Lightroom CC volition
automatically become available
in Lightroom Mobile, assuming your device is connected to the net.

Just make sure that your device has completed synchronizing all of its files and your Lightroom CC presets will announced in Lightroom Mobile, and vice versa.

how to use lightroom presets

Presets added to Lightroom CC become automatically available in Lightroom Mobile.

How to Use Lightroom Presets | Final Words

If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with presets but are daunted by the prospect of figuring out how to use them, don’t be. It’south really quite simple.

Hopefully, the above guide will kickstart your adventure with presets – whether you’re a user of Lightroom Archetype or Lightroom CC.

Just recollect that they’re a swell way to acquire more than almost post-processing with Lightroom, as well every bit a shortcut to impressively styled images.

Happy editing!