You have captured the photo, the angle is perfect and you are happy with the composition but you are only halfway done with this photo. It is time to edit the photo and bring out the best elements of the image. The most popular program to use for editing is Adobe Lightroom, which is also a great way to organize your photos as well as being the ultimate editing software. Lightroom does have a yearly subscription fee but it is well worth it if you want to bring out the best in your photos.
“Adobe Lightroom is actually quite simple and it is made even easier when you use presets”
What is a Lightroom Preset?
A preset is a configuration of settings, designed to achieve a certain look or style of your photo. With just one click on a preset, your photo can be altered to have a film look or to achieve the tones you desired. The beauty of presets is the consistency, time-management, and simplicity they bring to your editing sessions.
These are the 8 reasons you should start using Lightroom Presets
1. Batch Editing
One of the best parts about using Lightroom Presets is the ability to bulk edit a batch of similar photos. For example, you took 200 photos in the sun at the beach. Instead of editing each photo individually, apply a Lightroom preset to all of the photos. The present may not apply perfectly to every single one of the 200 photos. However, having to do minor exposure adjustments on some of the photos rather than editing all 200 photos individually is potentially going to save you several hours. Of course finding the right preset for your series of photos is important. I will often create a preset for a day of photos and then apply it to all of my photos for that day. This is how I slowly created my own presets.
2. Consistency and theme
Each photo is different but if you edit every single photo in a batch differently you will end up with a collection of photos lacking consistency. By adding a preset onto all of the photos and customizing where it’s needed from there, your batch will have a tonal theme and a style that resonates throughout all of the images. Even if it means they all have the same saturation or same shade of green your batch will tie together nicely.
3. Variety of options
I know I just talked about consistency but variety is also a beneficial factor of using Lightroom Presets. Often in a pack of Lightroom Presets, you will find presets for different types of scenery, different times of day and alternative lighting. In the Lightroom Preset Collections, I made, I created presets for sunset, sunny beach days, jungle environments and even dark underwater scenes.
4. Simplifying the process
I used Adobe Lightroom for over a year before I knew presets existed. It used to take me hours to edit my photos. I can still remember the first time I placed a preset over 200 photos and didn’t have to edit them from scratch. It was a revelation. Presets make your editing process simple, easy and short.
5. Your time is valuable
I can’t stress how much time presets will save you. Generally editing a photo from scratch can take anywhere from a minute to ten minutes depending how much work you want to put into the image. Multiply that by 200 photos and you have yourself a minimum of a few hours. For example, I just made a recent trip to Nusa Penida. On one day I imported 270 photos I liked. To sit down that night and edit them all individually is just insane. If it is a wedding or paid gig you would likely still use a preset but if you are like me and editing for the web or social media as an unpaid gig you will want to find the simplest, most time efficient method. The answer is Lightroom Presets.
Lightroom Presets aren’t something you can just slap onto 200 photos and call it a day. They are after all a preset and each image is slightly different. For example, if you take two of the same photo but one is a stop down in exposure, the preset will look slightly different on each image. Luckily you can edit the photo once the preset has been placed on the image. You can also use the brush tool in Lightroom to edit only specific areas of your image.
When you consider the time presets will save and how much they will improve your images it is quite amazing how cheap they are. This is largely due to the fact they are a digital good and involve no packaging, postage or handling. I have bought Lightroom Presets Collections in the past ranging from $25 to $50. I have priced my preset collection at $29 for 12 presets in the collection.
8. You can use my presets
After creating preset after preset for different locations and lighting I finally put together a collection of my favorite presets. These presets work best on outdoor adventure photos. I use these presets on my beach, jungle, hiking and underwater photos. My Instagram as a consistent theme of colors and tones similar to the edits on the photos I post on the blog.
How to add Adobe Lightroom Presets
- Open Lightroom.
- Go To: Lightroom (Dialogue) • Preferences • Presets.
- Click On The Box Titled: Show Lightroom Presets Folder.
- Double Click on Lightroom.
- Double Click on Develop Presets.
- Copy The Folder(s) Of The Fine Art Preset Zip Into Develop Presets.
- Restart Lightroom.