Even if you are a beginning photographer, you probably know that good photo editing software is an essential tool for professional photographers. And even if you are not a professional, photo editing programs can help you dramatically improve your photos. But what do people mean when they talk about presets, and specifically, Lightroom presets?

What are Lightroom presets?

A Lightroom preset is a configuration of settings, designed to achieve a certain look or style of your photo. You install the presets into your lightroom and then when you click on a particular preset while in the develop module, the pre-determined (pre-set) settings will apply to that photo.

With just one click on a preset, your photo can be altered in hundreds of different pre-set alterations to colors, hues, shadows, contrast, grain and more. The beauty of using presets is the consistency of style, time-management, and simplicity they bring to your editing sessions. If you find presets that work for your style, you can speed up your workflow dramatically and you can achieve the colors and look you want without needing to edit each photo individually.

Once you click on the preset and it applies to your photo, you can then make manual adjustments because it is likely the preset won’t be perfect on every photo. Lightroom presets are a good foundation but often you can still need to make several adjustments to each photo to make sure they are perfect.

Advantages of using Lightroom presets

There are several different uses for Adobe Lightroom presets. They can be of great help in editing photos. Here are just a few of the ways they can help you:

  • They can help you speed up batch editing – If you have multiple similar photos, such as a group of images you took on a sunny day at the beach, then you can apply the same preset for that type of photo. It won’t make every image perfect, but it will reduce the number of edits you have to do for each one.
  • They allow you to create a consistent theme – Again, if you have a batch of photos that all come from the same or a similar location, applying a preset will have the same tonal theme and style that resonates. through all images. Sure, you’ll have to customize some images as needed, but the same general theme will be present that will tie them all together, even if that means they all have a similar saturation or hue of red, the theme will be consistent.
  • Presets greatly simplify the editing process – If you’ve ever spent hours editing images, this benefit will catch your eye. The presets save you a lot of time by doing most of the work for you. There will be a lot of images that won’t even need further editing, and the ones that will, well, will require a lot less work.
  • Presets allow you to customize image styles – Since you can edit the image after the preset is applied, you can customize the style of particular images. You will likely have more than one shot of at least some of the images, especially if you are shooting in burst mode. Each of the images taken will look slightly different after the preset is applied. You may want to customize one of the images or even a part of an image, and Lightroom allows you to do this using a brush tool.
  • You can experiment with different styles for the same images – While consistency is great, so is variety. You’ll find presets for different times of the day, alternative lighting, and even different types of scenery. For example, you can find or create presets for sunset or sunrise, sunny days at the beach, or low-light forest settings. That gives you a variety of styles that you can apply to any image, and changing the preset will completely change the mood of the image.
  • Affordable – Lastly, the Lightroom presets are affordable, and considering how much time they’ll save you and how much easier they’ll make the editing process worth the money.

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