What Are Lightroom Presets? A Beginner’s Guide

Are you new to photo editing and wondering what Lightroom presets are? Or are you a seasoned photographer interested in taking your editing skills to the next level? Look no further! In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about Lightroom presets.

A. Explanation of Lightroom Presets

Lightroom presets are pre-made editing settings that can be applied to your photos with just one click. These settings adjust various aspects of your photo, such as exposure, contrast, saturation, and color grading, to achieve a desired look or style. Think of presets as a shortcut to achieving a specific aesthetic or mood in your photos.

B. Importance of Lightroom Presets in Photo Editing

Nowadays, photo editing is an essential part of the photography process. With the rise of social media and the increasing demand for high-quality visuals, it’s more important than ever to produce stunning photos that stand out. Lightroom presets help you achieve this by streamlining your editing process and giving you more time to focus on other aspects of photography. Plus, they provide consistency across your images, which is crucial for building a recognizable brand or style.

What Are Lightroom Presets?

Transforming landscapes with Lightroom presets
Transforming landscapes with Lightroom presets

If you’re new to Lightroom presets, it’s important to understand the basics. In this section, we’ll define what Lightroom presets are, how they work, and the different types of presets available.

A. Definition of Lightroom Presets

A Lightroom preset is a pre-made set of editing adjustments that can be applied to your photos. These adjustments can include exposure, contrast, white balance, highlights, shadows, clarity, and more. Presets are designed to help you achieve a specific look or style in your images with just a few clicks.

B. How Lightroom Presets Work

When you apply a preset to a photo in Lightroom, the program automatically adjusts the various editing settings based on the preset’s design. This means you don’t have to manually adjust each setting yourself, saving you time and effort. You can also tweak the settings further if desired, or apply multiple presets for more advanced editing.

C. Types of Lightroom Presets

There are many different types of Lightroom presets available, each designed to achieve a specific look or style. Some common types of presets include:

1. Film presets

Film presets emulate the look of classic film stocks, such as Kodak Portra or Fujifilm Pro 400H. These presets are popular for achieving a vintage or nostalgic look in your images.

2. Black and white presets

Black and white presets remove the color from your images, creating a timeless and classic feel. These presets are great for portraits, landscapes, and street photography.

3. Color grading presets

Color grading presets adjust the colors in your images, creating a specific mood or atmosphere. These presets are popular for achieving cinematic or dramatic looks in your photos.

4. Portrait presets

Portrait presets are designed specifically for editing portraits, adjusting skin tones, smoothing skin, and enhancing features such as eyes and lips. These presets are popular for achieving a natural and flattering look in your portraits.

Benefits of Using Lightroom Presets

Discovering new possibilities with Lightroom presets
Discovering new possibilities with Lightroom presets

Photo editing can be a time-consuming process, but with Lightroom presets, you can save valuable time and streamline your workflow. Here are some of the benefits of using Lightroom presets:

A. Time-saving

Editing each photo from scratch can be a tedious and time-consuming task. With Lightroom presets, you can apply pre-made adjustments to your photos with just one click. This means you can edit multiple photos in a fraction of the time it would take to edit them individually. Whether you’re a professional photographer or an amateur, saving time on editing means more time for shooting and other important tasks.

B. Consistency in Editing

Consistency is key when it comes to creating a recognizable brand or style. With Lightroom presets, you can achieve a consistent look across all of your photos. You can choose a preset that fits your branding or aesthetic, and apply it to all of your images. This ensures that your photos have a cohesive look and feel, which is crucial for creating a professional portfolio or social media presence.

C. Enhances Creativity

Lightroom presets can also enhance your creativity by giving you new ideas and inspiration for your photos. By experimenting with different presets, you can discover new styles and aesthetics that you may not have considered before. You can also use presets as a starting point for your own edits, tweaking them to achieve a unique look that’s all your own.

D. Cost-effective

Hiring a professional photo editor can be expensive, especially if you have a large volume of photos to edit. Lightroom presets are a cost-effective alternative that can give you professional-looking results without breaking the bank. You can purchase presets online or create your own, and use them as many times as you like. This makes them a great option for photographers on a budget.

How to Use Lightroom Presets

As I mentioned earlier, Lightroom presets are an excellent way to streamline your editing process. Here’s how to use them effectively:

A. Importing Presets

The first step is to import your presets into Lightroom. You can do this by clicking on the “+” sign next to the “Presets” tab and selecting “Import Presets.” From there, navigate to the location where your presets are saved and select them. Once imported, your presets will appear in the “Presets” tab.

B. Applying Presets

To apply a preset to your photo, simply click on the preset you want to use in the “Presets” tab. The preset will be applied to your photo, and you can see the changes in the “Develop” module. If you’re not happy with the preset, you can easily undo it by clicking the “Reset” button.

C. Adjusting Presets

While presets are a great starting point, they may not be perfect for every photo. That’s why it’s important to know how to adjust them. You can adjust a preset by using the sliders in the “Develop” module. For example, if you find that a preset is too bright, you can adjust the exposure slider to make it darker.

D. Creating and Saving Presets

If you find yourself consistently making the same adjustments to your photos, you may want to create your own presets. To do this, make the adjustments you want to a photo and then click on the “+” sign next to the “Presets” tab. From there, select “Create Preset” and give it a name. Your custom preset will now appear in the “Presets” tab, ready to be used on your future photos.

By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to using Lightroom presets effectively and efficiently in your photo editing process.

Where to Find Lightroom Presets

Once you understand the benefits of Lightroom presets and are ready to start using them, the next step is to find the right ones for your needs. Here are some places you can look for Lightroom presets:

A. Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces, such as Creative Market, Etsy, and Adobe Stock, offer a wide range of Lightroom presets created by professional photographers and designers. These presets are usually categorized by style, such as vintage, film, or modern, and can be purchased individually or as part of a bundle. Before buying, make sure to read the reviews and check the compatibility with your version of Lightroom.

B. Photography Websites and Blogs

Many photography websites and blogs offer free Lightroom presets as a way to attract visitors and build a community. These presets are often created by the website owners themselves or by guest contributors, and can vary in quality and style. Some popular websites that offer free Lightroom presets include FilterGrade, Sleeklens, and Photonify.

C. Social Media Platforms

Social media platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, are also great places to find Lightroom presets. Many photographers and influencers share their editing tips and presets on their profiles, often for free or at a low cost. You can search for presets using hashtags, such as #lightroompresets or #presetshop, or by following accounts that specialize in presets. Just be aware that not all presets shared on social media are created by professionals, so make sure to check the quality before using them on your own photos.

By exploring these different sources, you’ll be able to find Lightroom presets that align with your vision and style, and take your photo editing to the next level.


In conclusion, Lightroom presets are a powerful tool that can help you enhance your photos and streamline your editing process. With the ability to achieve a specific look or style with just one click, presets can save you time and give you more creative control over your images. Plus, they provide consistency across your photos, which is crucial in building a recognizable brand or style.

Whether you’re a beginner or a professional photographer, Lightroom presets are a great way to elevate your photos and take your editing skills to the next level. So why not give them a try? You can find presets online, on photography websites and blogs, and on social media platforms. Just remember to choose presets that align with your personal style and vision.

And if you’re looking for more tips and tricks on photo editing, be sure to check out NGcloudy.com for more articles and resources. With dedication and practice, you can become a master of Lightroom presets and create stunning photos that leave a lasting impression.