How To Make Your Own Presets In Lightroom

How to Make Your Own Lightroom Presets

Making your own presets in Lightroom is super easy to do and can save you a TON of time in your RAW workflow. Bonus: you can save money with this DIY technique, and create totally original and unique recipes.

When you create your own presets, you can make your photos look the way *you* want them to, not the way someone else does! It’s also an extremely excellent learning opportunity.

With Lightroom you can create a wide variety of presets (brightness, contrast, color toning, B&W, vignette, etc) that allow you to apply complex adjustments with just one click!

Now check out the video below to learn how you can start making your own presets:

Tips:

  • The keyboard shortcut to create presets is Cmd (Mac) / Ctrl (PC) + Shift + N
  • When creating presets try to only select the options that you’ve actually made changes to. This will allow you to stack presets to some degree (as long as the different presets don’t contain the same options).

Free Presets:

We created a sample pack of some useful color and black and white presets. These are great presets to experiment with and reverse engineer. You can download them for free here!

Note: These presets were created for Lightroom 3.

Tutorial:

If you’d like to learn how to use Lightroom like a Jedi, then check out our video tutorial – Super Photo Editing Skills. It teaches you everything you need to know bring the best out of your images!

Rob Lim

Hi there, I’m Rob! I’m a photographer and head ninja here at Photography Concentrate. I love all things photography: shooting, teaching and always learning more! If I’m not reading up on the latest photography news, or studying a technique, I’m probably reading a book or planning our next adventure!

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Comments

6 Comments // Leave a comment

  1. Are preset changes relative or absolute? Take Vibrance for example. You change it to +10 manually. Then apply a preset which has -10. Will the preset make it a relative change to 0 (+10-10=0) or an absolute change to -10? I suspect it's absolute.

    And if there was no changes to certain parameters in the preset, those parameters don't get changed after? If you adjust blacks to 10 manually then apply a preset that had the standard 5 blacks, it should stay at 10?

  2. Hey Evan!

    Good question! It would be great if you could customize what you mentioned into the presets.

    Unfortunately you're stuck with absolute changes. Also if you adjust a slider manually and then apply a preset that has a different absolute adjustment, it will change what you had manually set previously.

    When you're making presets you do have the option to only check off certain adjustments. When the preset is used, Lightroom will only adjust the sliders that have been selected to create that preset. So there is some control there.

    Hopefully we see more flexibility in future versions of LR.

  3. Herbert Winner says:

    Nice post, thanks!
    I think it is also worth to check some professional film-meulating presets for Lightroom from http://www.reallyniceimages.com – it’s absolutely fantastic like Instagram for Lightroom but times better. Real magic, especially their Kodachrome film presets and Rollei Digibase. It is what makes me love my camera and Lightroom again )

  4. Ashleigh says:

    Hey there,
    A question, how can I create a preset of presets. I usually use a combination of presets for any given session. I would like to create a preset of those presets I consistently use.
    Thanks in advance!

    • Unfortunately you can’t create a preset that runs multiple presets. However, you can group presets so that it’s easy to apply multiple presets sequentially. You can also select multiple photos at once and apply a preset to all of them at once (as you probably already know). So using a combination of those two features should save you a bunch of time!

  5. Larry Holman says:

    I am relatively new to Lightroom and have been curious about presets. After reading your article on presets I feel I have a much better handle on them now, but still with questions! OK, so I understand about making a preset to save time, however, I find that I want to tweak each photo individually to bring out the best in the photo. So my question is this, Do you use a preset to apply just the basic everyday tweaks to a photo and then “finish” the photo to taste or do you use a preset as a finished product? I assume that using a preset you still have the option to make adjustments as needed per photo. Thank You in Advance!!

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