Lightroom actions are an awesome tool that can help to automate your workflow and to add creativity to your photo library. Using presets, we can apply a photo style to one or many images in our photo catalogs. Check out more than 100 of the web’s best presets.
As Lightroom’s popularity has increased, so too has the usage of presets to modify and enhance images. Because Lightroom is a non-destructive image editor, we can easily try out all types of presets and not change the original image file. This makes it easier than ever to experiment with applying effects to your images.
Today, we are going to look at how to create a Lightroom preset and then sample some of the web’s best preset offerings for Lightroom.
Creating Lightroom Presets
Creating presets in Lightroom is a breeze! It takes just a few steps to create your own custom preset. The first step is to enter the Develop module by pressing “D” on the keyboard, or by clicking on Develop at top right.
Next, use the settings on the panel on the right to apply some settings to an image. We can tweak exposure, adjust curves and black levels, and even apply custom color effects. Additional options such as lens corrections are also available.
Develop options include all of the image tweaks you’ll need to adjust your images to perfection.
Now that we have applied some settings to the image we are working with, we have the groundwork laid to create a preset with. Any settings applied to the image are now slated to be added to the preset.
On the left side, you’ll see the panel that features presets. To create a new preset, all that you need to do is press the “+” button. Now, a new window appears that allows us to customize the settings to include in the preset. Each portion of the effects we applied can be either checked or unchecked to include within the preset.
Creating a new preset is as easy as pressing the “Plus” button on the Presets panel.
After pressing the “Plus” button, a list of options comes up. This window uses the settings you’ve applied to the active image as the basis for the new preset. Unchecking each individual option allows us to exclude that adjustment from the preset.
After choosing what parts of the edit that you want to include on the edit, make sure to give it a name and then press “Save.” That’s it! You now have presets, ready to apply to your images.
Installing Lightroom Presets
If you’ve downloaded other presets, you will need to install them in Lightroom in order to use them. Often times, presets will come in packs in zip archives. The first step will be to extract the zip files to a folder on your computer.
After extracting the presets, the first thing that I like to do is right-click in the Preset panel and create a new folder for my downloaded presets. I like putting all of my custom presets in their own folder to keep things organized.
Right clicking in the preset panel allows us to create a new folder for organizing presets
After we’ve created our folder for presets, all that we need to do is right-click the folder we’ve created and then choose “import.”
After choosing to import images, point Lightroom to the folder with the presets you wish to add.
A window will pop up to allow us to browse to the folder with the presets we downloaded. Point it to the folder of presets you want to install, and then select the presets to add to Lightroom. You can select multiple presets by holding shift and clicking to select a range of presets.
Click “Import” to confirm and that’s all that there is to it! Your downloaded presets are now ready to use.
100 Free Lightroom Presets
We’ve done some scouring of the web to find 100 of the best Lightroom presets. Do you have presets of your own that you love? Make sure to share them in the comments below. Click the titles of the presets to be taken to the download site. You’ll see some repeated images in these links because we personally created the before-and-after images. We didn’t want to rely on the creators of the preset to provide the examples. Presets are supposed to just work, no intense Photoshopping afterward.