If you’re not a photography expert, don’t worry. Your photos can still look awesome. Adobe Lightroom has made it super easy for you to make amazing edits with just one click, using their preset function. And, in this tutorial, I’m going to show you exactly how to create your very own Adobe Lightroom preset!
With presets, you can add a personal touch to all of your photos, plus save a ton of time on editing each one. This is particularly helpful if you have a lot of photos from a shoot or a particular location where the lighting, subject matter, and composition are quite similar.
No time to read? Watch the YouTube video instead!
Taking photos is an art form. I’m sure you’ve dreamed (just like I have) of being a National Geographic photographer and travelling around the world making friends with otters and meerkats and just generally having people drooling over your incredible photography skills.
Eventually though, I realised that while I probably wasn’t going to own tens of thousands of dollars of Canon or Nikon equipment anytime soon, I could still use the same slick (but way more affordable) software that the pros use, Adobe Lightroom.
What are Adobe Lightroom presets used for?
A preset is basically a saved grouping of settings that you can apply to a photo with a click. Many photographers have their own particular style that they want to display with each photo – so rather than have to change each photo individually, a preset allows them to jump to these exact settings every time.
Therefore, a preset will allow you to edit photos in bulk! After using Lightroom for many years now, I can’t remember the dark ages where I had to manually edit each photo individually just to get them all looking the particular way I wanted them to.
You may have noticed the many Instagram influencers out there who have beautifully curated feeds. If you’ve ever wondered how they get all of their photos to look similar – Adobe Lightroom presets are the answer.
You can certainly buy presets from plenty of different places online, but knowing how to make them yourself will allow you to really bring your own personality into each of your photos.
What is the difference between Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop?
Lightroom is a fantastic alternative to Photoshop – designed primarily for photographers who want extreme control over every detail of their images. Because of the huge amount of tweaking you can do with just one photo, Adobe was kind enough to build in the preset function to let you save your favourite editing styles and apply them to any of your photos. Unfortunately, it’s a feature that isn’t extended to Photoshop.
Personally, I was a bit late to the party on Lightroom photo editing. I was a diehard Photoshop user from way back and had learned how to edit photos with it well before I ever used Lightroom for the first time. Photoshop is certainly the more advanced of the two programs, and some of the editing functions that appear in both (like cloning and spot healing) are far superior in Photoshop.
The big difference, in my opinion, is the ability to use presets in Lightroom. It also has a great system for managing and organising your photo collection within the program. This makes it super easy to find a photo based on your own organisation system. And if you’re like me, you hate losing photos!
What about Lightroom Classic CC and Lightroom CC – what’s the difference?
Like Spotify and Netflix… Adobe has a photography plan subscription service. Rather than charge a large, one-off fee for a particular version only, the subscription to Adobe’s Photography Plan is far better value. At $9.99 USD per month (or $14.29 AUD) the plan gives you access to Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Lightroom CC, Adobe Lightroom Classic CC (the CC stands for ‘Creative Cloud’) and also Adobe Spark.
Lightroom Classic CC – the program used in the tutorial above – is the traditional version of Lightroom that most long-time users like myself are used to. It has a similar look and feel to other Adobe products like Photoshop. Lightroom CC, however, is the newer, slicker looking version of the program. It is designed with a simpler interface and perhaps will one day surpass ‘Classic’ as the crowd favourite.
For me personally, I love Lightroom Classic CC and I’ll keep using it as long as possible. If you’re brand new to the Adobe Suite though, you might enjoy the simplicity of Lightroom CC.
Where can I learn more about Adobe Lightroom?
In the above video, I don’t go into a crazy amount of detail as to what each function within the program does, but if you do want to learn more about Lightroom, I’ve created an entire free Lightroom course for you to take.
It’s easily digestible, with 90 minutes of videos spread out over 9 lessons. If you wanted, you could take the lessons in one afternoon and practice your newly learned skills as you go along. Photo editing is definitely a great skill to have and it shouldn’t take weeks or months to learn!