Lightroom’s Develop presets are a great way to speed up and simplify your editing workflow. Presets let you store the develop settings you apply to one image and apply those settings to any other image with a single click. You may be used to applying presets that you acquired from someone else, but how do you create your own presets?
In this tutorial, you’ll learn the basics of how to start creating Lightroom presets yourself.
How to Create a Lightroom Preset
To create a new Develop preset, open an image in the Develop module and apply some adjustments to it using the available Develop settings. When you tell Lightroom to create a preset, it will automatically take your adjustments from the open image and store them in the new preset.
Here are the steps in detail:
- Open an image.
- Make your adjustments in the Develop module by changing any of the settings. Of course, this is the most important and difficult step. This is where the magic happens and where you change the appearance of the specific image.
- Open the New Develop Preset dialog box by clicking the little plus sign at the top right of the Presets panel. You can also choose Develop > New Preset… from the main menu.
- In the New Develop Preset dialog box, choose a new Preset Name, a Folder to place your preset in, and the settings you want to store in your new preset. You do not need to store all the settings in each preset. If you only select some checkboxes, Lightroom will only store the current values for these settings in your new preset. When you apply this preset to another image, the following will happen: The settings you selected will override the respective current settings in the Develop module. Settings that you did not select will keep their current values. This is called a partial preset.
After you click the Create button, your new preset immediately appears in the specified folder and is now ready for use.
Lightroom presets can be a powerful tool, especially if you only specify their settings partially. This allows you to combine different presets to build your image adjustments piece by piece without really using the sliders in the develop module. A set of presets that is created for the purpose of being combined in this way is called a preset system.
If you like this idea of editing your images quickly and intuitively only by combining presets, the Easy Preset System (EPS) may be a perfect fit for you. It is a carefully thought-out system of Lightroom presets that opens a whole new way of editing your images.
Instead of painstakingly pushing around sliders, you can choose from a large set of pre-configured and well-organized effects and combine them to edit your images. This is very fast, intuitive and visual. You can work entirely within the EPS to finish your images. Or you can use it to kick-start your editing work and then fine-tune the results later using the sliders in the Develop module. It’s all up to you.
Check out the Easy Preset System to see what it is capable of doing.
Now it’s your turn…
Are you using presets a lot in Lightroom? In which way are you using them, and have you ever created your own? What do you struggle with the most when you create and apply your own presets?
I’d be happy to answer any questions you have with respect to that. Just leave a comment below.