How to Create Presets in Lightroom
A Lightroom Develop preset is a single setting or combination of settings that can be applied to a few or many images all at once. Think of it as one click to apply several settings. For example, when I download images from a portrait session, each image gets a -5 reduction in Clarity, has its chromatic aberration removed, receives a proper amount of sharpening, and has a Neutral Profile applied to it, all before I even open my first image in Lightroom!
Lightroom has many Presets that ship with the program. These presets can seen and applied by opening your Presets Panel in the Develop Module (as seen to the left). This can be done by clicking on the right facing arrow to the left of the word Presets.
The presets that are shipped with Lightroom are grouped according to function. For example you can see several different types of B&W “looks” you can apply in the Lightroom B&W Presets category.
Creating your own presets in Lightroom is easy and saves lots of time. You can create your own presets for B&W, Color Effects, Sharpening or just about anything you can think of!
Some of my favorite presets to create are those that I can apply on import. These presets save loads of time later on in the Develop Module.
Here is the list of settings that I typically apply to most images during import:
Clarity – Adjust the slider to taste.
Sharpening – Here I use the presets that ship with Lightroom. Circled in Red to the right you can see the Sharpen Faces and Sharpen Scenic. If I am creating an Import Preset for Portraits, I click on the Sharpen Faces, to apply the correct amount of sharpening for people. For landscapes, I click on the Sharpen Scenic.
Remove Chromatic Aberration – Under the Lens Corrections Panel, click on Basic at the top and then check the box for Remove Chromatic Aberration.
Camera Calibration Profiles can be found by scrolling to the bottom most panel in the Develop module.
By default, Adobe applies the Adobe Standard Profile to all incoming RAW images. This is a great general profile, but for certain types of images you may want something a bit more targeted.
Click on the double arrow to the right of the Adobe Standard Profile to get the drop down list. Click on the profile of your choice to apply it.
The Camera Calibration Profile is only available for RAW (and DNG) photographs. A Jpeg will display the word Embedded here. When shooting Jpegs it is best to pick your “Picture Style” in camera, as you do not have the choice back in Lightroom.
- To begin creating your own presets, simply select any image in the Library Module and move to the Develop Module.
- Apply the settings that you want to be part of the Preset. Starting at the top adjust the Clarity. Higher for images with important detail and lower for portraits.
- Click the desired Sharpening Preset.
- Choose your Camera Calibration Profile.
- Now that your settings have been applied, it’s time to make the preset. Click on the Plus button in the Presets Panel (circled in red to the right). This will bring up the New Develop Preset Box
- Type a meaningful name into the Preset Name box highlighted in Yellow.
- Check only the items that you have applied to the image. Here you can see that I have only checked Clarity, Sharpening, Chromatic
- Aberration, Process Version, and Calibration. Process Version is checked by default and can be left that way.
- Check the Remove Chromatic Aberrations checkbox.
- The Check All and Check None buttons at the bottom are a quick way to check and uncheck all of the boxes.
- Click Create to create your new preset!
Now that your preset has been created, you can find it under User Presets at the bottom of the Presets Panel. Here you can see that I have several import presets beginning with the number one. This keeps the presets near the top of the list using Alpha Numeric organization.
Presets can be applied in many ways:
- If an image is selected in the Develop Module, you can simply click on the preset to apply it.
- In the Library Module select one or many images. Right click (control+click for Apple) on the thumbnail of any of the selected images. Choose Develop Settings> User Presets>then choose your desired Preset.
- The Presets can also be applied during import. When importing images click the left facing arrow next to Apply During Import. This reveals the Develop Settings.
- Click the Develop Settings to reveal User Presets and finally click on your desired preset to apply it to every image during import!
I have two types of presets: one for Portraits and several for general/landscape images.
The settings for my Portrait Preset are:
Remove Chromatic Aberration
Sharpen Faces (via the Presets Panel)
Camera Neutral Camera Calibration Profile.
The settings for my General Presets are:
Remove Chromatic Aberration
Sharpen Scenic (via the Presets Panel)
Using the above settings I created an Adobe Standard , Camera Landscape, Camera Neutral, and Camera Standard Presets.