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Profiles and Presets

Lesson 11 from: From Capture Through Edit Using Lightroom

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

11. Profiles and Presets

This lesson is all about getting the look you want in your photo fast! You will learn how to do that with Profiles and Presets. You will also learn how to import and manage your exhaustive collection of Profiles and Presets.
Next Lesson: Local Adjustments

Lesson Info

Profiles and Presets

inside of the edit panel in light room. There are a ton of controls that will help you decide what your photographs gonna look like. Exposure slider, the temperature and tent, slider tone curves, color color, sliders. All that kind of stuff controls what your photograph looks like. But there are two tools that, with one click, will change the way your photographs look. The first of those tools is what we call a profile, and the profile is basically the underlying definition of color. You find those profiles on the right hand side, above all of the sliders above. The exposure slide of the contrast highlights all of that. Right above all of that is the profile section. It's the very, very top right below your hissed. A gram right below the choice for black and white or auto is your profile section, and your profile section is simply a drop down menu have recently used ones or a browser, and if you click on that browser, you will see that you have a set of profiles available to you. Right...

now, we're looking at my favorites, but we wanna look at the adobe raw profiles. These are profiles that are approximating the way that Adobe is trying to copy what my camera saw. So, for instance, there is a landscape version, and you can see that it gets very saturated. And there's a portrait that looks but much better as a portrait because it kind of keeps a neutral skin tone. It's not quite as orange. There's a standard which is fairly similar. There's a vivid, which is kind of halfway between a portrait and a landscape. So there's a whole bunch of different profiles here, and if I hover over one, it shows me what it looked like. But then, if I click on that image, or if I click on that profile, then it registers it. And just with one click, I can change the way the photograph looks. Now these air very basic. But if I go down to and you can download profiles from the Internet, many people maketh um, I make them and sell them on my website. And if I go to the color art pro profile set by Jared Platt, So this is a set that I made. I click on that. These are options so I can do kind of a warm, thin toned kind of old school photo looking. I could go down to my neutral and I got different at See how each one of these gives it a different feel. And what's happening here is it is changing the underlying color definitions and to show you that I want you to see that the look at the exposure in the highlight in the shadows and the whites that look at the pattern that's formed here so that you can see what's been adjusted here. And then if we go to the color section, I want you to see that no adjustments have been made here, and same thing here with saturation. Orange has been saturated down by minus seven. But I want you to see what those look like because when I go back to the profile browser and if I go to Color Art Pro by Jared Platt and I choose this warm toned very, very different looking profile and click on it, it changed it with one click. Then when I go back to the adjustments and look at the light look, nothing has changed. No sliders have changed. If I look at the color no colors have changed. And that's because when you are using a profile, you are actually changing the underlying definition of color. And so it is pre light room sliders. It is pre light room adjustments, so the profile is what determines what a photo will look like right out of the gate. Let me take this back to a normal adobe portrait profile and go back to our adjustments here. And let's talk about changing this image in a different way. So now, instead of using a profile to change it, I'm going to come down to the preset area, which is at the very bottom of the edit panel right down here, and I'm gonna click on this preset button when I click on it. It lists all of the presets that I have available, and as I float over him, it's still going to change the way the photograph looks. So if I want to choose, say this, then film fiber cool, blue toned, preset and again, this is just a preset that you could download from the Internet. I sell presets, and this is one of the presets that I sell, and when I click on this preset. It's going to change the image, but it's going to do it differently than the profile. Eso. Let me make sure that we're looking at the tone curve when we do this. Andi, I want you to pay attention to the way the tone curve reacts. When I click on this. Where is it right there? Notice that the tone curve is going to change when I click it. It changed the actual tone curve. This is very different than a profile of profile doesn't change any sliders. It doesn't change any of the controls inside of light room at all, because it's the definition. Profiles are the underlying definition. Presets, on the other hand, are changing sliders. They're changing the controls inside of light room, so you essentially have two sets of presets, two sets of one click operations that will change the way your photos look. A profile, which is an underlying color definition that changes no sliders and a preset that actually changes slider positions and therefore changes. The way the photograph looks, you can use both of them in tandem. You can use a profile, then a pre set. You can use a preset and then a profile. The beauty of the profile is that the profile will not change even one slider, which means you can do all sorts of stuff to your image. And then, at the very end, you can kind of hover over different profiles and see what they do to your image. And when you click on it, it is not going to change any slider position whatsoever, or you can start the other way and apply your profile knowing what kind of film you want to use. Perhaps on Ben, you can apply your adjustments to that underlying color definition that you've just chosen. Now there is one huge difference between a profile on a preset, which is really important to understand, and that is that a preset once applied, no matter what that preset is. So if I choose this preset, which is a thin film, fiber warm, limited preset, Um, that preset is kind of locked in. And if I want to change the way the preset looks, I have to go and find the controls that had something to do with it. So I'm gonna have to run around and look for sliders that might adjust the way this precept looks and so that it's kind of Ah hunt method. You have to go find something and readjust, and so actually takes a little while to try and figure out what exactly to do to change the way this preset works. If you don't understand the way the precept made the effect in the first place, however, if I apply an effect based on a profile rather than a preset, so I'm going to go into that warm color effect that I had before. So I'm going to my set of presets and I'm going to click on this warm toned preset, which is called Warm one. And once I click on it, it's registered. And now that profile has changed. However, right when I do that, an amount slider comes up and I can increase the effect of that profile, or Aiken decrease it back to zero. So now the photo is right back where it waas and I can just bring in, like, 10 or 15 or 20 or 40% of that effect. And now I've got a really nice look that I enjoy, but it's on Lee. 35% of the original profile. So a profile not only gives you this unique ability to apply a very different look to your image without using any sliders, but it also has the ability to be increased or decreased relative to the original application of the profile. And and that makes a profile very powerful as a style adder. So if you want to add some style to your photograph, try using a profile and then use the amount slider, and that will change the way that profile looks on that image. So you have a, you know, 100 iterations of what that profile could actually look like, whereas a preset you have to go in and start messing with all the sliders to try and figure out what the preset was doing in the first place. So the way I use profiles versus presets is that I use profiles like I'm selecting film. So if you ever shot film in the past, you would choose a film based on what it was going to do. So if you wanted to shoot really vibrant film, you might use a slide film, which is a positive instead of a negative, and you might use Vell via and so you'd be using this. Or you might use Kodachrome or or something. You're going to choose a specific type of film, and that's the look you're going for. But if you're going to do a portrait, you might use some Fuji negative film that's like a NPS or something like that. And and so you're gonna choose a specific type of film based on your preference before you even shoot? That's kind of what I'm doing here is I'm going to select a style or a type of film for either this shot or for the whole photo shoot, and then I'm gonna apply it, toe all of the images, and then I'll start working on those images. And if I find that I want that profile to be a little less strong, I could just go into the amount slider and start monkeying with the amount slider. And by the way, when you finish your profile and you go back, there's still that amount. Slider is always available to you here so that you can increase or decrease the in fact right here when you're working on the image so I could be working on the temperature here, and I could go up and down the temperature and say, Oh, well, now that I've got the temperature up here, I should probably decrease the effect of that profile. So it's not quite so warm, so I can work on those two in tandem with each other. The only time this amount slider doesn't actually exist on a profile is when you choose a specific profile that has made, say, by Adobe that is a camera specific profile. And when you make a profile, you can actually determine whether or not you allow the amount slider to be there. So if you buy Cem profiles and the amount slider doesn't show up, it's because the person who made the profile didn't allow you to alter the profile, which I think is the wrong way to make a profile. Anybody who makes a profile that doesn't allow the amount slider, I think, is doing you a disservice. So all of my priests, all of my profiles, allow for that amount slider, so that you can then adjust it to your liking. And I think that's fantastic. On a preset when we go down to the presets and we look at presets. Presets are designed and create and created based on unjust mints that have been made on the sliders already. So if I make a set of choices, so let me take this back to the portrait setting. So we're just looking at this is a normal image now with no fancy profile. And if I want to create an effect So let's just say that I go into this image and I'm going to create effect totally with the curve area inside of light room. And I want to create that effect by simply changing the blue curve. So the blue Channel, I'm going to take the highlights and warm them up just a little bit. I'm gonna take the shadows and cool them down just a little bit like that, and then I'm going to go into the main area. So this is just like this is all channels, which means that it's gonna be the neutral, and I'm going to remove black from there. So So, basically, in this curve, I'm saying black cannot equal black, that the best black you can get out of it is a dark, dark gray and that makes the image look a little bit thin so that black can never get toe actual true black. And then I could do the same thing for White so that White can never actually get to true white. And then, from there I can increase the highlights on dykan. Decrease the shadows so that there's still some contrast in the mid tones. But Black never gets to true Black White never gets to true White. And let's just say that's the total effect I want to create with my preset. Then I simply go up to the preset area here and I click on this little triple dot button and I'm going to create a preset. And when I do that, it asks me first. What do I want to name it? Second, what group do I want to put it in? And third, what controls did I use to make the preset? And one of the mistakes most people make is that they just include everything. But we didn't do everything here, and so what? We're gonna dio we're gonna select none, and then we're going to choose what effects we put in to this effect and for us. The Onley effect that we did was in the in the light area. We did the tone curve, and that's the on Lee thing that we did. So that's the Onley thing we're gonna apply. And I'm going to call this a warm tone. Mid contrast, a curve. So I've named it so I know what it is, and I'm saving it in the saved presets and hit save. And from here on out, this preset is inside of a saved, preset area here, and you can see that it's saved warm tone, mid contrast curve, and that is how you create a preset. And then the presets will always be here. But again, notice that the preset that you created was based on initially sliding the sliders and controlling one of light rooms controls and then recording that control. And any time you push that preset, it's going to move those sliders over to the position where you put them. It's going to turn that curve exactly the way you put it when you recorded the preset, and that's that's what makes a preset less, um, adjustable and less adaptable to every situation, and especially if you use too many of those controls. Like, for instance, if you put the exposure knob here into your preset, you're gonna end up creating a preset that's going to increase the brightness or the exposure on your image, even though that image doesn't need to be brightened up. And so it's really important toe on Lee put into the preset exactly what you no needs to be changed in order to create that effect. And generally speaking, that means that you never include things like exposure and contrasts and highlights and shadows whites and blacks in a preset. Because those air very unique to every image, However, you can put things like the point curve and things like the color sliders and things like that into a preset really easily, because those air things that you add to that basic exposure. So now you know what a profile is. It's that underlying definition of color, and then you also know what a preset is, which is a button that changes sliders. And that's those sliders or what? A just over the top of the photograph itself. So you have to one click solutions to change the way the photo looks one of them is kind of before the photograph, and one is after the photograph. You also know how to create a preset, but you don't necessarily know how to create a profile, and that's because you can actually create a profile inside of light room. You have to actually go to Photoshop to do that, and so I'll show you how to do that in just a minute. But more importantly, we need to talk about how you install presets and profiles. In order to install a preset into light room, you're going to go down to the bottom of the edit panel and click on the preset button. And once you're in the preset area and click on the triple dots and click on import presets, then we're gonna go find our preset that we want to import. I'm gonna choose this black and white cool tone color grade. And by the way, these air ex MP presets, which means they're newer, maybe 2018 and beyond, started using the ex MP as a preset rather than the dot l our template presets. But if you pointed to a dot L our template preset, it would also import it would convert it to X and P. And then it would be fine so you can use old presets or new presets. Doesn't matter. Light room will convert them. So I'm gonna click import. And now that it's done, notice that it has a user presets folder down here and in that user presets folder, you'll find my blue tone color grade. And if we go over to the color area down to the color grading area, you'll see that the color grading has changed based on that preset. So I have my pre set has been installed. If instead I want to install a profile, you do exactly the same thing except instead of the preset area, simply go up to the profile area, which is right below the hissed a gram. Click on the browser and click on the triple dot button and simply go down to import profiles and then find your profile hit import, and it will be added here a swell. And in my case, I'm just going to add a profile called new warm film, Ex MP and Click Import. And don't forget that there are a lot of profiles and a lot of presets that you're not gonna use. For instance, I very rarely, if ever, use any of the artistic profiles that come with light room. I just don't think they're very good presets and profiles for me anyway. And so I can go into the triple dot button and I can manage my profiles and simply turn off a set of profiles that I never use. And then I can also go to the preset area and click on the triple dot button and manage my presets. And Aiken turn off things that I don't usually use here either, so that basically the ones that are installed in lighter for the from the beginning, I don't use those. So now I have a much shorter list of presets. Remember that presets are meant to save you time so you don't want a real long list of presets because then you're scrolling through them, and it's a waste of your time. Presets are meant to do things that you do all the time, and you want to do them faster. That's all they're meant for. Profiles, on the other hand, are meant to give you options on looks or styles, so you can have quite a few of those. But remember, turn off those, uh, those folders of profiles you're not using so that you're not scrolling through those as well, because that will waste a lot of your time. But both of these one touch options are really useful tools in your, uh, effort to create amazing work.

Class Materials

1. Lightroom Presets and Profiles

JP Color Pro

2. RAW Images To Follow Along With


3. Lightroom Creative Cloud Schematic

Lightroom Creative Cloud

Ratings and Reviews

Teresa Piccioni

Great great great class: Jarett explains the Lightroom workflow clearly and thoroughly. I am not a native English person and my English is quite poor but Jarett explains in a very simply and clearly way everything and I understand all chapters perfectly. Thanks guys, great job. I highly recommend this lesson to everybody,


I have watched each and everyone of Jared's classes on Creative Live and they are first class. I've waited a long time for a new one and now we have it and it's another gem. This is a wonderful overview of Lightroom and will repay watching sections (or all of it) several times to absorb the wealth of information presented. For anyone new to Lightroom, this is just what the doctor ordered.


Really in depth, so helpful! Thanks

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