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How to Build and Use Lightroom Presets

Lesson 7 of 15

How to Create a Powerful Universal Develop Preset

Pye Jirsa

How to Build and Use Lightroom Presets

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

7. How to Create a Powerful Universal Develop Preset

Lesson Info

How to Create a Powerful Universal Develop Preset

Let's jump into how to install presets. Next, okay we have included a lovely little PDF here. This also comes with the presets, okay, so from the library module, if you press, control comma or command comma, it will bring up your preferences and if you'd like you can also go up into the menu system and in the menu under edit, there's preferences there. But, why not use hot keys, gets us there faster. This is the simplest way to install presets on any system because it's universal, whether you're on a Mac or whether you're on a PC, it'll work either way. What we're gonna do is if you go click on the presets folder and you go right here, to show preset folder, sorry, preset tab, show the Lightroom preset folder. This will actually bring up in your operating system where the presets are located, easy peasy. Okay, so all we're gonna do is take presets and you would just drag and drop them into, so develop presets are stored here where the developed presets are so you'll see that's where my...

presets are. Your local adjacent presets, so these are all your re-touching presets are right here and then you have export presets right here, so all you'd do is take them, drag and drop them right into there and you're done. Everybody always complicates the process of finding that folder, the easiest way to find it is just from Lightroom, just go directly from Lightroom. Once you're done dragging and dropping them in, you just close out and close out Lightroom and restart it and then once it restarts, it'll reactivate all your new presets, cool? There's another simple way to get to it, if you want to find a specific preset. You can go right to your develop module and if I wanna say where is this one specific preset I can actually right click, say show in Explorer, if you're on a Mac it'll say Finder. And there it is, okay? That'll bring up the preset folder too. That's the hardest part about it, that's where everybody gets confused. Now it should be the easiest thing, drag and drop. You guys all know how to drag and drop? I do not want to demonstrate dragging and dropping. (Laughs) This is not Lightroom dragging and dropping class. Alright, let's go ahead and go to our slides. We're gonna create a simple developed preset. So the process of a creating a simple developed preset is just selecting our base image. We're gonna dial in develop settings on that image, we're gonna click create preset, there's a little button right there I've highlighted for you guys. Choose a name and a folder, select settings to save. I'm a stickler when it comes to choosing a name in a folder. You guys will know from when you see the presets the system to make the names actually make sense. Like, it's a big deal. Don't name things like, I know your preset makes the sun all golden and beautiful and stuff but don't call it, "golden beautiful sun" because then you don't really know, it doesn't help anybody, right? If you, if I bring in an employee and I say, this preset boosts dynamic range, I'm actually teaching them photography while I'm also teaching them how to post produce, right? So I like to label my presets based on what they're actually doing on correct terms so that way they're easy to understand for other people. Okay, you'd select the setting to save and we're gonna go through that process right now with this image. (pauses) Okay. Here it is. Alright, you want that one or should we do this one? I like this one better, let's do this one. Her neck is like a little bit too like extended, you know what I mean? Like her neck is like, you know. I notice these things. (laughs) She's turtling. Okay, so what we're gonna do is, let's go ahead and just dial in some basic settings and I always like to define what I'm going for before I start. So let's say we're going for something soft and airy, something that you'd see like in a field like this, Orange County kind of look. So I'm gonna brighten this up, we're also gonna warm this up. I'm gonna go ahead and pull my highlights, not raise. I'm gonna pull them so we have some color in the sky. I'm gonna add a little bit of shadows in blacks and we're gonna go ahead and just raise the exposure a little bit more. I'm gonna fade out the clarity a little bit. Clarity, by the way, is mid-tone contrast. We're gonna get to the details of how all of these things are controlling things in a little bit. I'm also gonna add in a little bit of a tone curve. This is gonna be where I get my contrast in the image directly where I want it. Okay, so we're just adding some contrast in and now this is just a bit on the warm side so let me tone it down a little bit. Okay, let's do our saturation, minus 15, minus so we don't have as much reds and oranges. That stuff is going to vary based on cameras which we're gonna get into to. I know you guys are like, "what is he doing right now?" Don't worry about it. (laughs) Don't worry about it. Because we'll get there. Okay, I'm gonna put in 45. Whoops, 45. So what I'm adding right now is split toning is colors over the skin to kind of like balance it out a little bit. We'll talk about that too. Let's go to 30. Okay, let's add a bit of sharpening. We're gonna go up a little bit higher this go around. I'm just putting in some random numbers so we have stuff here saved. Okay, good enough. Before and the after, looks nice. Okay, just for sake of demonstration, I'm also gonna pull in an exposure burn for the sky. So let's bring the sky down a little bit and what we'll do is, we'll pull it down a little bit more. Okay, and then, check this out. If you go to this new brush in the new Lightroom, you can actually remove by holding down alter option from your graduated filter. So I don't want it to effect right here, I'm just gonna pull it off of them. (groans) That was my weird sound. (laughter) Of like light bulb. It's my light bulb sound. (groans) Okay, so there's our, our settings. What I'm gonna do now is go ahead and go over to the left side, click plus to create a new preset and this is where we get a dialogue very similar to the sync dialogue, alright? It looks identical. So, there's kind of a process to this and I'm gonna have you guys write this kind of stuff down. We'll click check all, we're gonna make white balance and exposure, those are generally things that you would save out on individual presets but for right now we're gonna select everythings. I'd rather show you guys what it does so we're gonna select everything and then we're gonna give this a new name. I'm gonna call this, "soft, warm, color," and we're gonna put it in a new folder, we're gonna call this "creative live demo." Create, so it goes right there and now we press, create. So there it is, creative live demo, soft, warm color all the settings are saved. So, the same problems that we encountered before when we did previous and those types of things were saving out local adjustments, right? We're saving out props, we're saving out all those things. They are now gonna be applied to other images. So if I click, sorry, if I click not previous, if I click soft, warm color, it applies everything. Now that's fine and dandy in a case like this where it's largely similar, right, but you will notice that the graduated filter that we applied that mask that we painted is not gonna quite fit, quite right, right? It's dragging over their heads, we kind of need to pull this up, make an adjustment there. But that's how simple it is to create a developed preset. Now, what about a universal preset? Because if I take this preset and apply it over a different scene, here's what happens. Oops, why do I keep pressing previous instead of the actual preset? Okay, so it looks better, it looks decent but it's not quite universal. We have a graduated filter that we're gonna need to adjust. We also have, did we not make... Okay look, we saved out temperature, tint and exposure in the preset, right? So if I select a preset like this and this is shot at 6950 or if I select an image like this and I apply this, look at it changing all that stuff.

Class Description

The idea of learning how to use and develop presets for Lightroom can be intimidating for many photographers. Join Pye Jirsa of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge as he shows you how to incorporate presets into your Lightroom workflow.

You’ll learn:

  • How presets work and how to use them in your post-processing 
  • How to shoot for presets and customize them for your work 
  • How to create your own custom presets 
Creating and using presets are an integral part of customizing an efficient Lightroom workflow. This class will help you enhance and create striking images for your clients.

Be sure to check out SLR Lounge Lightroom Presets!

Software Used: Adobe Lightroom CC 2015.2 - 2015.3

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Preset Installation Guide

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Keynote Slides

Lightroom Presets

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


April S.

When I first saw this course being offered I thought, I know how to save my own Presets, and I didn't think there could be much in this course for me. I like to listen in to courses while working sometimes though so I tuned in to this one just for "noise" in the background. Well, I was quite wrong about the content. This short course is a jewel in my opinion. Pye does show how to name, save, store Presets, but there is so much more. He delves into some pretty great detail about why and how you would save some adjustments and not others (In Camera vs Universal settings), and he explains in a precise, clear way (with demonstration) of how each setting affects an image. I have watched and also own several Lightroom and Photoshop courses. All are great, but none of them covered this topic in such a way as to make me think I don't need this course. I'm going to buy this course now so that I can watch at my own pace and really glean every little gem from it and put this info to immediate use. Thanks Pye!

Suzy Petrucci

I was literally wishing for a class like this a few weeks ago because I spend way too much time meandering though LR wondering if there's a more methodical and efficient and consistent way to get through lighroom editing. This class nails it. The what, where and why about each of the sliders and a foundational order in which to use them. Great system Pye. Thank you.

Nicolet Groen

I was a bit hesitant to buy because I am an interior and still life photographer and Pye is working in a completely different niche. But boy, I am so glad I got it. I finally created a set of presets that adjust my images in the way I want. The content is very structured and jam-packed with info. Next thing to figure out is how to create and use adjustment brushes, and yes, that is also explained it this course. Love it.​ Thank you Pye!