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How to Build and Use Lightroom Presets

Lesson 4 of 15

Images With Presets vs. Without

Pye Jirsa

How to Build and Use Lightroom Presets

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

4. Images With Presets vs. Without

Lesson Info

Images With Presets vs. Without

Okay, so with presets versus without. I have a little demo here. We're gonna pull up my laptop. Let me go ahead and grab this image. What I've done is you guys will notice I've created a separate folder of DNGs versus originals. We're gonna edit off the originals. This laptop is not super quick, but we don't really need to focus on speed at the moment. If we have any issues, we'll switch over to the DNGs. All the images that we edit, we'll also provide Creative Live with the DNG files so that you guys can have exercise files at home and follow along. Okay. What I'm gonna do is I wanna put up a clock or a timer. Who can put up a little timer? Let's go full screen. I'm gonna shrink down our little bar over here. My goal for this image Three seconds. is I wanna just, this is completely raw right now. In case you're wondering, it was shot on a 5D Mark III, 1/200 of a second, f2.8, ISO 200, on a macro. We're doing fun things like holding things in front of the lens to create flares. I wan...

na go for a soft look for the image. I wanna have a nice, soft color, good skin tones. I'm just gonna produce that right now. I'm gonna go at a decent speed. You guys don't have to write down every single thing that I'm doing, but just watch along. You ready? Ready. Go. Okay, gonna adjust my exposure a bit, I'm gonna pull the highlights and the whites down just a little bit. I'm gonna add some contrast back with my shadows, get my blacks. Okay, I'm gonna lower clarity to kind of soften up the image a bit, and then let's brighten this up just a little more. All right, that looks good. The skin tones, actually my temperature is a little bit off, so let me go ahead and adjust that. I'm gonna adjust to my screen, by the way. Saturation, the skin is just a little bit on the red side, so I'm just gonna pull down a little bit in the reds and oranges. Then I love to add split toning, because it kind of evens out colors. I'm gonna talk about this in a little bit. Okay, we're gonna balance this towards the high, and by the way, I know these numbers, so I'm literally just plugging them in. You guys would probably be sliding things around trying to figure that out, right? Now we're gonna put in, again I know these so I'm already cheating, okay? Basically what I'm saying is I'm already cheating. Okay. (soft ding) We're gonna leave that there. Now we're gonna turn up masking. Okay, I'm gonna add a little bit of noise reduction just to soften this up. All right. I think the temperature looks good. I might leave it right around there. Okay. Then what I'm gonna do is also grab a radial filter and let's put in, let me reset this. We're just gonna pull in attention right into her. I'm gonna call that good. Stop the timer. A minute 32. Cool. So, here's the before and the after. It's a marked improvement, right, on the image? Yes. Little bit bright. Can't really tell on my screen. Either way. Those things don't matter. Don't matter. I'm just kidding, it does matter. It totally matters. Okay, so a minute and 32. All right. You ready to start a timer again? Yep. Okay, start the timer. (mouse clicking) Stop the timer. (laughing) Okay? Six and a half. Six and a half. Okay. Seconds. Seconds. Seconds, yeah. (laughs) So, do you think we can save a little bit of time in creating presets? Even if you guys feel like this preset system isn't the right one for you, I'm gonna teach you how to create your own. That's what this class is about, is teaching you how to create your own. That preset literally did everything for us. It's called Glam Color. We'll talk about exactly how to create it throughout this class. It's designed, if you look at this, and I'm gonna pull the exposure down just a tiny bit so you can see this a little better. Okay, so if you look, what it's doing right now and this is a cool little trick if you pump highlights up and whites up, where do the skin tones lie? They lie in like your highlights, right? They're kind of like in that highlight range? So if you pump them up a little bit and you actually lower clarity, what it does is it creates this blooming effect over skin. So skin, like the whiter areas of the skin, will actually wrap around the other areas, and you're brightening the skin up. So that's a little formula. Raise highlights, raise the whites by just a bit, and drop your clarity. That's a formula for soft skin. I have another one pulled up right here. It's a family shot. Here we go. I don't need to run through that process again. What I'm gonna show you is the standard import preset that we use. If I brighten up this image to the right exposure, like right about here, I warm it up a little bit, right about here, it looks pretty decent. Here's the standard import preset that we import with. It's done. What that preset just did was it actually, it not only evened out tones, it pulled the highlights, it did the shadows, it did everything, but it also added split toning over there. Did you guys see how the image warmed up? You saw it warm up, right? Let me undo that. Okay, watch it warm up again. Did you see the temperature slider move? Temperature stayed the same, right? We're gonna talk about dividing out the entire structure of Lightroom, so you can actually decide on which options you're adjusting in camera, which are you doing via presets, and then we're gonna teach you to layer those presets so that you can actually get to a more efficient workflow.

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!