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How to Build and Use Lightroom Presets

Lesson 15 of 15

Ordinary To Extraordinary Edits

Pye Jirsa

How to Build and Use Lightroom Presets

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

15. Ordinary To Extraordinary Edits

Lesson Info

Ordinary To Extraordinary Edits

(silence) Here's a preset that's easy to create. It's fun, creates a lot of interesting stuff. Anyway, I showed you guys this, but I'm gonna show you how to create it. So we're gonna talk about local adjustments now, just local adjustments. So, if I want to create that blurred effect, like a tilt-shift effect, how might I do it? (keyboard clicks) Any ideas? What slide am I looking to control? Tone. Clarity. Clarity and the sharpness. 'K. Clarity, if you think about it, it's gonna destroy your mid-tone contrast, right? Which means that, if I were to grab this clarity slider, drop this all the way down and paint this, it just ends up looking hazy on the side. But sharpness, that would actually be pretty ideal. So, if I just grab sharpness and drop it all the way down, and this is how you can kinda create this look and do convincingly good job at it. If it were not a tilt-shift lens but if it were a soft-focus lens, like a Lensbaby, whatever area you have that soft focus on is w...

hat's gonna be sharper than the other stuff, right? To make this convincing, once you add one layer, click new, and then add another layer with a different shape. Click new again. You can layer this up to three times before it actually stops really working, 'k. And now, we can't see the transitional point of where the effect starts and stops. Does that make sense? If you do only one of those, you can generally see an edge for where the effect starts and stops. So, I do have that in, like, for those that are using it. It's just labeled under de-sharpener. It's right here under special effects, de-sharpener. Okay? (keyboard clicks) Super simple. And, I'll show you guys over an image like this. People tend to get this effect wrong in post production, a lot. So, a tilt-shift camera, a tilt-shift lens, it works by everything that goes across the swath, across the image, is gonna be basically sharp, which means that, like, these guys, along with the horizon, is what's gonna be sharp. So, when we want to create the effect convincingly, we need to make sure that the image is first and the image is gonna work with it. But, we do it the exact same way, where you're just gonna select a de-sharpening brush, and you're gonna pull it down. We're gonna layer it a few different times. Why, because it should be stronger towards the edges than towards the middle. And, you're gonna pull up a couple of times 'K? I'm gonna go ahead and add a preset to this. And, that's a pretty convincingly tilt-shift image, right? Works for me. Like, most clients won't be able to tell that that's not a tilt-shift image. Okay. (keyboard clicks) Wanna do, when it comes to something like this, this is usually where we will apply the HDR natural color. And, you'll see that it just gives the image, like, a lot of kick and pop, like right away. So, like, our clients, most of them come to us for this kind of stuff, like the really vivid environmental portraits. I'm gonna press W to bring up my white balance tool. If she has a white dress on, that's gonna get me close. I'm gonna go ahead and click it. And, actually, yeah, it did work okay. So, it got me close. Good enough! I love that phrase, good enough. I'm just kidding. 'K, and then we're gonna go ahead and go to burn. (keyboard clicks) Expand this out, over them. And it reminds me, it's a little bit dark. Are you guys seeing dark, or is it bright? Oh, a little bit more pink. 'K, and then, this is, again, one of those places for sky-cloud-ocean. (keyboard clicks) Do you guys get why I name it these things, now? (group laughs) Yeah. 'K, and then, you can just adjust it, forward or backwards. Cool. The fun thing about this is now, we're gonna learn how to sync this. So, there's a problem. Obviously, we don't post an image like this that has people in it. So, what we would do is, I'm gonna grab the setting and just go to the next image. 'Cause, remember how to paste last? Alt control V or option command V or hit previous. So, it makes the adjustment. Here's how simple this is. (keyboard clicks) So, both of those images have been edited, now, identically. (keyboard clicks) I'm not gonna use my--I usually use a tablet for any Photoshop work, but we're just gonna keep it simple, straightforward. Any questions while we're waitin' for Photoshop? Didn't you adjust the tilt on that? So, is the tilt going to be off when you put the two together? It'll be fine; I'm gonna show you a trick. I'll be fine; it'll be fine, fine. (crowd laughs) Ah, we're gonna just align it in Photoshop. Okay. But yeah, normally, you don't usually apply the crop until after the fact. But, this is taking a while to load up. (keyboard clicks) There we go. Has Lightroom to Photoshop doin' that to you guys, too? Where, like, I'll click edit in, and it won't actually open Photoshop. And, then when I click Photoshop, it'll load, and then it'll load the two images that I clicked on. So, watch. It's a bug, right? Like, it's happening on all my systems. So, now it's gonna actually load the two images. See? Thank you for talking to this because there were a couple of questions about, like, the order of operations in terms of Lightroom and Photoshop and what things to do first. Yeah. Lightroom first, then Photoshop. These are large files. (tapping) These are from the 5D Mark IV, which dynamic range-wise, is doing pretty solid, now. Okay, so what you're gonna do first is, we just select both these layers. This is with--the reason that we need to make those adjustments in Lightroom first is because, hey, if you don't make all those adjustments to preserve your dynamic range and do all that kind of stuff, you take it into Photoshop and you bring it back, you're now trying to do it over a JPEG file, which is basically a PSD file. A PSD file is not a raw file. So, we do that first, and then we come over here. We're gonna go edit, and we're gonna go auto align layers, whoop! (keyboard clicks) 'K, this will do a quick alignment, in case. I actually shot this handheld, so you'll notice that there was a little bit of a shift. Generally, I try and tripod these types of images, so there's both identical. But, in this case, I'm standing on the side of a mountain. (crowd chuckles) And, then all you do is you add a mask, and this is how simple it is. You just add a mask onto that top layer, paint black, and just mm. (indistinct voices) Bye, bye, bye. And, you're done, and you just take it back and save it out. And, that's it. So, the Lightroom piece that we work in that way, we'd apply it across both images and then bring that composite into Photoshop with the same preset applied to both, and then you do that. (keyboard click) Gonna say no. Cool beans, all right. I think we covered it. I don't think I have any more, unless they have any more questions. Wow. Oh, I did have something I wanted to show them. Please. So, we just launched this on SLR Lounge. So, if you go to, there's little button that says critique, right at the very top, okay? So, what this critique system allows you guys to do is, you can take an image. This is me loading up a test image. And, you can actually upload it to critique, and it'll tell us, on this side, like the writers, tell everybody, what the EX F information was. And, then we can actually say, we can critique the image right on the image. So, if I say, "Hmm, her flowers appear a little dark." (typing) Her flowers are a little dark. And hit submit. It'll actually provide a critique over the image. And, this is our critiquing platform. What we've done is actually create a tag specifically for creative life. So, with all of our creative life classes, we're gonna leave that tag up, and as you upload things that you have done, I will do my best to get on there. Or, the writers will get on there and help critique. Awesome. Cool. So, on image, it makes it a lot nicer because, instead of trying to say what I'm-- oh, look at the top left. I can literally just mark it, be like, check this out. There's a spot, here. Like, I do a lot of weddings. Uh huh. You know, like, and then I, like we should (mumbles) part wedding. Usually, I just import all my images into Lightroom, and then I'll do the white balance and the exposure. Then, I'll apply the presets. But, you were saying that you have importing presets, for all the images? Uh huh. How do you do that? So, for example, let's set up an import preset, right now. What I will do is--let's do this. We have this DNG folder, right here. I'm gonna delete that. (keyboard clicks) Okay, and we'll just re-import. So, I'm gonna go to my desktop. (keyboard clicks) 'K, so here's our DNGs. We're just gonna drag it and drop it right into Lightroom. I like doing that 'cause it will actually take the location of it instead of me having to type it in or find it on the left side. So, you'll notice that it actually grabs the location. I didn't know that. (chuckles) Fun little tips, just drag and drop. So, I'm gonna say add it 'cause it's already in the right location. I'm gonna say build a one-to-one previews, build smart previews along with it. By the way, if you want to begin working on your images immediately, turn off this. Building one-to-one previews takes a lot of computing power. So, if you want to work on the images right away, turn that off, work on your images, import them. Standard size previews, the smart previews, is very quick to generate. Okay, and then later, like after you've worked on the images a bit and you're taking a break, then go back and build the one-to-ones when you leave. So, that way, it's quicker, and you're not in front of your computer wasting time. 'Cause a lot of times, we'll try and do teasers. So, we'll upload the images, and we don't want it to be rendering one-to-one previews while we're just trying to grab a couple quick images out, to do teasers. This is the typical setting. Develop setting, we're going to go to portrait mixology, soft color. Meta data, we can click--why don't we just add a new meta data preset, right here, since we haven't done this yet. So, we're just gonna say, Pye. Usually, I only put in just standard concrete information type stuff. So, let's just close out all this. You guys can see. There's a lot of different possible information that you can put in here. Okay, okay, okay, okay, okay. (keyboard clicks) So, what I'll do is say copyright, check, okay. (typing) Lin and Jirsa Photography. I'll say copyright usage, copyrighted, or I use the term: Please contact Lin and Jirsa Photography. (typing) 'K, copyright info. Basic info, then you put yourself in there. The caption: Great Place to Have Your Website. Because when you put it up on the Facebook, a lot of sites will automatically read the caption and place that in the description. So, if you choose not to put in a description, the caption will become your description. If it just says your website, there you go. Don't have to add that in later. Okay, we're gonna hit create. So, now I have a preset for just meta data. I can select that preset along with it. Then, I'm just gonna save this out as-- (keyboard clicks) oh, we can just, you know, let's save it out as a new preset. Preset test, great. So, now we have the import preset ready to go, and when I click import to add, it's gonna automatically apply the preset over every one of the images. And, you're done. You're just making adjustments to exposure, temperature. If you get to a certain sequence of images, like the dance floor, where you're like, I want these to pop, you select that sequence, flip it to the other preset, review that real quick, and then go back. Is there any way, whenever you import the preset, is there any way to go back to the original in the development module? Yes, so if you check this out. So, it has these presets applied now, right? As I adjust the exposure--it looks good. So, if I press backslash, it's actually gonna show me the image with the preset applied but without the exposure adjustment. But, the actual raw file, if I showed you that, the actual raw file is this. If I reset everything, if I press reset, and I press backslash, notice that it says the before. That's actually the version with the preset attached to it. You know what I mean? That's actually the before. So, if you want to get to back to the original original, you can press reset, and that'll automatically get you back there. If you want to have, like-- If you want to go back to the way it was imported, when you click right here on the history, it'll actually bring it back to the import. That's with the preset. (keyboard clicks) This is with the exposure adjustment, and so forth. Does that kinda make sense? So, is that how you import all the pictures into Lightroom? We usually use that to import. The only reason I don't for our tutorials is because, generally, we want to show what the before and after looks like. And, I want to use the backslash tool. But, if you're just developing on your own, like, who cares? You don't need to see what it looks like raw versus with the preset. You just want to find the right look for it. You know what I mean? So, there's not really a purpose to that. If you ever want to-- Like, you could always right click right here, and there's a little option that says copper hist property. History step, I'm not drunk; it's okay. History step settings to before. And, when you do that, now whatever's on the image currently becomes before. So, if I reset this, and I press backslash, now it shows me that version of the image that is before. In case you ever wanna switch the before back to the original, you can, but there's not necessarily a reason to. All these, like, handy dandy things that Adobe builds in without the ability to control my local adjustments on a preset. Ahh!! (crowd laughs) 'K? I did want to show one other thing 'cause we talked about split toning, how great it is for skin tones. It's also really fun from a creative side in adding complementary color schemes to your images. So, this image has the soft color preset applied, and, if we warm this up a little bit, or bring up the exposure a little bit and then warm it up, it looks really nice. But, what we can do is, we can actually shift the color tones down here in split toning. Just skip down to, there we go, to complementary color schemes. This is really fun 'cause it adds another level of refinement to your images. You'll notice that we have complementary colors, right here. These are based on the color wheel. So, you guys know, like, complementary colors are opposite of each other. Analogous colors are next to each other. If you click orange-violet, it actually will add those tones in the image. Let me darken the image a little bit, so it's a little bit easier to see. I'm gonna go ahead and just burn down the edges, and I'm gonna pull an exposure brush across from left to right. (keyboard clicks) That's good, okay. So, check this out, orange-blue. Well, let's reset this first, so you guys can see. This is what it looks like with no color tone over it, whatsoever. So, an orange-violet, and you can see what it's doing over here in the preset. This is simply adjusting the split toning. So, 40 is orange; violet's at 300 hue. Saturation sets 'em, and, it balances it towards the highlight side. So, for cinematic color grading for those kind of, like, nice, rich tones that you get, it's always split toning that's added over the image to create that. Then, the tone-on-tone analogous, these are the general warmth that we'll apply to the images. If we reset this, and you can see the blue hues and everything, then as soon as we apply that orange-orange, we get that nice shift without every having to touch temperature. So, use split toning creatively as well as to control that warmth. Have you ever used a camera calibration for color? We don't; yeah, we don't in the studio. But, I know of some shooters use that religiously, but we've not really found a need, necessarily. Any final words of wisdom from you, Pye, in terms of what this has done for you and your life and your business, to be able to create this whole system. Yeah, I mean like, just in terms of sheer work flow and just getting out from in front of your computer where you're literally not making any of your revenue, sitting here in front of your computer. It's gonna be always in front of your client. It's gonna be always figuring out ways to grow and to market your business and doing all those things. Whatever you decide to do, I'm hoping that this class has helped you guys to understand developing in a completely different light. How you can either structure your own system or use this system, either way. But, know that every second matters. It's a big deal. And, hopefully, we saved you guys 20, 30 seconds per image in this course. But, even getting down to, like, that one second number, when it comes to us investing in hardware or whatever, we'll do whatever it takes to get that time back. Because that's time that really should be spent in other places. So, Pye, let's make sure everybody out there is following you on social media as well as SLR Lounge. Where are the best places for people to follow you? So, the studio is Lin and Jirsa Photography. It's @linandjirsa. That's where all of our team's images go up. Also, if you want to follow me personally, I'm at Pye Jirsa on Facebook and on Instagram. Our YouTube page is SLR Lounge. We have a quarter million subscribers, there. We'd love for you guys to subscribe. Join us; we have lots of great, free content. And, by the way, I've migrated my Snapchat game to Instagram, Yep. (laughs) which means that it's kinda like, part business, part ridiculous. (chuckles) Very little. The stories is the ridiculous part. The photos is the business part. (laughing) Right. (silence)

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!