Skip to main content

Working With Presets

Lesson 17 from: Lightroom CC: Organizing Your Digital Photo Life

Jared Platt

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

17. Working With Presets


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Creative Cloud Construct


Lightroom Classic vs. Lightroom CC


Importing and Organization


Folder and Album Creation


Image Selection


Connectivity and Data


Finding Images in Lightroom CC


Lesson Info

Working With Presets

We are going to talk about presets, because most of the things that we do with photographs are one at a time. We look at this photograph. We wanna adjust it. We wanna brighten up these, we wanna paint some brightness in her face, we wanna dodge out the dress, we wanna burn in the sky, all that kind of stuff. So we work on all these photographs, uniquely to the one photograph. But, we also want to do things with the touch of a button. And so, some of the things that we do, can be done to any photograph no matter what they are, and that's what we put into presets. Some people make presets where they're like, brighten up this photo. That doesn't make sense, to put that in a preset, because every photograph is a little differently, and you'd have to hunt for about 30 seconds to find a preset that brightens up the photo, when all you gotta do is brighten it up with the knob. So presets are not meant to just brighten up a photo, or darken a photo. Presets are made to accomplish a great deal ...

of stuff, all at one time. So a style of some sort. So what we're gonna do, is we're gonna create presets that create a style for a photograph, that would otherwise take you a minute or two to kind of slide all the sliders in the right place. So, if we were to, let's say take this photograph, and we wanted to do something like, let's say we wanted to do kind of a half-tone color to it. So we take the saturation down quite a bit, and then we take the temperature up quite a bit, and then we go into, let's say we go into the details, and we, or not details sorry, the effects, and we add a little bit more clarity, so there's some punch to it. So let's say that that's what we wanted to do with the photograph, and then we decided that that was a cool effect that we wanted to keep for a long time, and we wanted to keep doing it. So then what we could do, is we could say alright, that's our effect. So what we're gonna do, is we're gonna go down to our Preset panel, which is right down at the bottom of this. You have to be inside of your little slider area here. All your basic settings. And at the bottom of that, is the Preset panel. And when you click on the Preset panel, you have all of these presets here, that are available, and these, the color, creative, black and white, and components, that whole set, all of those are, they come with Lightroom. So if i click on BW, and watch what happens. As I scroll through them, it shows you what it's gonna look like, right? And then you can close that one down, and you can go to the creative set, and you can see what it's gonna do. But I want you to notice what it's doing. If you look over on the right hand side, look at the sliders. As I hover over it, it's showing you what the slider positions will be, after you click that button. That is very different. Classic doesn't do that. Lightroom Classic just, it'll show you what it's gonna look like, but you've got to click on it for it to slide the sliders. So if you ever want to research what a particular set of presets is doing, you can put them right here, and you can kind of just scan through them, and you see all the settings. So you actually get to learn. This is going to school. So I'm gonna be like, oh flat green, what it does is it pulls the vibrance down to minus 30, and the saturation up to 10. That's what it does. And then it probably has some other things in here that it does. See how it's, see I can research and find out what are all the sliders that it's doing. Right? So I can do a little research, that I couldn't do inside of Lightroom Classic. So, I can do that, or I can just say, you know what, I like mine. I'm gonna make a preset out of it. So I go up to the preset area, and click on those three ellipses there. That little dot dot dot. Click on it. And I can create a preset. So if I create a preset, I'm gonna call this Limited Color. And hit Save. And it's gonna show up in a folder called User Presets, under Limited Color. So now if I clicked on a different photograph, and I clicked on Limited Color, see how it changed those two settings? So I click on it. But the problem is, and this is where Lightroom CC is limited at this point, is that it's only allowing you to create a preset from everything you just did to that photograph. Not a great preset. In Lightroom Classic, when you make a preset, a big panel comes up that says, what do you want in your preset? Oh I just want my color, and my black and white settings, and my sharpening settings, and that's all I want. So if that's all I want, then I create it, and it will only change those settings. That's not what's happening here. So we don't, I'm not a big fan of what we're doing with this one, so we're going to back off of that. I'm gonna take my saturation back up here, and I'm gonna take my warmth back down. So we're gonna keep this the way it was, and we're gonna go in and bring in presets. So I already have some presets here. So I have black and white presets of my own here, that are sitting right there, that I can scan through and look at. So, I'm gonna go to this same menu, the preset menu, and I'm gonna click on those ellipses, and I'm gonna click on it, and it says Open the Preset Folder. This is the only way you're gonna find it. Because it's buried. Alright, it's buried deep in the depths of your computer, and you won't find it unless you click on the secret Open Presets Folder. So I click on the Open Presets Folder, and voila, there it is. So you can see that I've got a folder called Develop Presets. If I click on Develop Presets, I've got, there's the ones that I've already put in there, and then the User Preset folder is that Limited Color that we just made. It's right there. But I can drag any set of presets into here, and it will become part of my presets. So if i grab these film presets, and then here's the thing. Everybody pause for a second. You have to understand that Lightroom, even Lightroom CC, only sees one folder deep. So, notice that I don't put a folder inside of this folder, with more folders inside of that folder. You have to just say anything inside of the Develop Preset folder, that that folder is the only folder you get, and then you gotta put presets in there. So it's, inside the Develop Presets, you have a folder that has presets in it. That's it. No more extra folders. I get tons of emails from people that are like, I can't find my folders. I put my presets in there, but they don't show up in Lightroom. And I ask them, I say, "How many folders deep are you putting it?" Oh well, I'm just putting your entire set of folders in another folder called Jared's Presets, and I put them all in there, and nothing shows up. That's because you just put a Jared folder inside of the Develop Presets, then you put a whole bunch of folders inside of that, and then you put presets inside those folders. You can't see them. So, you have to follow that structure. Inside the Develop Preset folder, you have a black and white presets folder. If you put that there, you can put presets in it, but that's it. That's as far as you can go down a tree. So, what we're gonna do, is we're gonna grab this Film Presets folder. If I double click it, you can see that the Film Presets folder has presets in it. That's it. It's just one folder deep. So I'm gonna grab that Film Preset folder. Drag it into the Develop Presets, right next to the Black and White Presets. Right next to User Presets, it's right there. So once you do that, then, if you go back to Lightroom, you'll say, it's not there. Crap. That's because you have to restart. So we're just going to quit Lightroom. And then we're gonna start Lightroom back up. And when I start Lightroom back up, and I go over to my presets, there it is. Film Presets, you see those? So now I can click on those film presets, and now those were designed in such a way that they only touch the sliders that I told them to touch. Inside of Lightroom Classic, because of that dialog box that allows me to select on things, right? So, I have the ability to go in and create presets that only ... So now if I do this Tone Cool Gold Bold, it's only gonna ... Let's see, here, this is interesting. So, this preset right here is actually touching sliders that don't exist in Lightroom CC. So, it's playing with the tone curves, and it's playing with the, it's also playing with the color toning. So like shadows and highlights, and it's creating color toning inside the image. And it's doing all that, even though the sliders don't even exist here, because Camera Raw, which is the processing engine that does all this stuff, is inside of this program, it's inside of my iPad, it's also inside of Camera Raw in Lightroom Classic, and it's also on the web. It's the same thing that's running them all. It's just that they haven't developed the sliders for it yet. All they have to do is turn those on, and then you'll be able to do it here. But you can adjust things in here with presets, even with sliders that don't exist. So, there's no, the slider doesn't exist. So if I click on this, it's changing sliders that don't show up here. But I've just changed it to kind of an interesting warm tone effect. And then I can go down, and let's, let's go add some grain. So I'm gonna add some 800 speed grain to it. So there, I've just added grain. And guess what? There's no grain settings in here yet. So I've just added grain, even though there's no necess- see, so I've just added all that grain to it. And let's say, oh I don't like that grain. It's a little too chunky. So let's go to 400 speed grain. So now I have 400 grain. Or let's go to 200 speed grain. So I can change those things, and play with them. And I can even go down, because my presets are specifically made so that they add, and they also have removers on it, which is really important when you're working on a computer program that doesn't have the slider in it yet. Because if you create the grain, you have to be able to remove the grain. Otherwise, because there's no slider for it. So, I can also remove the grain. So if I'm like, eh, I think I don't want the grain. So I'll just hit Grain Remove, and so now there's no more grain. Right? So, presets are really easy to put in. All you have to do, is once again, go to the ellipse up here, click on there. Open Preset Folder, then grab your presets, and put them in there. If you don't, if you just have three or four presets you wanna add, just drag them into this User Presets folder, and then they'll just show up here, inside of your User Preset folder right there. So you can just add them in here, or you can add entire folders right in here. Alright? Again, for right now, you've got Lightroom CC, which is this simplified program, and then you've got Lightroom Classic, which is the full deal. It's got everything in it. And so, when you look at the two, Lightroom Classic allows you to build very much more specific presets. It allows you to create very, very unique presets that only use a certain amount of sliders, whereas Lightroom CC right now, it just creates a preset with everything in it. And so, that's not the best way to design a preset. So if you're gonna design presets, they're better to be designed in Lightroom Classic right now. I am sure that very soon, as they start working on the presets that we were talking about, like increasing that ability to synchronize across and stuff like that, I'm sure that when you create a preset here, that dialog box will appear. It's just not there right now. I would imagine that before the end of six months or whatever, I'll bet you that it's there. So, it can't be too long before they have it. But in the meantime, if you have Lightroom Classic, make your presets there, drag them over to here.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lightroom® CC Ecosystem PDF
Film Presets

Ratings and Reviews


This class blew my mind! As a full-time professional photographer, with a very complicated workflow (that is next to impossible to explain to my assistant) I cannot express how essential this class is to overhauling and simplifying my workflow. I am so excited to finally be able to split my workflow between multiple laptops and work stations WITHOUT having to build a server at my studio. I love that I now have a framework to start building a new organizational and backup system that I can easily train others on, and mobilize quickly. With all of the changes and improvements that Adobe is bringing to Lightroom CC & Classic, this class is integral to understanding and utilizing the program to its fullest potential! Jared Platt is a wonderful teacher and this class especially is perfect for novices and seasoned professionals alike!

a Creativelive Student

I was lucky enough to participate in-studio for this class. Jared is a great presenter and broke down the complicated Lightroom CC vs. Lightroom Classic changes. His conversational style of presenting kept things interesting and participants involved. This course was much more than just learning what the programs do. Jared walked through sample workflows to show when and why you would use the multitude of sliders and editing tools within the program. The course is worth every penny! Topics will remain pertinent well after newer versions of Lightroom CC and Classic are released.


I won't be able to watch all of this, but I purchased it anyway. Jared's ability to address the technical as well as the artistic aspects of Lightroom is unparalleled. He is one of my preferred presenters, especially for Lightroom. I especially appreciate how he has clarified the differences among the versions of Lightroom that are available. Thank you Jared!

Student Work