I love Free Lightroom Presets
Now that 500px have released a plugin for Adobe Lightroom 3 I am finding there is less and less reason to ever leave the main Lightroom application for my photography workflow. (Above Photo from the Hansel’s House Set).
From Lightroom I can call Silver Efex Pro 2, I can upload images directly to flickr and 500px and I can process RAW files with the power of the Photoshop Engine.
like me you are somewhere between complete novice and pro and don’t quite have the confidence to use Lightroom’s image control tools unaided then ‘Presets’ are an excellent way to explore different (non destructive) photo outputs.
It took me a month to realise there are considerably more presets out there than those shipped with the product and in actual fact there were a stack of photographers out there developing and supplying (many of them free) their own custom presets.
Presets are simply a one click image transformation for your photos. Personally I think if you are going to get the most from Lightroom you should think of presets as a starting point, i.e. add the effect and then apply your own future adjustment to attain the desired output, don’t just apply a preset and export.
I have been using a range of presets over the last month and in addition to the obvious benefit of transforming my images I have also learned a considerable amount in how the ‘Develop’ tab works in Lightroom and how to manually manipulate my photos.
Admittedly not all presets out there are free but any I have paid for have cost around $10 for a set which is perfectly affordable (just). In buying presets I am not sure I am buying anything extra special but removing the hassle of going looking for the free alternatives.
Installing Presets is simple. Load Lightroom, select any image and click on the Develop tab on the top right of the application. Now right click in the presets tab (left of the screen and select “install”
Find the preset you have downloaded and want to install and Lightroom will add it to the Presets menu. As your list of presets grow you can create folders for easy management and access.
Sources of Free Lightroom Presets
Lightroom ships with a nice set of presets but here are some sites that offer both free Lightroom presets.
FlixelPix- Grit – Black and White Portrait
FlixelPix : Ethereal Preset
FlixelPix : Summer
FlixelPix : Autumn Free Lightroom Preset
FlixelPix : Sweets Free Lightroom Preset
640 Pixels Presets
Vintage New York Preset
Max Payne Style Preset
A Girl in Love with Photography
Dror Eyal Photography
The Lights Right Presets
Camera Dojo Free Presets
Rebecca Myers Presets
Shutter Sisters Presets
Mark Elkin’s Presets
Better Black and White
Free presets are a great foundation for processing an image. I’ve gone from using a series of presets to developing my own unique catalogue that I use on a regular basis but only ever as a starting point. If you have discovered any good sources of free Lightroom Presets please feel free to post them in the comments.
Other Lightroom Tutorials