My Love For Lightroom…
I’ve been using Lightroom for I’d say the past 3 years now. It was at a photo shoot, when I noticed that the images being taken were instantly appearing on the photographers computer, beautifully edited, that I first saw how incredible Lightroom was for editing on mass. If you love your photos to all have a consistent, beautiful style, and yet don’t want to waste time precisely editing each photo one by one, Lightroom is for you. All of my blog photos and Instagram photos are edited in just one click on Lightroom, and this also means that I can import all photos from a days shoot, edit them all in no more than 3 clicks, and then flick through them to decide which ones I want to use.
Editing is a very important part of the photography process, but it’s something that I don’t like to spend a lot of time on. So that’s why presets are so incredible. A preset is basically an edit, or filter that’s been recorded and saved, so that you can apply it to any image, with one click, or tap on your phone. Just highlight the images you want editing, and ‘paste’ the preset settings, and voila! Every image beautifully edited.
How To Use Lightroom Presets
Using a Lightroom preset is incredibly easy, as soon as it’s installed (don’t worry, each download of the presets comes with instructions!) it’s just one click to apply to photos. Here’s a basic overview of installing a preset;
Step One – Unzip the folder on your computer and copy the Lightroom presets (highlight them all > right click > copy)
Step Two – Open Lightroom > Preferences > Presets
Step Three – Click ‘Show Lightroom Presets Folder…’
Step Four – Click Lightroom > Develop Presets Step Five – Paste the presets into this folder
Restart Lightroom & voila!
You’ll see all the presets on the left hand side of your image, when you’re in the Develop tab of image editing. Just click the preset you’d like to
apply and you’re done!
Upon clicking on a Lightroom preset, the necessary editing changes will instantly be applied to your image (or images, depending on how many you have highlighted). Most preset downloads come with a few variations (The Bloom Collection which I use on my Instagram has 4 variations) so you can click on each one, before deciding which works best for your image. Remember, one preset won’t work on every photo, due to different lighting, colours etc, but by applying a preset to all your images, they’ll have a consistent look to them, and you can easily make minor tweaks to the edit to make it perfect. Make the necessary edits on one photo, then copy and paste these settings across all of the images from that shoot.
How To Tweak Your Lightroom Presets
I personally find, possibly because I have a consistent shooting style, that my image looks perfect just after clicking on the preset, however sometimes it needs a little bit of tweaking, because a preset can’t possibly be perfect for every style of photo. I find photos shot inside need more tweaking than those shot outside, for example.
Editing in Lightroom is very easy, far more simple than Photoshop, and if you’ve ever downloaded a photo editing app on your iPhone and figured out how to use that, you’ll definitely be able to figure out Lightroom! Usually, the only thing I edit is ‘Exposure’ – I pull it up to brighten images taken inside. Sometimes I play around with the saturation of various colours, like altering the temperature of the image, I’d recommend having a play with each setting to get to grips with how it alters each image. You’ll soon get to know what each image requires, and how you can instantly correct it. When using the Valencia preset on Instagram, I often found I needed to make my skin look less orange, so I’d select the orange colour within the ‘Colour’ box in the right hand side control panel, and reduce the saturation a little.
Top Tip! If you don’t like what you’ve done to your image with the editing, and you want to go back to the original, just click ‘Reset’ – and your image goes back to how it was at the very beginning!
Top Tip! If you purchase presets, they’ll give you detailed instructions on how to install them, some may come in zip folders like the Fashion Mumblr Presets (the ones I use on my blog and Instagram!) so you may have to download on your computer before transferring to your phone.
How To Use Lightroom For Instagram
Lightroom is incredible for Instagram, and using presets can ensure you have a beautiful consistency across all the photos on your grid.
Have you ever noticed how your favourite bloggers always have the same ‘style’ to their images, even if they’re in London, Ibiza, India or wherever else in the world? This is probably because they’ve got a preset which they’re applying to all their photos which give the same colour tone, and they’re making minor tweaks to make it perfect each time.
No one wants to be spending hours (or in my case, minutes – I get SO bored!) editing photos, so applying a preset means I can shoot a photo, edit and upload in a matter of seconds. If I have a photo on my phone, I simply import into the Lightroom CC app, which is free, and apply my favourite preset. It’s just the same as doing it on our computer. If I’m working on a blog post and need 7/8 images with the same editing style, I’ll use Lightroom on my computer so I can edit in bulk.
If you’ve started off with a preset, and then made your own adjustments and love how it looks, you can then save these tweaks as your own new preset, and apply this to all of your future pictures, it couldn’t be easier!
The copy and paste action of applying a preset to an image, also works with video too, so if you want video clips to have beautiful colouring, you can also apply your presets to videos.
My Favourite Presets
Over the course of my 3 years or so using Lightroom, I’ve developed a set of presets which I feel work for all of my photography needs, ranging from ‘Cappuccino‘ which is a typical ‘blogger’ desaturated edit, perfect for holiday photos to give that beautiful warm glow, to ‘Amalfi‘ which edits photos with bright vivid colours, perfect for Summer! My newest preset collection, ‘The Bloom Collection’ is the most versatile, colours are true to the original image, but the pictures appear brighter, softer more flattering light, and bright, beautiful colours. Here are some more examples!