Lightroom Presets – A Way to Speed Your Post-Processing

September 27th, 2015

LRPresetsHave you noticed that there are a bunch of things that you do to almost every photo in a shoot? Things like:

  1. Enabling lens profile corrections which cause Lightroom to recognize what lens was used and load the lens correction profile for that lens.
  2. Reducing Highlights slider
  3. Increasing Shadow slider
  4. Increasing Clarity slider a bit
  5. Increasing the Vibrance slider a bit
  6. Sharpening

You can save all these basic adjustments into a Lightroom Preset. Then by making a single click you can apply the adjustments in the Preset to any given photo. And and then SYNC those adjustments to a whole set if images if you want. Sure each photo in a shoot is likely to take a few special adjustments but the idea is to find those adjustments you find yourself doing on every photo and package them up in a Preset, then just fine tune each photo as required. This approach has the potential to save you a bunch of time.

Simon Maxwell includes two presets like this with his Enfuse For Real Estate Photography e-book and video series, an import Preset and a post-processing Preset.

Here is a little 10-minute video tutorial by Anthony Morganti that shows how easy creating your own Preset is.

Share this

9 Responses to “Lightroom Presets – A Way to Speed Your Post-Processing”

  • You can also have LR apply your preset during import saving even more time.

  • This is a good idea in part. I find that lens corrections, sharpness and noise are good to do as presets. But I feel like the lighting and general character of the rooms and/or exterior dictate that you’re going to change the shadows, highlights and so on anyway. It’s easy to get in a habit and apply the same treatment to everything and end up missing out on the best settings for each location. Not to mention that, if you drink the same brand of beer all the time, you become convinced that it’s the best beer in the world. I prefer to allow myself to explore each shoot anew.

  • The only preset I run is a basic set of metadata for keywords. I find, what Pete in the comment above finds as well, is that each space I photograph is subjective. I wish I can just let Lightroom run trough all my images and – viola. I try to aim for quality. I make choices for every image I create. I find that even lens correction isn’t accurate throughout and I need to run this on each photo individually.

  • While I do strongly agree with Pete and Jason about individually adjusting and that not all photos require the same treatment, I believe that having a general adjustments preset is a good starting point and will save time. You can always manually adjust a preset that doesn’t look right after the fact but if it’s something that you would more often than not adjust (ie: increase shadows) then 9 times out of 10, you will not be wasting seconds adjusting shadows.

    This is golden advice that I should already have done. I will look into having these all as a preset.

    Thank you.

  • I use presets for a range of ‘workflow’ issues as you describe.

    Import Presets are very useful (separate of photo manipulation presets). Pre-configure where copies go, my file naming configuration, keywords, destinations, and more. Lots right there.

    With regard to the photo edit presets, I’ve encountered two things. The first is, if I preload too much work, my import process can take -much- longer. Seems to be true of things like lens corrections. I’ve learned it can be quicker to apply a preset and sync across images -after- import.

    I’ve also had issues with lens corrections, regardless their impact on import time. For some reason, I find a high percentage of images need to have the lens correction reanalyzed. Post-import the lens correction box will be checked yet it’s clear the image is not right. Click reanalyze, it fixes it. So I’ve got a preset that does a bunch for me post-import and seems to work better.

    Its likely one of those ‘your mileage may vary’ type situations. Presets are a big productivity boost, but they need each individual to self-assess how best to employ them.

  • Presets are a big time saver for me.

    I have two main presets for real estate photos… Interior and Exterior. Basically, everything that Larry listed plus some HSL saturation adjustments and auto Upright correction. There are some slight variations between my interior and exterior presets.

    This however, is only a starting point. I manually adjust exposure, white balance, white and black points for contrast, more HSL saturation, cropping etc! …oh, then on to Photoshop!!

    While it may seem pointless with all the other post-preset adjustments, it really is worth the effort. I’ve narrowed my post-process down to less than 45 minutes. Usually that includes uploading photos and invoicing.

  • Lightroom presets are definitely a time-saver! Like others mention it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution that will work across every image, but a useful starting place.

    I also have many graduated filter and brush filter presets too – various sky burning brushes, twilight color cast-fix brushes, carpet blurring, cloud whitening, etc.

    Currently I’m trying to figure out how to speed up my photomatix workflow for my outdoor shots, takes forever to export one by one, but can’t batch process because I want to fine tune each one.

  • About the only thing I use on import is auto white balance, I have tried to use lens corrections and have alignment issues later if I need to use fusion. As for presets I can create for each house/shoot and apply and sync.

  • I don’t use pre-sets. I think lens correction and chromatic aberration are the only settings I’d consider utilising on import. I want to see the image develop in a specific way from RAW. I don’t like the thought of, for example, setting a level of contrast and then when I come to perform other edits I wouldn’t know what the contrast was like prior to the pre-set. I can’t see how it would save me any time, and I’d prefer to be fussy like that.

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply