The 20 Best Lightroom Presets You Need to Know About

Whether you love retouching or prefer the image capturing process, Lightroom presets can make this time-costly work much more bearable. But with so many at your fingertips, it can be hard to know which one will fit your needs. This list should help.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a popular photo manipulation tool, valued for its non-destructive editing as well as the organization and storage space it offers. Whether you love retouching or prefer the image capturing process, Lightroom makes this time-costly work much more bearable.

A great feature exists in this program. When you’re done editing, you can save the position of the sliders and load them next time you’re retouching a picture. If you’ve ever used a filter to make an image black and white, you’ve used something similar to Lightroom presets.

There are many presets available online, ranging from free to very expensive. With all these resources at your fingertips, you should definitely try a few and see how much time they can save you.

Whether you’re a nature, vintage, or portrait photographer, this compilation has something to serve your needs. It’s very economical for the price, so if you can’t afford the more expensive mega-sets, this should be your go-to.

Though it costs more for less compared to the set above, these presets are bright and dramatic. If you want professional enhancements that have an immediate effect on the image compared to more simple presets, this is the perfect pack.

Ever wanted to snap pics that look like they belong in a magazine shoot? This collection imitates the editing styles of Vogue, Glamour, Esquire, and other popular publications. And at such a low price, you won’t need a fashion magazine’s budget to find your own style.

If food photography is your element, FoodKit allows you to make small artistic and enhancement changes so images are always clean and fresh. These tools enhance colors, reduce artifacts, and make your photographs look practically edible.

With its realistic effects, HDR photography feels more visceral and hits home harder. These soft and natural presets will help you achieve that effect, of seeing through the photographer’s eyes rather than their camera lens. However, they require pictures with normal exposure to work effectively.

Beautiful Presets for Professional and New Photographers

Retouching is itself an art requiring inspiration, and a slider preset is no replacement for a talented photographer and editor. Presets and brushes are just meant to make the process a bit easier. But these helpful tools have plenty of use regardless.

If you’re feeling uninspired, they can give you an idea of where to begin. If you already know the tone you want, one click can get everything set up and ready to be tweaked. You might even get editing ideas that you didn’t have before.

The best case scenario with Lightroom presets is that you find the perfect one, spend ten minutes tweaking the sliders, and are done — instead of spending an hour just trying to figure out what you’re going for. Time-savers and inspiration-gifters, Lightroom presets are not an asset to be ignored.

HDR, pastels, landscapes or cinematic themes; this has it all. If you’re after a versatile preset pack that contains just about everything you might need, this is the one to go with. These presets are special in that they don’t affect white balance, so if you have decent WB, you can achieve nearly the same gorgeous effect as the preview image.

If there’s any field of photography where careful editing matters most, it’s portrait photography. It’s essential that the enhancements you make leave the model looking natural and beautiful, not fake and overexposed. These enhancements create stunning effects that enhance lighting and center focus on the subject.

Nature photographers know that, though the wilds are a brilliant place on their own, it takes some special editing to draw out the hidden colors nestled in the sky and foliage. Sunny Landscapes can make an ordinary image amazing. The sun will seem brighter, the lighting prettier, and the backdrop striking. If you want every detail of your pictures to look breathtaking, these presets accomplish just that.

Night photos in particular present a unique and difficult task for post-processing. This set can help bring out the lighting in underexposed images, as well as change the color balance in artistic ways. Try it if you struggle with getting those night pics looking just right.

Wedding and portrait photographers will love this set of subtle presets. Tasteful sepias and beige tints mix with gorgeous color- and light-enhancers that make the photos appear just as bright and sunny as they were in the lucky couples’ minds.

Otherworldly, colorful, and striking, Moody Tones can make your photos seem like they were taken in another reality. If you want highly stylized images with brighter tones and rich colors, these presets achieve that effect splendidly.

Golden Hour uses artistic editing to create stunning landscapes, especially for those taken in the sunset hours. Lighting is enhanced, colors are brightened and saturated, and your sunset snaps will look better than ever.

Crisp Impact makes images sharper by muting the color palette and making them more realistic. With 420 different presets and 5 levels of strength for each one, you have a near-limitless amount of options for making those pictures stand out.

When used correctly, black and white photography can make a powerful statement. But there’s more to it than lazily pasting any default filter on. DSL enhances the lighting and softens in such a way that creates a stunning effect.

If you’ve ever wanted to turn a photograph into a professional-looking sketch, these presets will do just that. You can tweak and adjust settings until it’s just right, and anyone who sees your pictures might not be able to tell the difference.

Great for landscapes and portraits, Coated Matte stylishly edits images to appear brighter and more colorful. If you love taking aesthetic city life pictures, these presets might help you achieve the effect you’re going for.

Interested in drawing out those gorgeous lighter colors? This collection makes photos look like they came out of a dream by focusing on the more subtle hues, and drawing attention to the brighter colors on the subject. Pictures take on an almost vintage and fantasy-like effect.

Sandman’s cinematic and moody effects can make photos seem just a bit brighter and more atmospheric. Presets come with variations more suited to different lighting conditions, so even your over- or under-exposed images can be made beautiful.

These portrait presets have the most dramatic effect on the oranges, browns, and tans of skin color, where the results are more noticeable. You can brighten, soften, de-saturate, and color tint skin to perfection.

When parents go in for their first photoshoot, they want the baby to come out looking like the little angel they are. These artistic presets soften, brighten, and color enhance in subtle but elegant ways.


About the Author Brenda Stokes Barron

Brenda Stokes Barron is a professional writer and blogger and The Digital Inkwell is her personal brand. You can often find her typing furiously at her local Starbucks.