Have you heard about Lightroom but aren’t quite sure about what it is and what it can do? This beginners guide to Lightroom and Lightroom Presets will give you an introduction to its features, and some reasons why it’s my first choice for photo editing software.
Lightroom is photo editing software released by Adobe. There are several versions, the Lightroom app (free) for your phone, and two desktop versions – Lightroom and Lightroom Classic (paid subscriptions). Photo editing with Lightroom (paid) on your desktop will give you more functionality and editing options, however, the Lightroom App (free) still offers a huge step up in your editing capabilities.
Many professional photographers use Lightroom as it is both an editing tool and also an organisational tool. Another great thing about Lightroom is that it is ‘non-destructive’ which means your original image file is left unaltered and you can revert to it with one click.
Lightroom is also popular with amateur photographers and Instagrammers as it allows huge flexibility to edit your images. You can then save these edits/settings as a preset and apply them to further images in just one click.
What is a Lightroom Preset?
A Lightroom preset is very similar to an Instagram filter because you can apply it to different photos in just one click. However, due to the advanced editing functions, you are able to minutely adjust parts of your edit without having to change the whole preset. For example, you can adjust only the intensity of the reds in the image, or reduce the amount of shadows, all without affecting the remainder of the preset’s settings.
Lightroom presets can help you create your signature look on your Instagram feed or product shoot. Using a preset will change your images to look in a certain style. This is particularly helpful if you would like to achieve consistency across your imagery.
Once you have found the preset you like you can also save time by bulk-editing your images. If you have images taken in the same light conditions (eg. all snapped on a sunny day at the beach) then you can apply the same preset to bring out the best in your images. Rather than editing each image, just apply the same preset and you will quickly achieve consistency across your shots, saving a heap of time in the process.
What are Mobile Lightroom Presets?
Mobile Lightroom presets work in the same way as a desktop preset, but can be also be used on your smartphone.
If you have both the desktop and mobile apps, your images and presets can be shared between your devices.
To start using Lightroom Mobile presets you will need to download the Lightroom App from your App Store or Google Play (free to download and use).
How do I get and install presets?
The majority of presets are available via download from online preset stores. If you are planning on using a mobile preset on your phone, it is best to download straight to your phone (rather than to your desktop and then transferring the file).
Once you have downloaded the file, unzip the file folder. To do this you will need the iZip app which is available from Google Play or the App Store.
There are a few steps to install a preset into Lightroom Mobile and I’d recommend you follow the step-by-step tutorial here: Chookapeck Lightroom Installation Instructions (downloadable PDF).
What images can I use presets on?
Lightroom presets work on all kinds of images. You can use them on photos snapped on your phone (usually JPEG or HEIC) or high-quality RAW images from your digital camera. Just import your image into Lightroom and you are ready to apply a preset.
It’s worth noting that because every image is different (amount of light, shadow, colours, etc) that some presets may require further adjustments. The most common edits are to adjust the colour mix of the preset and to change the exposure settings. Essentially you can edit your images to suit your preferred aesthetic or to suit the lighting conditions.
Where can I get Mobile Lightroom Presets?
Chookapeck has several Lightroom presets that are available separately or as a pack.
Like to learn more?
Would you like to dive a little deeper into Lightroom? I regularly host small group workshops – make sure you follow Chookapeck on Facebook or Instagram to get more details. Checkout upcoming Workshops here.
Alternatively, you could book in for a One-on-one Coaching session where you get 90 mins of tailored training in areas of your choice. Coaching sessions can be held in person or via video link using Zoom.
If you’re interested in a dedicated Beginners Guide to Lightroom and Lightroom Presets workshop then please email me to register your interest.