Adobe Lightroom is one of the most popular and powerful photo editing tools. Many creators use presets to achieve a particular photography style, and you will often see photographers selling their presets (or giving them away for free).
However, creating your own presets can be more fun than using someone else’s. You can make these filters for all photography situations, so you’re never caught off-guard.
In this article, we’ll identify eight different styles of photography that you should make Lightroom presets for. You can use either Lightroom Classic or Lightroom Creative Cloud—whichever works best for you.
1. Golden Hour
Golden hour is one of the most popular times to take pictures. The lighting is ideal for capturing stunning shots and can make your subjects look more flattering. This period of the day is just before sunrise or sunset.
When editing golden hour photos, you’ll want to focus more on the warmer colors—such as orange, yellow, and red. You can use the color grading wheels to add more of these tones in different parts of your image, along with adjusting the individual hue, saturation, and luminance (HSL) sliders.
For golden hour photos, add a stronger contrast. And for landscape shots, you may also wish to add a little haze to your picture.
If you use Lightroom Classic to edit your photos, you can play around with the calibration sliders at the bottom of your screen.
2. Rainy Days
Rainy day photography is a lot of fun, even if getting wet can be a bit of a nuisance. Many photographers enjoy taking pictures on rainy days for the subdued feel, and you can get incredibly creative with your shots.
When creating presets for rainy day photography, you’ve got a wide selection of options. If you’re trying to achieve a darker and moodier photography style, you’ll want to reduce the exposure and desaturate your shots a little.
While you probably used a softer camera lens profile for golden hour photography, you might want to go for something chromatic in this instance. For example, if you use a FujiFilm camera, you can use the Classic CHROME profile.
3. Film and Analog Styles
While you will find countless photography styles these days, the analog look has never gone out of fashion. The good news is that even if you have a DSLR or mirrorless camera, you can replicate this look and feel.
When making your photos look older, you’ll want to focus on warmer tones; you can adjust your white balance by moving the meter in Lightroom into the yellow side. However, you can also alter your camera’s white balance by increasing the Kelvin meter’s number.
Another good idea for achieving a film photography look is to increase the grain in your photo. You can decide how much you’d like to move the slider in Lightroom; it’s more down to personal taste.
4. Sunny Days
While many photographers avoid taking pictures on sunny days, you can get some great shots if you’re willing to be creative. Like rainy day photography, you’ve got a lot of flexibility when making presets for sunny days—even if you take photos in harsh lighting.
One popular technique is to deliberately overexpose your pictures; you can increase the exposure slider in Lightroom to achieve this. However, if you want to create something that looks moodier, you can also go the opposite way and reduce the exposure.
When creating presets for sunny day photography, you can also consider increasing the warmer tones in your shots. You will especially want to do this when taking pictures at places like the beach.
5. Architectural Photography
Architectural photography is another genre where you have a lot of room for maneuver. The types of presets you create partially depend on your photographic style, but it also depends on the type of architecture you photograph.
If you’re capturing older buildings, you may wish to increase the texture in your photos and use warmer tones. On the flip side, modern architecture may warrant using colder colors and a flatter profile.
You can also change how your presets look for interiors, as you’ll have different lighting to work with compared to taking pictures from the outside.
6. Nighttime Photos
While golden hour is a popular time to take photos, photography doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Taking pictures at night is another popular genre; it’s more difficult, but you will find it extremely rewarding if you’re open to improving your skills.
Nighttime photography can cover architecture, but it’s also possible to take pictures of cars and landscapes. If you find yourself in a northerly latitude, you might even get to see the mythical Northern Lights.
You might need to increase exposure in some cases, but if you’re using artificial lighting, you may wish to reduce this. You’ll also need to ensure that you don’t allow grain creeping into your shots—unless you’re going for that particular style.
Portrait photography is another diverse genre, and you can capture images of others in multiple settings. If you regularly take photos of people, you might want to create a pack of presets that allow you to build a good editing base for your shots.
When creating presets for portraits, you’ll want to consider the specific style you’re going for. If you want to make them look more analog, for example, you can incorporate some of the things we mentioned in that section.
You can also tweak the saturation, vibrance, and contrast—based on what you’re aiming to achieve. One good idea might be to make presets for different outfits you expect your subjects to wear.
8. Street Photos
Street photography is one of the most exciting forms of image-taking. The genre allows you to tell the story of your city through your eyes, and it’s also a great way to take interesting pictures while traveling.
When making presets for street scenes, you’ll need to consider the lighting you normally photograph in. On top of that, you’ll need to consider how busy—or simple—they usually are.
You can experiment with different kinds of presets for street photography until you find what you’re looking for.
Build a Base for Your Photo Editing With Lightroom Presets
There isn’t a right or wrong way to make presets on Lightroom; what you create depends largely on your photography style. Once you’ve created them, you can easily save and refer to them whenever you need one for your pictures.
Even if you don’t stick with each preset religiously, creating them can help you gain a head start when editing your pictures. As such, you’ll enjoy more of a streamlined workflow.
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