8 Types of Lightroom Presets to Create for Different Photography Styles
Adobe Lightroom is one of the most popular and powerful photo editing tools. Many creators use presets to achieve a particular style of photography, and you’ll 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 create these filters for any photographic situation, so you’re never caught off guard.
In this article, we’ll identify eight different photography styles you should create Lightroom presets for. You can use 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 great for capturing stunning photos and can make your subjects look more flattering. This time of 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 to different parts of your image, while adjusting the individual hue, saturation, and luminance (HSL) sliders.
For golden hour photos, add stronger contrast. And for landscape photos, you can also add some haze to your photo.
If you use Lightroom Classic to edit your photos, you can play with the calibration sliders at the bottom of your screen.
2. Rainy days
Rainy day photography is great fun, although getting wet can be a little inconvenient. Many photographers like to shoot on rainy days for a subdued feel, and you can get incredibly creative with your photos.
When creating presets for rainy weather photography, you have a wide selection of options. If you’re trying to achieve a darker, darker style of photography, you’ll want to lower the exposure and desaturate your photos a bit.
While you probably used a softer camera lens profile for golden hour photography, you might want to go for something chromatic in this case. For example, if you are using a FujiFilm camera, you can use the Classic CHROME profile.
3. Cinematic and analog styles
Although you find countless styles in photography these days, the analog look has never gone out of style. The good news is that even if you have a DSLR or mirrorless camera, you can replicate this look and feel.
When giving your photos an older look, you’ll want to focus on warmer tones; you can adjust your white balance by moving the meter in Lightroom to the yellow side. However, you can also change your camera’s white balance by increasing the Kelvin number.
Another great idea for achieving a film photography look is to increase the grain of your photo. You can decide how much you want to move the slider in Lightroom; it’s more a matter of personal taste.
4. Sunny days
Although many photographers avoid shooting on sunny days, you can get some great shots if you’re willing to get creative. As with photography in the rain, you have great flexibility when creating presets for sunny days, even if you take pictures in difficult lighting.
A popular technique is to deliberately overexpose your photos; you can increase the exposure slider in Lightroom to achieve this. However, if you want to create something that looks more moody, you can also go the other way around and reduce the exposure.
When creating presets for sunny weather photography, you might also consider increasing the warmer tones in your shots. You’ll especially want to do this when taking photos in places like the beach.
5. Architectural Photography
Architectural photography is another genre where you have a lot of leeway. The types of presets you create partly depend on your photography style, but it also depends on the type of architecture you are shooting.
If you capture older buildings, you may want to increase the texture of your photos and use warmer tones. On the other hand, modern architecture may warrant the use of cooler colors and a flatter profile.
You can also change the look of your presets for interiors, as you will have different lighting to work with compared to shooting outdoors.
6. Night shots
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’ll find it extremely rewarding if you’re willing to improve your skills.
Night photography can cover architecture, but it is also possible to take photos of cars and landscapes. If you are in a northern latitude, you can even see the mythical Northern Lights.
You may need to increase the exposure in some cases, but if you are using artificial lighting you may want to reduce it. You’ll also need to make sure that you don’t let grain seep into your shots unless you go for that particular style.
Portrait photography is another diverse genre, and you can capture images of other people in multiple settings. If you regularly take pictures of people, you might want to create a pack of presets that will allow you to create a good editing base for your shots.
When creating presets for portraits, you’ll want to consider the specific style you’re looking for. If you want to make them more analog, for example, you can incorporate some of the things we’ve mentioned in this section.
You can also tweak saturation, vibrance, and contrast, depending on what you want to achieve. A good idea might be to create presets for different outfits you want your subjects to wear.
8. Street pictures
Street photography is one of the most exciting forms of image taking. The genre lets you tell the story of your city through your eyes, and it’s also a great way to take interesting photos while traveling.
When creating presets for street scenes, you will need to consider the lighting in which you normally shoot. In addition to this, you will need to consider how busy or simple they are.
You can experiment with different types of presets for street photography until you find what you are looking for.
Build a foundation for your photo editing with Lightroom presets
There’s no right or wrong way to create presets in Lightroom; what you create largely depends on your style of photography. Once you’ve created them, you can easily save them and refer to them whenever you need them for your photos.
Even if you don’t stick to every preset religiously, creating them can help you get a head start when editing your photos. As such, you’ll benefit more from a streamlined workflow.