How to Make the Most of Lightroom Presets: 4 Key Adjustments
4 Key adjustments to make to get the best results when using Lightroom Presets
Perhaps you had your eye on some Lightroom mobile presets for a while and after finally deciding on purchasing, you download your preset only to test them and realise your pictures don’t look like the sample pictures.
All photos are different as they are all taken with different cameras and in different lighting conditions, this of course alters the effect of the preset in use.
Just because your presets didn’t work with one click, doesn’t mean you should give up on them.
Presets are designed to give you a jump start in your editing and allow you to get a consistent look with your content.
Most of the times all you'll need to do is some basic adjustments before your photo is looking great.
Here are 4 key adjustments to help you make the most of your presets.
Within the light tab you’ll find exposure, Contrast, shadows, highlights & blacks. The correct exposure can make a big difference in how your preset will affect your image. Paired with adjustments of the shadow and black sliders and you can achieve the perfect result. Also try experimenting with Contrast, lowering the contrast can balance out the tones of an image and increasing it can give it more pop. If a shot if looking too dull after lowering the contrast add a little vibrance to bring it back.
The white balance can have a big impact on the final result of your photos.
When editing on Lightroom mobile the Colour tab is your best friend, here you can find the temp & tint slider.
Make slight adjustments to the temperature or tint sliders as needed. If your image appears to warm, adjust the temperature to the left. If there’s a green tone throughout an image move the slider towards the right to add magenta to balance the green or vice versa. Play with the sliders until the image feels right.
In the photo below you’ll see how just a change in temp can make a huge difference. The sunset feels a bit cool but by just moving the Temp slider to the right you can see the impact it has on the image creating the mood we wanted. Remember this all depends on what you feel looks right as with photography a lot of it comes to personal creative taste.
In the Colour tab you also find saturation and vibrance, we recommend using the vibrance slider to increase the intensity of the colours. The difference between vibrance and saturation is that vibrance increases the intensity of muted colours more than already saturated colours without affecting the skin tones too much.
Our favourite tool is Colour mix where you can play around with individual colours using the HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance).
The MIX tool is a great option because it allows you to adjust each colour individually as needed.
Do you want brighter blues? Select the blue HSL and increase the luminance. Do you want the blue to be more aqua? move the hue slider to the left. Do you want a more intense blue? move the saturation slider to the right. You can do this for any individual colour in your picture.
Adjusting skin tones
A common issue when people first start using presets is that the skin tone doesn’t look quite right.
Depending on your camera and the lighting conditions some presets may affect skin tones more intensely, if your not happy with the tone of your skin in the image use the Colour Mix tab and select the orange HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance) to tweak your skin tone with saturation and luminance until you are happy.