Lightroom Presets - Which are most useful?

Started Dec 31, 2012 | Discussions thread
m.holmes Regular Member • Posts: 320
Re: Lightroom Presets - Which are most useful?

czaharop wrote:

Hello all,

Any opinions on which Lightroom 4 presets available for purchase (or free!!) you have actually found to be useful? I am looking for a few presets which produce "Vintage" or "Antique" looks that are actually attractive. I tried a few "free download" presets but generally was disappointed with the results. Any suggestions are appreciated!


I spent some time investigating the issue with presets, and here's a summary of my personal findings: (feel free to disagree, btw).

There are two kind of presets, "soft" and "extreme". the soft presets apply very light corrections, and they are generally not useful. I'm a very experienced lightroom and photohop user, so I can usually do much better within 1-2 minutes.

The "extreme" presets on the opposite apply BIG corrections to achieve creative effects. These are the presets that I like most. A very good example, with a free sample is the "creative catalyst" series:

(see demo images here:

You may want to read this big guide, first:

As a rule, evaluating a preset is sometimes hard, some are very good on specific kind of pictures, and a disaster on everything else; presets intended for a specific scene may turn out to be very good also for something completely unrelated (this often happens with presets for wedding). You need a lot of practice to decide, and very often you want to look at the xml of the preset itself to understand what/how it does.

Finally, if you want to make some presets yourself, you may start reading a book from Scott Kelby. He shows good examples.

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