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I'm a firm believer that every image you work on deserves individual attention. In other words, I think you should focus on making sure the adjustments you apply to a given image are specifically tailored to making that image look its best. As a result, I don't generally advocate applying a generic adjustment to a group of images. However, Presets in Lightroom can actually be a really big help when working on an image. They can provide you with some creative inspiration, but they also can help you get a little bit closer to your final destination with very little effort.
Let's take a look at how Presets can be used. Over in the left panel in the Develop Module, you'll find the Presets section and Lightroom includes a series of presets that you can use. You can also, of course, create your own presets or obtain presets from other sources, I'll go ahead and expand the list of Black and White Presets. And as you mouse over each of the names of the Presets, you'll see that the navigator shows a preview of what the image will look like if you apply that Preset. So, you can explore the various options and see if you find a preset that might work well for the image you're currently working on.
In addition to the Black and White Options, we have some Color Effect Presets as well as some Creative Effect Presets. And you can go through each of these and find whatever preset you think might be a good fit for this image. I'll go ahead and start with a Black and White Preset. I'll scroll down the list a little bit here. And I see, here's a nice Sepia tone. The Selenium tone actually looks quite of interesting for this image. There's some different Filter Effects, all sorts of options that we can choose from. And I think I'll start off with a Selenium tone though, that looks pretty interesting.
Now, there's actually no magic behind a Preset, it's simply saving settings that's established for the page over on the right panel in the Develop module. That means if you choose a Preset, you can see exactly how the effect was achieved. Even better, you can fine tune each of the settings in order to improve the overall appearance of the image. You can also create your own Preset, if you decide you've create a nice effect, either by improving upon the Settings from an existing Preset or starting from scratch.
I'll go ahead and reset this image, for example. And I'll apply some adjustments that will create a bit of a sort of contrasty and more vibrant appearance in the image. That almost makes the image, in this case, look a bit like a painting, so to me, this sort of feels like a contrasty paint release sort of effect. And if I decide I might like to apply this effect to other images later, I can save the Preset. I'll go ahead and scroll up on the left panel to the top of the Presets section, and then click the plus button to create a new Preset.
That will bring up the New Develop Preset Dialog, and I can give the preset a name. I'll go ahead and call this Contrasty Painterly. And I can also choose which folder that Preset should be stored in. I'll just leave this Preset in the User Presets folder. I can then choose which specific adjustments should be included with this Preset. In this case, I've only applied a few adjustments in the Basic section. So, not really a need to worry about all of the various check boxes that are here.
In general, I do apply all of the settings as part of a Preset, but that's not necessary. For example, I could create a Vignette effect and then have only the Vignette saved as part of that Preset. So that when I apply it to an image, none of the other adjustments will be altered. But in this case, I'm not going to worry about singling out specific adjustments. I'll just allow all of these settings to be saved. I can then click the Create button, and all of those settings will be saved in a Preset called Contrasty Painterly. So, I could then apply that exact same Preset to another image to produce a similar effect.
So, as you can see, Presets allow you to explore some possibilities for your images. But also, to save the settings that you've decided work well for certain images, so they too can be applied to other images in the future.
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