Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating your own presets, part of Lightroom: Creative Color.
In this chapter, we will turn our attention towards looking at how we can speed up and expand our color workflow by working with presets. In this first movie I want to talk about how we can create and use a custom preset. So the first thing that I need to do is to open up the panels over here on the left. To do that I'll click on this triangle icon. Then next I want to show you a few images. These are some photographs of some family friends down at the beach, a mother and daughter. And as I go through these photographs you can see they're all captured at the same time and relatively the same light.
And often when you have groups of images like this it can be helpful to create a preset so that you can quickly process the images. The way that you do that, is that you start off with a photograph and go through the workflow. Here starting in the basic panel, I'll go ahead and increase my exposure a little bit, add some contrast, maybe drop the highlights down a touch, bring up the shadows, actually, just a little bit there, and then darken those blacks, add a little bit of clarity, and just a little bit of vibrance. Now with this, right here, I think this is a pretty fun way to process this photograph and just experiment a little bit there with the sliders.
Once you have a particular look that you've created, and here's our before and after: let me warm that up a little bit too here, so just drag my temperature slider over a little bit, once you have a look that you like and you want to save and maybe reuse, what you can do is go over here to the Presets panel, click on the plus icon, this will open up the ability to give this a name, and I'm just going to call this one Beach-Sunset, you want to name it something that you will remember, in this case it was captured at the beach, subjects are backlight, maybe I'll add that in there as well, backlight.
Then next we can choose our Settings. You can either Check None, and then specifically say, hey I just want my basic tonal adjustments, or, Check All, which I'll do here with this one, and then next click create. That will then create a preset here, inside of your User Presets folder. If ever you need to change that, you can right-click it, and here what we can do is choose to rename this, this will open up our naming dialogue. You can also right-click it and say hey, you know what I need to do, is I need to change this one, and you want to update it with the current settings.
For example, let's say we've decided that we want to warm this up even a little bit more, so I've changed it, I'll go over here, right-click, and say, update it with whatever settings that we have over here, and then we'll click Update. So you can always customize them and tweak them as needed. Now next you can go through your photographs, like this one here, if you want to reuse a preset well just click on that name there, and sometimes what you'll find, is that preset will be a really good starting point. Perhaps like with this one, it's good, but I want a little bit more contrast, and change my brightness just a touch there as well.
Because each and every image won't have the same exact exposure, but it does really jumpstart your creativity, and allows you to apply a look. Now I should point out, as we've mentioned before, in the basic panel we can obviously modify exposure. But other things affect the color in the image as well, like as we increase or decrease the contrast that's creating a color look, and all of these controls do that. Now can you have a preset with more than the basic panel? Of course, if you want to apply an HSL adjustment, or Split Toning or whatever it is, you can do that.
And the great thing about this is it can help to speed up your workflow, like we've done here with these images. And you can also use it in the future. Let's say, in the future, you come upon some images like this one here, where you think, this one might benefit from this preset, go ahead and click on it to apply that. And here I'll just go through a few more images, and apply the presets here. And with these you can see how we were able to really quickly craft a look in these photographs, and we're able to do that with the preset. And what I tend to think about presets is this; I think of them really as a starting point.
Because often a preset can be a little bit, I don't know, specific to one image. So if it isn't perfect, or if the settings aren't just right, don't settle for what you have there, fine tune it as needed, but think of it as a way to jumpstart the creativity, get those creative juices flowing, and apply creative looks to your photographs in some really fun ways. Now if ever you've decided that you need to get rid of a preset, like I have one right here, that doesn't really work, well you can right-click, or control-click it, then just choose Delete, and now it's gone, and then we can go ahead and re-apply this one here.
Alright, well that wraps up our look at how we can create and use custom presets. Next let's take a look at how we can use third party presets and we'll do that in the next movie.
- Using the core color tools
- Changing a background color
- Painting in a new hair color
- Working on a landscape
- Fine-tuning color with split toning
- Working with the HSL controls
- Creating your own color presets
- Finding and managing third-party color presets
- Crafting unique color looks