Can Lightroom Presets Save You?

Thomas Gets Clean
Thomas Gets Clean

Lightroom presets may not save you but they might be able to save you some time in post processing. Even if you don’t like the effect you can learn how it was created by looking at the applied settings, then just reset and start over.

The above photo is a RAW file converted using B&W Sombre Street, which is one in a set of twelve free presets called Street-Photography by Contrastly. Another set of presets I’ve found useful are offered by ON1.

Between the two there are ten free sets contain well over 150 different presets as well as free brushes for making local adjustments. Installing and removing them is as easy as shooting a bald eagle at the Conowingo Dam with a $12,000 600mm lens, maybe even easier.

All presets work with Adobe Lightroom 4, 5, 6, and CC. I downloaded mine a long time ago for Lightroom 3, so if you need that just do a quick search for older versions. Don’t forget to apply sharpening and noise reduction to your photos, they leave that up to you.

This photo is far from perfect but it took me ten seconds using the preset versus at least ten minutes to convert to black and white manually. Other than recovering some blown highlights you would never notice the difference at this size anyway.

Remember, you can’t save a bad photo; you can only convince yourself that it’s not a bad photo.

Note: Thomas is not in this facility to get clean and sober, he’s just having a bath. I feel it’s important to point this out for those who think that all trains come from the wrong side of the tracks.

Free Presets for Adobe Lightroom ON1 Inc.

Free Street Photography Presets by Contrastly

19 thoughts on “Can Lightroom Presets Save You?

    1. Most sets come with instructions but I just copy the folder into the Lightroom Develop Presets folder. I hope you find some useful. Using them is as easy as falling off a log.


                    1. That’s a lot of miles. I had around half that. I had a street bike too. So the XT didn’t get that much street use. I really miss riding.


  1. This all pretty much went over my head. Perhaps the reason I don’t truly pursue photography. It’s true – some trains stay on the right track rather than come from the wrong side of it.


          1. No it’s not strange really. Most people have something that is important to them – their craft, their art. It’s admirable to focus on something and want to do it well. I really enjoy your pictures 🙂


            1. Thanks. I’d like to find the line between hobby and obsession, then photograph it and put it on my wall. I’ll call it A Fine Line. OH! Something to do today!!!


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