Art and Photography

Recommendations for the best paid and FREE Lightroom presets?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 14th, 2017 3:50 pm
[OP]
Member
Sep 4, 2016
389 posts
110 upvotes

Recommendations for the best paid and FREE Lightroom presets?

For mainly portraiture, landscape and sports.

I am asking because there are so many free and paid presets out there but so many of these sites have so much spam and make you sign this, like their FB page just to download. I would like to cut to the chase and go with suggest top ones that others (who have used them) recommend.

Thanks
11 replies
Deal Addict
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Oct 5, 2004
1255 posts
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Toronto
If you dedicate a day learning Lightroom, you can make your own presets. A day is not that much to ask, if you are serious about it. Photographers used to go to universities and colleges and study for years, I am surprised to see newbies not willing to spend a couples days learning the craft :( If you can't learn LR on your own, there are always youtube videos that can help you to start the process. LR manual also quite handy too.
LR Presets are very easy to make on your own and Lightroom is way easier than Photoshop that requires years of experience know your way around.
Dmitri Markine Wedding Photography: My 500pix||My Flickr||My Pinterest||My Instagram
[OP]
Member
Sep 4, 2016
389 posts
110 upvotes
demi2004 wrote:
Aug 8th, 2017 7:20 pm
If you dedicate a day learning Lightroom, you can make your own presets. A day is not that much to ask, if you are serious about it. Photographers used to go to universities and colleges and study for years, I am surprised to see newbies not willing to spend a couples days learning the craft :( If you can't learn LR on your own, there are always youtube videos that can help you to start the process. LR manual also quite handy too.
LR Presets are very easy to make on your own and Lightroom is way easier than Photoshop that requires years of experience know your way around.
I know LR, but when you are editing photos, presets is the way to go. Not everyone can spend 20mins a photo to edit them.
Sr. Member
May 17, 2012
731 posts
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grand valley
DiamondDallasPage wrote:
Aug 8th, 2017 8:46 pm
I know LR, but when you are editing photos, presets is the way to go. Not everyone can spend 20mins a photo to edit them.
right, but you can easily make your own presets. do that 20 minute edit once and save it as a preset. this is essentially all that presets free or paid really are.
[OP]
Member
Sep 4, 2016
389 posts
110 upvotes
esoxhntr wrote:
Aug 9th, 2017 12:14 am
right, but you can easily make your own presets. do that 20 minute edit once and save it as a preset. this is essentially all that presets free or paid really are.
I don't use the same preset for every photograph so if I want 100 presets for portraits, I don't have the time to spend 40 hours making presets.
Deal Fanatic
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Jun 15, 2012
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What exactly do you want the preset to do?

I've tried hundreds of presets, all it does is make it look like my work was done by hundreds of photographers. This is one instance where more is not better. If you are after a certain look, remember that you mostly have to get it in camera first, using light modifiers if necessary.

To partly answer your question, I sometimes use Mastin Labs, VSCO is another one. Both attempt to emulate film to give it a pastel fine art look. That sounds cool but it can wreck havoc if you don't use it properly. There are 6-8 options in the 2nd step depending on the original light and what detail you want to preserve, then a 3rd grain step. It doesn't take much to make the image look weird if you don't tweak it so you really need to know what the sliders do to get the final image on track. When they show you before/after on the site, I guarantee it's not a one click process. A professional has fine tuned each image, and of course the base image is a perfect workable sample.

However in general, I mostly use my own presets. Presets as you know are not local fixes and they do not fix exposure and WB. In fact, they are not fixes at all. That said I bet most presets require tweaking from RAW to RAW, especially when the lighting changes.
Deal Fanatic
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Jun 15, 2012
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Been editing wedding images the past month, I forgot about Ps actions and overlays, newborns (Kelly Brown), children/family photos (PaintTheMoon), and headshots (StyleMyPic).

And a few things that can't be done easily in Lightroom for RE photography such as skewing lines true and preserving light pixels when stacking exposures.

I wouldn't call any of that "best", just what I use for workflow.
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Jul 4, 2006
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I think newbs (myself included) know that we should be shooting raw. But still want the SOOC jpg "look" for our camera as a starting point before playing around with it.
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May 17, 2012
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grand valley
poorwingman wrote:
Aug 9th, 2017 10:32 pm
I think newbs (myself included) know that we should be shooting raw. But still want the SOOC jpg "look" for our camera as a starting point before playing around with it.
I created a preset to do just that. I had my camera shoot raw + jpg, then modified the raw to look like the jpg, saved the settings as a preset and now if I want any raw to appear like the SOOC jpg I just apply the preset.
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Jun 15, 2012
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I've read from many in different forums that people who are not after any particular or personal style and just want that sort of accuracy for RAW conversions, use Canon DPP because it is based on their own cameras/standards (if you shoot Canon).
Newbie
Mar 22, 2013
4 posts
3 upvotes
Toronto
This may go slightly off topic as they are not presets but plug-ins, but I would recommend that you download and try the free NIK suite of tools. Unlike a preset, you have to right-click your image in Lightroom, then select Edit-In then choose the NIK tool you would like to experiment with. Once your image is in the NIK tool you can use their presets and then finally send your image back to Lightroom. For B&W conversion NIK Silver Efex is highly regarded.
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Oct 5, 2004
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DiamondDallasPage wrote:
Aug 8th, 2017 8:46 pm
I know LR, but when you are editing photos, presets is the way to go. Not everyone can spend 20mins a photo to edit them.
I don't think you understood what I was trying to tell you...
And it shouldn't take you 20 minutes to edit an image( well, maybe some,but not most) if you know LR, nor would you ask the question :) It's ok to admit you are not a photoshop/LR guru YET. ;)


As I said, take some time to learn it and you will understand how to make presets for specific LIGHT and LIGHTING conditions or scenes or exposures( eg. some presets may work better on dark/light images,but not all of them). There are no presets out there that will work for every single photo and situation. Not unless you are a fashion photographer, shooting in your studio with the same light and same backgrounds!

You spend that 20 minutes it takes you, save the result as preset and then when you will get an image with the same light condition, you can apply that preset. There's no need to have 100 presets. 4-8 Black/White presets and maybe 5-15 color presets for different lighting conditions should cover most things on average. A preset should be used as a base for your editing. You apply it, then change some settings to fit your image - and that's when knowledge of LR comes in.
Dmitri Markine Wedding Photography: My 500pix||My Flickr||My Pinterest||My Instagram

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