When it comes to editing your photography on the go, it doesn't get much easier than presets for the Lightroom Mobile app (LR Mobile). Presets are predetermined sets of adjustment actions that allow you to apply multiple editing tools at once, the exact same way, across multiple pictures. To find out how you can create, use, and import presets with Lightroom Mobile, and fast-track your editing process, continue reading below.
Are Lightroom Mobile Presets Better Than App Filters?
Photography filters VSCO, Instagram, and other photo editing apps are similar to presets in LR Mobile. However, there are some significant differences. Although photo filters can be incredibly useful, Lightroom Mobile presets are unquestionably better for a variety of reasons.
Lightroom Mobile Presets Vs. VSCO, Instagram, & App Photo Filters
Imagine, if you will, that your unedited photographs are blank canvases. Keeping with this analogy, applying a filter to your pictures is essentially the equivalent of pouring a can of paint on your canvas, the result being that you get one uniformly painted, solid color on the canvas.
Conversely, applying a Lightroom Mobile preset is like painting your blank canvas with a premade stencil, an artist's palette, and a brush set! While VSCO, Instagram, and other app photo filters are restrictive and can destroy the quality of your photographs, presets grant you full access to tweak adjustments as you see fit and maintain the resolution of your pictures.
What Happens When You Apply A Preset?
As previously stated, presets in Lightroom Mobile give you the option to perform a series of editing actions (i.e., saturation, hue, contrast, shadows, highlights, etc.) with a single click. Rather than manually going through every editing adjustment one by one yourself, presets are designed to save you time editing by running each editing action in a specific order automatically.
When To Use Lightroom Mobile Presets
The old saying goes, "there's a time and place for everything," and it certainly holds true for Lightroom Mobile Presets as well. So, let's get into when you should, and shouldn't, use LR presets to edit your photography.
You Should Use Lightroom Presents When...
Developing a Style - As you develop your style, you'll find yourself gravitating towards specific editing techniques over others. Using presets can help you explore these techniques and aid in finding your preferences and your approach to editing.
Editing for Consistency - Because presets apply the same editing tools the same way every time, they're ideal for brands, photographers, and even Instagram users. Using LR Mobile presets to improve your pictures ensures that they're all color graded the same and maintain a distinct aesthetic throughout multiple photos.
Learning Editing Tools - You can also use presets to further your mobile photo editing experience just by identifying the settings affected. Don't be afraid to play around with the separate adjustments to see how they change the overall edit.
Quick Editing - For any pictures that require a short turn-around time for editing, presets are the penultimate tool.
You Shouldn't Use Lightroom Presets When...
The Photo Doesn't Match - Unfortunately, presets are not a one-size-fits-all solution to editing. A preset that's been designed for use over photos of the ocean or landscapes isn't going to work on, say, a portrait or close-up macro photography,and vice versa.
Editing For Subtleties - If your editing style is more on the subtle side, it can be challenging to know when your editing with presets has gone too far. Because presets are highly stylized and often result in dramatic changes, achieving a more understated look requires a lot more finesse with presets and can be time-consuming and tedious.
You're Feeling Lazy - One of the most common misconceptions that I hear, even among professional photographers, is that presets are a kind of shortcut or cheat code. However, if the only reason you're using a preset is to hasten along the editing process. For no other reason, then you're only ultimately robbing yourself of the chance to develop your style and personal touch.
How To Create And Access Your Own Presets In Lightroom Mobile
Remember, never save a preset using local adjustments. If you do, you'll find that when applied to a new photo, that area-specific adjustment no longer correlates to the same subject.
Step-by-step guide to create and access presets 1. Open the photo you wish to edit and begin editing as you normally would. 2. After you apply the settings to the photo, tap on the 'More' icon in the top right corner of the screen; it should look like three dots in a circle. 3. The edit menu screen should pop up. Click on the button marked 'Create Preset.' 4. When the new preset menu appears, you can choose to name your preset, organize presets into groups, and select which effects are saved as a component of the preset. Click on the white checkmark in the top right corner of the screen to save your preset. 5. Now, open the next image you'd like to edit on the LR Mobile app. 6. Scroll left across the bottom navigation panel and tap on the presets icon. 7. Once you open the presets menu, tap on the preset you want to apply to preview the final outcome and click on the white checkmark in the bottom right corner to apply it.
How To Share (Or Sell!) Your LR Preset
Now that you know how to create your own presets for Lightroom Mobile, you can start uploading your presets to websites like Etsy and selling them for a profit! Additionally, you can use photo editing and sharing apps like VSCO, Facebook, and Instagram to show off how your presets change photos to potential customers before they buy.
How To Find Lightroom Mobile Presets Online
Creating presets isn't for everyone, and that's okay! You can also download Lightroom Mobile presets directly to your phone for free or purchase premade presets from other Lightroom users.
Where To Find Free LR Presets
Even if you are comfortable creating your own presets, I recommend taking some time to experiment with free premade presets. Trying out readymade presets is almost like getting a crash course in someone's editing style. It provides you with the opportunity to get a glimpse of precisely which editing tools are used, how they're adjusted, and the order they're modified in.
You can also purchase individual presets and packs of presets from a host of online retailers, like those listed below. If you're interested in purchasing presets for Lightroom Mobile, I suggest starting with presets on Etsy or Adobe Presets.
How To Install Purchased Mobile Presets Directly On Your Smartphone
Do you already have presets programmed into your Lightroom Desktop Application? Then, anytime you open your Lightroom Mobile app, all of your presets will immediately sync to the cloud.
Luckily, you can install presets in Lightroom Mobile directly from your smartphone for anyone who doesn't currently have access to the Lightroom Desktop App. Whether you purchase mobile presets or use free presets, the editing process goes as follows:
1. Download the presets you want to install. For LR Mobile, your presets must be in a DNG file format. If your presets download as a ZIP file, you'll need to unzip the folder before you can continue. 2. Open your LR Mobile App and find the blue buttons in the bottom right corner of the screen. Click on the 'Add Photos' button (it's the one that looks like a picture with a plus sign on it). 3. Select the folder with your downloaded presets and tap on the presets you want to import. 4. Find the circle icon with three dots located in the top right corner of the screen and tap on it to open the menu. 5. Click create preset to open the New Preset screen. Here, you can name your presets, organize your presets by groups, and choose which settings to save (I suggest clicking all of the boxes when you're first starting, then try parring it down once you're more experienced to fine-tune your presets). 6. Tap on the checkmark icon located in the top right corner of the screen to save your preset
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