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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are thousands of websites with free Lightroom Mobile Presets available for download straight to your phone, but here are just a few to get you pointed in the right direction:
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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