How to Create a Preset in Lightroom CC | Light Stalking

How to Create a Preset in Lightroom CC

By Sheen Watkins / November 9, 2015

We all have our own personal processing preferences that we do 99% of the time. From the moment we import files into Lightroom to the time we export a file for printing, we can create presets. A preset is the method of naming and saving processing steps for future, repetitive use when needed.  Presets can be used in a myriad of post processing steps. Some examples of where presets can be used include:
Auto Layouts
Local Adjustment/Graduated Filters
File naming

Presets are easy to create. We'll walk through how to set up a preset using 2 examples from the list above.

Develop Preset Example

There are development adjustments I would apply 99% of the time I imported my raw files in to Lightroom. These included:

  1. Take out sharpening – Lightroom automatically applies a small amount of sharpening to a raw file. My preference is to take out the sharpening. I may add sharpening later in my workflow on a given image if needed.
  2. Lens corrections – Lightroom has the ability to modify and adjust an image based on the lens that was used. I would always check┬áboth the Enable Profile Corrections and Remove Chromatic Aberration in the Lens Corrections Panel.

To take care of these steps, I created a User Preset titled ” Landscape” that performs those three actions with one click.

20151105-81swnaturephotonov1-Develop Preset

To create a Develop Preset:

  1. Make the standard adjustments you want to save for future use
  2. Go to the Preset Panel on the left side that's underneath the Navigator Panel. Select the ‘+' and the menu shown above will pop up
  3. Select the options you want to keep, name the preset and save
  4. To apply the preset to a different file, go to that file and then click that specific preset

Export Preset Example

Creating an Export Preset is another example of saving a few steps in your workflow. I typically export files for use in social media or for my website. For my website, I export large files and do not use a watermark. For social media, I scale the file size down and apply a watermark.


To create an Export Preset:

  1. Select and customize the options you want to apply in the export pane
  2. Click on User Preset
  3. Click Add and then name the preset

Over the course of time, I've created multiple presets to perform standard actions. They are easy to create and save time. Additionally, there are presets that have been created by others (photographers, groups and companies). Some are free and some have a fee.

About the author

Sheen Watkins

Sheen Watkins is a conservationist, wildlife photographer, instructor, author and photography writer. You can follow her photography on Facebook, Instagram and her website.


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