What Are Presets In Photography?


In the world of photography, presets are powerful tools that can transform the look and feel of a photo with just a click. They are pre-configured settings that allow photographers to apply a specific combination of adjustments, such as exposure, color grading, and contrast, to their images. Presets act as a shortcut, saving photographers valuable time and effort in post-processing.

Presets have revolutionized the way photographers edit their photos, providing them with a consistent and efficient workflow. By using presets, photographers can achieve a desired aesthetic or style in their images, whether it’s a moody black and white look, a vibrant and colorful tone, or a vintage-inspired vibe. With presets, photographers can easily enhance the visual appeal of their photos and maintain a cohesive look across their portfolio or a series of images.

What Are Presets in Photography?

Understanding Presets in Photography

Presets are an essential tool in the world of photography. If you’re a professional photographer or even an enthusiast, you’ve likely come across presets at some point in your photography journey. But what exactly are presets, and why are they so popular?

In simple terms, presets are pre-determined settings or configurations that can be applied to your photos with just a few clicks. Think of them as ready-made filters that allow you to transform the look and feel of your images instantly. Presets are often created by professional photographers or editing experts who have spent countless hours perfecting their editing styles and want to share their workflows with others.

Using presets can greatly streamline your editing process and help you achieve consistency in your images. Instead of manually adjusting various settings like exposure, contrast, saturation, and color balance, presets save you time by automatically applying these adjustments to your photos. Whether you shoot portraits, landscapes, or any other genre of photography, presets provide a quick and efficient way to enhance your images and bring your creative vision to life.

The Benefits of Using Presets

There are several reasons why photographers, both professional and amateur, love using presets in their workflow. Here are some key benefits:

  • Time-saving: Presets allow you to apply complex adjustments to your photos with just a few clicks, saving you valuable editing time.
  • Consistency: Using presets ensures that your images maintain a consistent look and feel, even when working with different lighting conditions or shooting environments.
  • Efficiency: With presets, you can easily experiment with different editing styles and looks, making it easier to find the perfect aesthetic for your photos.
  • Learning Tool: By studying and dissecting presets created by professionals, you can gain insights into their editing techniques, helping you improve your own editing skills.

Overall, presets offer a convenient and effective way to enhance your photos, experiment with different editing styles, and achieve professional-looking results without spending hours manually adjusting each setting.

How to Use Presets

Using presets in your photography editing workflow is relatively straightforward. Here are the general steps to follow:

  • Step 1: Find and Download Presets: Many photographers and editing experts offer presets for free or for purchase. Look for reputable sources that provide presets that match your desired editing style.
  • Step 2: Install Presets: Once you have the presets, you’ll need to install them in your preferred editing software. Most popular editing programs, such as Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop, have options to import and install presets.
  • Step 3: Apply Presets: Once the presets are installed, open your chosen photo in the editing software and navigate to the preset panel. Select the preset you want to apply, and with a single click, the adjustments will be applied to your photo.
  • Step 4: Fine-tune Adjustments: While presets provide a great starting point, you may need to make some additional adjustments to suit the specific characteristics of your image. Use the basic editing tools to fine-tune the preset’s effects and make any necessary modifications.
  • Step 5: Save and Export: Once you’re satisfied with the edits, save your final photo and export it in your desired file format for sharing or printing.

Remember, using presets is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Different presets may work better for certain types of photos or lighting conditions, so it’s essential to experiment and find the presets that suit your style and specific image requirements.

Creating Your Own Presets

While downloading presets created by others is a popular option, many photographers choose to create their own presets. This allows them to develop a unique editing style and maintain consistency in their work. Here’s how you can create your own presets:

  • Step 1: Edit a Photo: Start by editing a photo using your preferred editing software. Adjust all the settings until you achieve the desired look.
  • Step 2: Save Your Adjustments as a Preset: Once you’re satisfied with the edits, save the adjustments as a preset. In software like Adobe Lightroom, you can easily create a preset by selecting the “Create Preset” option in the Develop module.
  • Step 3: Name and Save the Preset: Give your new preset a descriptive name that reflects the editing style or the desired effect. Save it in a location where you can easily access it in the future.
  • Step 4: Apply the Preset: To apply your preset, open a new photo and navigate to the preset panel. Select the preset you created, and the edits will be applied instantly.

By creating your own presets, you have full control over the editing style and can develop a unique look that represents your artistic vision. Additionally, you can save time by automating the editing process for future photos that require a similar look.

Finding the Right Presets for Your Photography

With the ever-growing popularity of presets, there is a vast selection of options available in the market. However, not all presets will suit your photography style or aesthetic preferences. Here are some factors to consider when choosing presets:

  • Compatibility: Ensure that the presets you choose are compatible with your editing software. Different programs have different preset file formats, so double-check before downloading.
  • Intended Use: Consider the type of photography you specialize in, such as portraits, landscapes, or street photography. Look for presets specifically designed for your desired genre.
  • Editing Style: Every photographer has a unique editing style. Look for presets that align with your personal preferences and complement your artistic vision.
  • Reviews and Recommendations: Read reviews or seek recommendations from other photographers who have used the presets you’re interested in. Their experiences can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision.

It’s important to note that while presets can be a great starting point for your editing process, they are not a substitute for understanding the fundamental principles of image editing. Experimenting with different presets and making your own adjustments will help you develop a unique editing style and create visually captivating images.

In Conclusion

Presets are a powerful tool that can significantly enhance your editing workflow in photography. They provide a convenient and efficient way to apply pre-determined adjustments and achieve consistent, professional-looking results. Whether you choose to use presets created by others or create your own, they can save you time, help you experiment with different editing styles, and streamline your creative process.

Remember, presets are just one aspect of the photography editing process. It’s essential to continue honing your skills and understanding the underlying principles of image editing to truly unlock your creative potential. So go ahead, explore the world of presets, and elevate your photography to new heights.

Key Takeaways: What Are Presets in Photography?

  • Presets are pre-determined settings that can be applied to photos to achieve a certain look or style.
  • They help photographers save time by instantly applying a consistent set of edits to multiple images.
  • Presets are commonly used in post-processing software like Lightroom and Photoshop.
  • They allow photographers to experiment with different looks and styles without starting from scratch each time.
  • Presets can be created by photographers themselves or downloaded from online marketplaces.

Presets in photography are pre-designed settings that can be applied to photos to change their appearance and enhance their overall look. They are like filters that can be easily applied to make your photos look more professional or give them a specific style or mood.

Presets save time and effort by providing a quick way to make your photos look great without having to manually adjust every setting. They can be used in various photo editing programs and are widely available online, both free and for purchase. By using presets, even beginner photographers can achieve professional-looking results with just a few clicks.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here