Stop wasting money on Lightroom presets: here are three reasons to create your own

Feb 22, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Stop wasting money on Lightroom presets: here are three reasons to create your own

Feb 22, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Lightroom presets can be a handy tool for learning how to edit. However, it’s easy to fall into a trap of thinking that they’re a quick fix for all of your images. In this video, Mark Denney explains why buying presets isn’t such a good idea. Instead of investing money, it’s much better to invest some time and create your own presets, and here are three big reasons why.

YouTube video

1. Better workflow efficiencies

First, making your own presets will help you to speed up your workflow and be more efficient. If you apply the same effects to most of your photos, you can create a custom-made preset that will make your editing time much shorter. From here on, you can make minor tweaks to each photo, but you won’t have to edit every one of them from scratch.

I’d like to add something that crossed my mind: the same settings will not work for all of your shots. Instead, make several “quick start” presets to cover your different types of photo. For example, make a preset for night time shots, for landscape photos in cloudy weather, in sunny weather, etc.

2. Finding your own creative style

Finding your own style is an important part of being a photographer and creating your own presets is a great step towards it. Mark notes that most of the presets he used to buy would contain far too detailed settings. So, he would have to spend lots of time fixing the preset after applying it. I remember doing the same when I first started playing with presets – most of the time, they just didn’t look right on my photos and I always had to tweak them to match my style and preferences.

So, isn’t it easier to just create your own presets? Then, they will contain the edits that match your style and preferences and won’t require you so much time to tweak them. Mark notes that it works much better if you create presets that only contain one setting instead of the whole set.

3. Improving your post-processing

Last, but definitely not the least, creating your own Lightroom presets makes you better at post-processing. When you apply readymade presets you bought, it can make you lazy. But creating your own presets makes you do everything from scratch and practice all the details of Lightroom editing. Ultimately, you’ll become better at post-processing, and it’s an important part of creating your own style and making the best of your images.

Personally, I played with presets a bit when I started using Lightroom, but I soon gave it up. I prefer creating my own presets and I agree with Mark’s points. What about you? Do you buy presets or prefer to make your own?

[3 Reasons to CREATE YOUR OWN Lightroom PRESETS | Mark Denney]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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11 responses to “Stop wasting money on Lightroom presets: here are three reasons to create your own”

  1. Kevin Kane Avatar
    Kevin Kane

    It’s a mindset – it’s like telling a ‘photographer” not to rely on an Instagram filter to make the brunt of work interesting…

  2. 00rodgee00 Avatar
    00rodgee00

    Totally agree. Only until recently I’ve used filters but more so to learn how to obtain such effects as opposed to relying on it as a final edit.

  3. Adrian J Nyaoi Avatar
    Adrian J Nyaoi

    I just don’t understand why people even buy those thing. Just learn how to use the app.

  4. Christopher R Field Avatar
    Christopher R Field

    People buy presets???? Wtf? I’ve seen ads but…. never thought anyone bought that nonsense.

  5. Christian Lapointe Avatar
    Christian Lapointe

    So a photography blog is telling people not to buy photography related things. What’s next, don’t hire photographers, here are 3 reasons to do it yourself?

    1. John Aldred Avatar
      John Aldred

      Well, anybody calling themselves a photographer should learn how the software works that they’re using to process the images, no?

      If you learn how to slide the sliders yourself, you have access to every preset ever made. :)

    2. Marco Peixoto Avatar
      Marco Peixoto

      No Christian. A Photography Blog is telling people to stop being LAZY and learn how to do things on their own.

      Presets are super easy to do and its the exploration on making them that will help you more on your work than relying on someone else way of doing things.

      There are thousands of websites with extremely detailed information and videos showing how to do Presets and how to edit Photos. If even then you are just simply to lazy to try them on your own,,, then ok keep buying them and not learning anything, pretty sure it makes a much much better “Artist”…

      No wonder the internet is filled with shit Post Processed photos of people using the same presets over and over on everything.

    3. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
      Arthur_P_Dent

      Well, this is supposed to be a DIY photography site, so it would make sense to encourage people to make something on their own rather than buy.

  6. Marco Peixoto Avatar
    Marco Peixoto

    People that buy presets are usually people that are just too lazy to learn on their own,

    I can understand buying Scripts that will do things the Program itself doesn’t have or helps a lot in speeding up certain functions. But Presets?

  7. Ilya the Great Avatar
    Ilya the Great

    Help me here. Preset with Auto doesn’t work. Whatever Auto adjustment was made for one photo, when I save and use it, it copies the same identical adjustments to all other images. It’s not using smart Auto, just saved result from one image.