I asked a while ago on our Facebook page if they believed using presets was working smarter not harder or cheating. There were many different opinions shared and I loved reading them all. I decided to share what I think about them and how they can help and hurt you.
Personally, I adore presets. However, I took a Lightroom workshop through Clickin’ Moms by Lynne Rigby before I ever let myself purchase presets. I really wanted to learn how to edit my images without presets. I wanted to learn the ends and outs of Lightroom. After I was comfortable with Lightroom, I let myself purchase some presets. Don’t forget you can create your own presets in Lightroom.
The thing to keep in mind about presets is that they are not a perfect fit for each photo. You don’t want to just click your preset and think you are done. Some images are going to work better with a preset then others.
Don’t be afraid to tweak your preset. Very rarely do I keep the preset as is. After I apply it, I may mess with different levels to create the image I envisioned.
Why I love presets
– Huge time saver
I can’t even tell you how using presets, either the ones I create or the ones I purchase cut my editing time down to almost nothing. As a mom of 3 and someone who takes a ton of photos, I needed a system to edit a lot of images quickly. When working with my personal images, I use presets on them the majority of the time. Quick and easy. For the photos I want to include in my personal portfolio, I may use a preset on them but I also spend a lot more time working with each individual image.
– Fun to play with different looks
It is important to have a specific editing style, but it can be fun to play around with different editing looks on your personal images.
Keep in mind
– Presets are not a magic fix.
If your image has white balance or underexposure issues than the preset may not fix that. You want to correct these things prior to using the preset.
– Being comfortable and knowing how to use your editing program is what makes your presets/actions really rock.
If you have no idea how to edit and start clicking on your presets/actions you will find they are not doing what you want them to do. You want a preset/action to improve your photo. Learn to use your program so you can tweak the presets and really have them reflect your style. Not just those of the person who created them.
You can do so much more with most presets. You want to look for presets that allow you to adjust different aspects in Lightroom or actions in Photoshop. There are a ton of fabulous presets/actions out there.
Do you use presets/actions???