Apr 9 11

Trial of the Lightroom Presets

by Emily Benjamin

Most of my photos so far have been in or close to their original form. Besides a little cropping, minor colour adjustments and a vignette here and there, I try to edit my photos to show just what I see – in all it’s beauty or ugliness! But spending my days taking photos, and many nights looking at photo blogs, I see many people using more imaginative editing techniques to give their photos a surreal look. Some use HDR , some are trying assorted plug-ins, and others are using crafty filters or editing presets.

I did some research and experimenting with HDR but found I could achieve very similar looks with simgle images in Lightroom rather than merging three images in Photoshop. Filters would be great, but I’m attempting to travel light with my camera gear this time around. Presets on the other hand seem endless, with many photo fanatics out there contributing free editing templates for Lightroom. So I’ve begun experimenting with a few presets and so far, I’ve been pleased with the results. I have used a range of presents for the two Jordan sets below, including Dramatic Horizon, Edgy Church, PH in the City and B&W. They seem to suit the photos and in some cases, they result in images that are not too overdone from what I saw on the day.

An example…


I’m interested to hear what anyone else thinks on this style, as it varies significantly from my usual style of ‘less is more’. Have a look, enjoy the sets, and let me know what you think!

— Em 🙂


Filed Under → Words

2 Responses

  1. Cristina says:

    Hey Em! I think the presets are great, as long as you are using them to re-create what you really saw 😉 Which is promising to be very challenging, just like in the example above. The original photo doesn’t seem real, it’s too dark. The one with the presets is too surreal. So it seems that the real-looking photo would be somewhere in between 😉 Just my opinion.
    Anyway, most of the Jordon photos look like a real representation of a surreal place – so whatever technique you used for those photos, keep it up! 🙂

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