I love Lightroom, and I love the presets that you can use with Lightroom. The program already comes with a ton installed, but there are so many out in the internet that you can download. (My favorites are the free ones).
In the Develop Module you can run your cursor over the different presets you have loaded and it will show a preview of what the picture will look like if you have the Navigator tab open.
I’ll show you the difference two of my fave presets on a picture I took of my daughter at the Wynwood Walls in Miami.
The first preset is an HDR look by Matt Kloskowski.
I found it back in the day on his Lightroom Killer Tips blog, but it looks like it’s no longer available. To replicate the HDR look quickly you can increase your contrast a lot, your clarity a little, and lighten your shadows. I *know* it’s more detailed than that and you can google it if you want to get a technical play by play on creating it. HDR really brings out a lot of depth and dimension.
The second preset is Velvet Butter by the Coffeeshop Blog (I love her stuff!). You can still download this so I’m not going to attempt to explain how to replicate it (because I haven’t figured it out).
I love the grittiness of the first picture, especially since it’s urban and it’s graffiti, and she looks like she may be full of angst. But I also love the second picture because it’s bright and cheerful, and that matches the sentiment of the colors on the wall.
Which one do you prefer? Oh, here’s the original for comparison (darkish and flat):
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