New Lightroom 4 Presets – The HDR "Look"

I’ve mentioned before that coming up with new preset ideas has been pretty difficult these days. I feel like I’ve run through just about every preset combination possible in Lightroom. I mean, there’s only so many ways you can move a few sliders right :) It doesn’t take long before they all start looking the same (maybe with just a different name).

That’s why I was really psyched when I saw the Lightroom 4 changed some of the Develop module settings. Mainly because the changes are fantastic and help me edit my photos better. But, if I’m really being honest here, the changes open up more possibilities for new presets as well as a chance to go back and tweak some older presets too.

I knew right from the start that I was going to create a preset that simulated an HDR “look”, so here’s my first one. There’s 3 different versions of it (Light, Medium, and Strong) and each has a few of the new sliders incorporated into it as well as some other settings. As always, let everyone know what you think. However, I caution you now… if you’re one of those that don’t like HDR photos then you may want to consider staying away from these presets ;) I’m just sayin’.

Here’s a quick Before/After (click for larger image):

• Download the presets here.
• Here’s a link to a video that shows you how to install the presets

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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  1. I have to agree that there are a finite number of presets one can use with LR’s slider settings that are significant. Still, I have a great many of your presets and find them great timesavers as well as artitistically aesthetic. I have downloaded and started using LR4B and have noticed a difference in the sliders though I am not certain of how big a difference. As you appeared to indicate that these were created with LR4B, it would seem that they would not be as effective with LR3. Who knows? I will have to take a look and see.

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  2. Neat presets Matt. Thanks. Only flaw (?)–if I need to increase exposure it has to be done after applying the preset.

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    • Hey Maryann. That’s how most presets are. Apply them, but you probably need to tweak things after.

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  3. How on earth am I going to get all the same presets I had in lightroom 3 (the CD of presets I got with the Lightroom 3 book) – but in Lightroom 4?? I can import them but they dont work the same… :( Do I have to use 2 lightrooms? Is there a Preset Cd that comes with the Lightroom 4 book??

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  4. I can’t seem to be able to load them into LR4.

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    • Nevermind, a brief review of the video showed me the way,thanks.

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