Lightroom Presets

Presets – How to Steal a Preset and Make it Your Own

First off, I hope you had a Merry Christmas weekend. I had a great time with my family and, of course, my kids got way too much stuff. Anyone else have in-laws that, even though you try to moderate how much you buy your kids (sorry, that Santa brings your kids), they still go out and buy crazy amounts of gifts for them? Its all good though and they had a blast which is what counts.

Anyway, its a vacation week for me but I had an idea for a quick article so I wanted to write about it. Its about stealing. Yep, I said it. Stealing! A while back there was a bit of controversy about a little program that let people see what Lightroom settings were applied to your photo on Flickr. If you followed back then, you may remember that my position on it is that its not stealing. So how can you actually steal a Lightroom preset? Its really not hard and I encourage you to try it. Lets look at mine for example (skip to Step 4 for the real education in this whole thing):

1) First install the preset just as you normally would. We’ll take the Develop module as an example. Let’s say you’ve installed my Fairytale Glow preset from this past November.

2) Now what happens when most people install some one elses preset is that they apply it and it looks cool, but not quite what they imagined. Maybe its too bright. And maybe the vignetting is too strong.

3) Then they apply it to another photo and ya know what? Its too bright again and they’re not crazy about the vignetting.

4) That’s your cue that its time for your own preset. All you have to do is change the Exposure setting and/or change the Vignetting setting to something that seems to work better for you.

5) Then right-click on the preset name in the Presets panel and choose Update with Current Settings. First, give it a cool name – you’re stealing remember, so you don’t want the same name as I use. If you haven’t made any other changes to the preset then its fine to just check everything and click OK. If you have made changes then just turn on those checkboxes and click OK.


That’s it. You’re now a thief 🙂 You’ve taken something that wasn’t yours and made it your own. I’m joking of course. You didn’t steal crap did you? You’ve merely taken a recipe that I use and modified it to fit your own needs. Happy Thievery!