Updating Your Lightroom Presets As Your Photographic Style Evolves
January 14, 2014
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Presets are an important piece of my Lightroom workflow. While I don’t buy third-party presets, I have a number of my custom presets that represent different looks and styles that represent my photographic style and the treatments that I apply to my images.

I’ve used Lightroom long enough that it has seen multiple iterations of my photographic style. When I go through a radical or experimental phase, such as my split-toning phase, I will create a new preset. But when my evolution is more subtle, I will often update an existing preset to reflect the change. While I could create new presets and maintain one for each step of my evolution, I usually do not look back once I have committed to a change in my style, and I like keeping my preset list clean.

Getting Started

Updating develop presets is done in the Develop module.

Lightroom Fanatic - Develop Module

Lightroom Fanatic – Develop Module

Making A Change

To incorporate a change, I will start by applying the preset to an image. That’s my baseline, and I know what all the settings stored in the preset are reflected on the image.

Next, I will make the changes to the image that I want to incorporate in to my preset.

Updating The Preset

Once I am ready to update my preset, I will right-click it in the Presets panel and click Update with Current Settings

Lightroom Fanatic - Update With Current Settings

Lightroom Fanatic – Update With Current Settings

Lightroom will bring up the Update Develop Preset dialog. By default, Lightroom has the settings checked that were originally saved with the preset.

In the example below, it has most of the settings included and represents a very specific look. The update dialog has all the included settings checked.

Lightroom Fanatic - Update Develop Preset

Lightroom Fanatic – Update Develop Preset

For this example, only the Basic Tone settings were included. When I update it, the dialog only has those settings checked.

Lightroom Fanatic - Update Develop Preset

Lightroom Fanatic – Update Develop Preset

If the change I made was to one of the included settings, I will usually leave the dialog alone and click Update. However, if I want to remove a setting from the preset to revert to the default value, or if I want to incorporate a setting that is not in the existing preset, I will toggle the settings accordingly.

 

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