Scott Kelby showed me this trick that’s really brilliant! Sometimes when you’re on the go, you don’t always have your camera with you, and you probably don’t have your computer with Lightroom, and even if you did, you probably don’t have the time to get into a full retouch of your photos.
This is why I want to show you how you can use any Lightroom preset from your desktop computer in your Lightroom mobile app to make your life much easier and your retouches fast and furious. This trick will only work for Creative Cloud members; if you’re not a Creative Cloud member, you should definitely consider it because there are many advantages, plus the Photography plan is a pretty good deal.
All right, so let’s talk about presets. I like to use presets because it does most of the heavy lifting for me, giving me a great starting point for retouching my photos. On the KelbyOne website, you’ll find a series of free presets from my natural collection for you to work with:
- DAY Basic: Made for day photo
- GOLDEN HOUR Basic: Guess what! This is for the golden hour just before sunset.
- SUNSET Basic: Well, it’s for sunsets!
Installing Presets on Your Desktop
In case you don’t know how, here are step-by-step instructions to install presets that you’ve downloaded from the Internet into your Lightroom desktop:
Step One: Open Lightroom.
Step Two: Go to Lightroom (PC: Edit)>Preferences and click on the Presets tab at the top.
Step Three: Click on the button titled Show Lightroom Presets Folder. This will take you to a folder called “Lightroom.”
Step Four: In Lightroom, open the Develop Presets folder.
Step Five: Drag or copy the folder(s) of the downloaded presets into the Develop Presets folder.
Step Six: Close the Preferences dialog, and restart Lightroom. Look in the Presets panel and you’ll see sets of presets based on the folder names that you just added to the Develop Presets folder.
Why I Like Presets
I recently shot a sunset in Los Angeles. When I came home, I applied the preset named “SUNSET Basic” to get the result shown here in just one click, which is pretty cool. Obviously, it’s only a starting point, as I need to tweak a few things, but I have my base edits, which help a lot with my processing workflow.
Here’s another example that I shot in Paris. Using only one preset, I got the result shown below.
Presets are also a way to be consistent in your work, giving your images your own personal style. I use presets all the time, and I advise that you use them too!
Getting those Presets into Lightroom Mobile
Now that you’re convinced about the benefits of presets, let me show how you can use presets in your Lightroom mobile app. (As mentioned earlier, you need to be a Creative Cloud member.) It takes a little bit of time to set this up, but once you do the following steps, you’re good to go.
Step One: First, you need to create a collection in Lightroom on your desktop computer: Click on the plus icon (+) at the top right of the Collections panel and choose Create Collection to open the Create Collection dialog. You can name it anything you want (I named mine “mobile presets”). Click on the Sync with Lightroom CC box at the bottom of the dialog so the collection will sync with Lightroom mobile, and then click Create. You can also Right-click on any collection in the Presets panel and select Sync with Lightroom Mobile.
Step Two: Now add any non-retouched photo in this collection and apply a preset to it. Right-click on the image, choose Create Virtual Copy, and then apply a different preset to the virtual copy. Do this for all the major looks that you have. The idea is for you to have multiple versions of the same photo, each with a different preset applied, such as a sunset preset, blue hour preset, golden hour preset, and so on—even if the preset doesn’t work with that photo.
We’re done with the Lightroom part on the desktop computer; now let’s go into the Lightroom mobile app.
Step Three: Once you’re in the Lightroom mobile app on your device, locate and open the collection you just created in Lightroom desktop. Click on one of the looks that you like and then click on the three dots at the upper right.
Step Four: Now that you’re in the menu, click on Copy Settings, and then click OK.
Step Five: From there, find a photo in your collections to which you want to apply the preset. Click on it, click the three dots at the upper right once again to open the menu, and click Paste Settings.
Step Six: In one shot, all the settings from the preset are there. Of course, it’s only a starting point, but you have a good base with which to work. The example shown here is way too saturated, and I want to change a couple of things, but I still think it saved me a lot of time and gave me the look I wanted.
Step Seven: Here’s another photo where I applied the same preset I copied earlier. With a couple of clicks, I have my basic retouch done. Pretty cool, right?
Once you’ve applied your preset, you can just move around any Graduated or Radial Filter adjustments that were part of the preset, boost or lower the Exposure, etc., but the mood is set, which is a lot of the work.
So there you go. The secret is revealed. You can now use this trick to retouch your photos in one click. Hope that you liked this and find it very useful. Have fun!
ALL IMAGES BY SERGE RAMELLI