Creating Lightroom Presets That Layer + Bonus Prep Checklist

Create Lightroom presets than can be layered with other presets
I enjoy creating Adobe Lightroom presets and I love editing my photos in Lightroom. I probably get more of a kick outta it than I should; but hey, it makes me happy. What I don’t enjoy is making a list of all the Settings I want to include in my preset. And I don’t ever do the Check All unless I really have made an adjustment in every single setting.

So to prep for making a preset, I go through my photo in Lightroom and make a note of each setting I want to include in the new preset. Why? Because selecting only what you need creates a preset that’s lighter weight but, and this is the kicker, it also allows you to use more than one preset on a photo! More specifically, it allows you to layer two (or more) presets as long as they don’t change the same settings. Example: One preset adds some Graduated Filters, vignetting, and clarity; while the second preset alters saturation, vibrance, graduated filters, and exposure. As long as the person creating the presets checked only what they needed to, you’d get the benefit of both presets – except the graduated filters! (You’d only get the graduated filters setting of the second/last applied preset since it overwrites the first presets graduated filters. Get it? Got it? Good.)

Now that we’re on the same page on how I prep to create a Lightroom preset, you can see that making that note each time can be a pain. I’m either alt-tabbing back & forth between Lr and TextEdit or I’m jotting it down on scrap paper. Each method gets the job done. But it’s a pain. And I always forget to make my list before I get to the “make a new develop preset” screen. Oy. Cancel. Make list.

Over the weekend, I finally solved my little OCD issue. Here’s a handy-dandy image of the “New Develop Preset” screen. Open it with Skitch (or your fave quickie photo manipulation tool) and put a dot/X/unicorn over each setting as you change them in your photo. When you create the preset, simply check off all those that you marked, and no others.

Your fellow Lightroom groupies will thank you for presets that can be used with other presets!
Checklist to help create presets for Adobe Lightroom

// To Download the Lightroom Preset Checklist
Click the image to open it full-size; then right click and choose Save As to download it to your machine.

Questions? Suggestions? Want to chat? Please leave me a comment below. I love comments almost as much as I love creating presets!

May your days always be filled with proper presets,
Jami - author and editor of the Bionic Beauty blog

// Licensing
Creative Commons License
“Checklist for Creating Lightroom Presets” by Studio Bionic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

One comment on “Creating Lightroom Presets That Layer + Bonus Prep Checklist

  1. Pingback: Photo Story: Florida Spring Sky ← Bionic Style™

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