Shooting RAW & Lightroom Presets

If you are new to shooting RAW, one of the biggest problems you might find, is that when you’ve been out for the day, taken lots of photos and downloaded them, you might find that look a little flat, or maybe a little soft compared to the jpegs you used to take, you might feel disappointed and then the thought of editing all of them is daunting.

Firstly the reason they look like this, is that the jpeg takes on the photo settings in your camera for Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation and Colour Tone. Your RAW file is raw data and so ignores these settings allowing you to adjust them all yourself later.

Secondly, don’t despair, using Lightroom you can easily batch process all the photos in one go, editing one and applying the setting across every photo. Also, you can save those settings as a preset for future photos. Or you can batch apply one of Lightroom’s default presets.

So, what is a preset.

When you edit a photo, you can change many adjustment setting related to that photo, from the overall exposure, to changing highlight or shadow areas, or converting a photo to black and white.

Once you have edited a photo to your liking, you can then apply these settings across all photos in the folder shown in the Library grid view. However, you may want to apply the same settings to photos in another folder from a previous outing. In this case, you can then save the adjustment settings to a preset. This will then show in the presets panel on the left in the Develop module.

Tip: Give it a useful or memorable name & put it in a new folder. EG, Name: “Warming Colours”, Folder: “My Presets”)

This preset is there now forever more and will appear in any catalog you use on your machine, unless the preference option ‘Store presets with this catalog’ is ticked.

So, now shooting RAW and editing the photos shouldn’t seem so daunting. The benefits of RAW far out ways the down sides.

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