Lightroom Presets Not Working? Here’s why

Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.

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HELP! My Lightroom Presets Aren’t Working.

Do Your Lightroom Presets Look Like Crap? Here’s Why.

Wondering why your lightroom presets aren’t working? Did you think you bought the perfect Lightroom Presets, only to realize they don’t work on your photos?

If so, you’re not alone.

We’ve all been there. Here’s why your Lightroom Presets might not be working the way they’re supposed to, and the number one thing to do to improve your results with presets in Lightroom!

I’m so sick of buying presets that don’t work.

I’ve spent HUNDREDS of dollars on the next big preset pack, only to find that my images look nothing like the ones on the sales page.

Some of the preset packs out there are amazing.

But until I learned how to USE the tools, my results were less than stellar.

I thought the presets would do the work for me. I thought they’d take my okay-ish images, and make them AMAZING at the click of a button.

Sadly, life doesn’t work that way.

It wasn’t until I learned to master the basics behind great photos that I started getting the results I was after. It took time, practice and LOTS of trial and error.

Want to know a shortcut?

Learn from someone else. I wasted a lot of time learning by trial and error – When all that could have been saved by learning from someone who has already been through the process!

That might be watching tutorials on youtube, buying an online course, or finding someone near you to mentor you in person.

In fact, you’re already doing it right now, so props to you for being smarter than I was. Watch the video tutorial for a breakdown on how to get your photos to look the way you ACTUALLY expected them to when you bought your presets for Lightroom.

[powerkit_collapsibles ]
[powerkit_collapsible title=”Video Transcript”]
hey guys Ryan here at signature edits
and today I’m going to show you why your
presets suck that’s right we’re gonna
dive in and I’m gonna show you why they
aren’t working the way that you thought
they would when you bought them let’s
dive in
have you ever had this happen to you you
find some awesome photographer who sells
presets so you buy those bad boys find a
photo to develop and you hit those
presets and they just look like crap has
that ever happened to you because if so
you’re not alone I’ve been there and
spent way too much money on presets that
didn’t work let’s jump in look at a few
photographers work and see why those
presets aren’t working for you and I’m
gonna give it away right now
the reason your presets aren’t looking
the way you want them to look is because
the photo that you’re working with isn’t
what those presets were designed to work
with and so let’s head over here to some
photographers let’s take a look at their
work and see what I mean so this is mr.
Daniel honey takes awesome landscapes
and I want you to look at the lighting
and the composition of these photos
you’re going to notice something it’s
consistent every single photo we have a
brilliant composition and fantastic
lighting and that doesn’t change the
photos where the lighting is less than
Pleasant you’re going to find the tones
are less unpleasant the Edit doesn’t
look quite as consistent it doesn’t have
that wow factor of a well composed and
well lit image that makes every every
difference guys and you’re gonna see
that no matter what genre we go into
let’s go over for an India Earl let’s
look at her stuff she does weddings
portraits those of you who do the same
thing you’re going to notice in her
photos 99% of them were taken with
fantastic light and they were well
composed so by that I mean the light is
not harsh we don’t see any dark shadows
on the ground beside this couple why
because we got this nice fog bank behind
them or other photos we’ve got taken at
sunset or with overcast skies they’re
all taken at sunset sunrise or on a
cloudy day when the light looks awesome
and you’ll notice the photos that don’t
look as awesome well it’s because the
light wasn’t as great or the composition
wasn’t as great let’s head over to
another photographer Dylan first he’s
the master of Moody Blues okay so this
guy is crazy consistent in his insta
feed it’s on point and you will notice
one thing he only features two colors
blue and green and occasionally a pop of
orange and I want you to notice
something about these images it’s not
looking this way because he has some
balla preset he puts on there and it
magically fixes things no it’s because
when you actually think about this image
before it was edited we had green trees
with a green blue lake and we have an
orange dog and
what happens after he edits it there’s a
green trees greenish blue lake and
orange dog and you’re gonna see his work
is so consistent and the photos that
aren’t super consistent where we do have
these other tones other images and other
lighting going on this is a little bit
harsh we’ve got some harsh shadows here
and it just doesn’t have the same vibe
so if you’re looking to get your photos
a specific look or vibe you’ve got to
think about the composition and about
the lighting what colors are present
what distractions are there because when
you look at these awesome photographers
you’ll find that they get rid of
distractions at all costs we’ve only got
this couple in this photo couple in the
photo couple in the photo we don’t have
you know a man selling ice cream in a
truck in the background that’s taking
away focus when we go to Daniel hunt
stuff we have one central focus most of
the time in his images and the photos
that don’t have that central focus well
those aren’t the wow shots let’s head
over look at queen of jet LAG’s photos
and hers are awesome she’s a very
talented photographer but you’ll notice
something very important here some of
her photos don’t have that wow factor so
for instance let’s take a look at this
one wow what a beautiful image and why
because we have a very consistent color
theme here we’ve got pinks
oranges reds that’s about it and her in
the front okay there’s no distractions
taking away from this photo everything
is pointing towards her and adding
meaning to this photograph now if we
look at a photo there’s taken more a
little bit you know blogger style just
something random hanging out photo this
does not have the same effect why
because we’ve got competing colors in
the background we’ve got greens oranges
blues purples reds we’ve got this napkin
fork knife cups all these things are
detracting from the photo there isn’t
the same focus and symmetry and
composition and color in addition we’ve
got really harsh light this was taken
probably in the middle of the afternoon
when the background is very blown out
we’ve got some harsh shadows and it just
doesn’t have the same look so that’s it
guys if you were in Lightroom and you’re
finding that your presets just look like
crap it doesn’t work well the first
thing you should look at is what photo
are you working with to begin with
does your photo have really harsh light
or was it taken on a flattering day do
we have tons of different colors going
on and really dark darks and greens that
are going to make the skin tones look
funny or do we have a beautiful
flattering photo so let me just show you
this we’ve got these presets here and
they all look like
upon this photo why because it was taken
with really harsh light and so we’re
going to have to play around a lot to
fix this and get it to a place where we
liked the way that it looks okay so I
could do some different things here play
with the contrast maybe bring my shadows
up it’s not looking awesome I’m gonna be
honest just doesn’t look that great now
if I head over here to another photo
very similar I mean it’s a portrait at
the same time but you’ll notice look at
their skin tones we don’t have the harsh
shadows going on
in this image that we did in our first
shot it’s taken on a sunny day however
they’re in the shade so the photo is so
much less busy we don’t have the
distractions of the flowers all around
them and we also don’t have those green
leaves reflecting on their skin so their
skin tones are a lot better now when I
apply presets look at that they all look
same presets totally different result so
if you are wondering why your presets
suck take a look at the photos
themselves work on mastering the basics
of your photography your color your
lighting your composition you’ll find
once you start mastering those things
and improving those things your presets
magically start to get better who would
have thought so that is my tip for you
if you are editing in Lightroom you want
to take your editing to the next level
the first thing that you should focus on
is are my photos at the top level that
they can be I hope this was helpful for
you please if it was hit that like
button don’t forget to subscribe and if
you want some free Lightroom presets
check them out in the link below I’ll
see you in the next one

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