There are two schools of thought when it comes to developing photos in Lightroom.
The first is that you process each image individually, working your way through the right-hand panels until you are happy with the result.
This is similar to the Photoshop workflow, where you can only develop one photo at a time.
The second is that you use Develop Presets to do some or most of the work.
Using a preset based workflow has several advantages.
- Develop Presets are faster. You can save a lot of time by incorporating presets in at least part of your workflow.
- Beginners find presets useful for obtaining good results in Lightroom without having to know much about the sliders.
- Presets show you new ways to develop your photos. If you tend to process your photos a certain way, you can use presets to try new or different developing techniques.
The Lightroom Rapid Editing System
So it was with some interest that I tried out Viktor Elizarov’s Lightroom Rapid Editing System for Landscapes.
First, let’s take a look at what you get in the package.
To start, there are 20 one-click Style presets (see below). You go through these and select the one that suits your photo best.
The Toolkit has 40 presets that help you adjust exposure, contrast, clarity and color saturation without using the right-hand panels (below).
The Lightroom Rapid Editing System for Landscapes is simple but works surprisingly well. Developing landscape photos with these presets is as quick as selecting a Style preset then using the Toolkit presets to tweak the settings.
Some of the Presets also place a Graduated Filter over the sky to make it darker. You may need to move the filter to suit the composition of your photo.
Depending on the time of day your photo was taken you may also need to adjust White Balance.
Afterwards, you can move to the right-hand panels and refine the developing by moving sliders or making local adjustments.
Here are some before and after examples of photos developed using the Lightroom Rapid Editing System for landscapes. The developed version is on the right.
Learning from Lightroom Develop Presets
Let’s take a closer look at the High Pressure preset, which I used to process this photo.
As you can see this Preset was made the foreground lighter and brought back some of the detail in the sky.
How did the Preset do it? We can find the answer by looking at the settings in the right-hand panels.
In the Basic Panel the Shadows and Blacks sliders are pushed to the right. This lightens the foreground and opens up the shadows.
The Highlights and Whites sliders have been pushed to the left, bringing out detail in the sky.
There’s also a Graduated Filter over the sky that makes it darker by setting Exposure to -0.55. The area covered by the filter is shown in red.
Now you understand how this preset works, you can apply the same principles to other photos. This is a good example of how analyzing other photographer’s Presets teaches you how to use Lightroom.
Who is the Lightroom Rapid Editing System for?
The simplicity of the Lightroom Rapid Editing System makes it most suitable for photographers who are learning Lightroom. Advanced users would probably find it useful but appreciate more Presets in the Toolkit.
But first, I recommend that you download Viktor’s free Rapid Lightroom Presets – the Essential Travel Collection. It includes the Toolkit and give you a taste of how his system works and what you can do with it.
What to read next
Read these articles next to learn more about using the Develop module in Lightroom.