How To Install Lightroom Presets

by Apr 11, 2023

In the fast-moving world of motorsport, getting your photos out quickly is just as important as what you capture on track. That’s where Adobe Lightroom Presets come in!

While there is a variety of different software out there to edit photos, in my experience Adobe Lightroom is one of the best options for quickly sorting and batch-editing your photos. Enabling rapid distribution to customers, especially during a busy motorsport event.

One of the key features of Lightroom that makes it so helpful is the ability to apply a particular preset on the import of your photos so that you only need to make minor additional adjustments before exporting the photos out to your customers.

You can fast-track this process by creating your own presets or buy purchasing them from one of your favourite photographers. I’ve made my motorsport presets available here if you want to speed up your learning. Just keep in mind that certain presets are designed for that photographer’s style of shooting, so the results on your photos might differ slightly.

While I typically use Lightroom Classic due to the sheer volume of photos I capture, this process of using presets is exactly the same if you choose to use Lightroom CC as well. Just the process of installing them is slightly different.

Now that you understand the benefits of Lightroom presets to speed up your workflow and you’ve sourced some to install. Let’s have a look at how you go about it.

How to Install Presets in Lightroom Classic

Step 1: Download the Presets

The first step is to download the presets you want to use. In addition to my presets, there are a number of other places to find Presets, including your favourite photographer’s websites and online creative marketplaces like Etsy. Once you have downloaded the presets, make sure they are unzipped (.xml files) and saved in a location that is easy to access, such as your desktop or a specific folder.

Step 2: Open Lightroom Classic

Open Lightroom Classic and navigate to the Develop module, typically located as a tab at the top of the screen.

Step 3: Locate the Presets Panel

In the left-hand panel, you will see a tab labelled “Presets”. If you can’t see it, click on the triangle icon on the left-hand side of the screen to expand the panel.

Step 4: Click on the “+” Icon

In the Presets panel, click on the “+” icon, which is located at the top right of the panel.

Step 5: Select “Import Presets”

A drop-down menu will appear. Select “Import Presets” from the list.

Step 6: Navigate to the Presets Folder

A Finder (Mac) or Explorer (Windows) window will appear. Navigate to the folder where you saved your downloaded presets and select them.

Step 7: Click “Import”

Once you have selected your presets, click “Import”. Your presets will now be available under User Presets in the Presets panel to use with your photos.

How to Install Presets in Lightroom CC

Step 1: Download the Presets

Much like Lightroom Classic, the first step is to download the presets you want to use. In addition to my presets, there are a number of other places to find presets, including your favourite photographer’s websites and online creative marketplaces like Etsy. Once you have downloaded the presets, make sure they are unzipped and saved in a location that is easy to access, such as your desktop or a specific folder.

Step 2: Open Lightroom CC

Open Lightroom CC and navigate to the Edit module. This is indicated by the “Slider Button” on the right-hand side panel – Lines with circles that look like Lightroom edit slider controls. Or by pressing E on your keyboard.

Step 3: Open the Presets Panel

In the right-hand panel, you will see a button labelled “Presets” underneath the Edit title. This will expand the “Presets” panel.

Step 4: Click on the “…” Icon

In the Presets panel, click on the “…” three-dot icon, which is located at the top right of the panel.

Step 5: Select “Import Presets”

A drop-down menu will appear. Select “Import Presets” from the list.

Step 6: Navigate to the Presets Folder

A Finder (Mac) or Explorer (Windows) window will appear. Navigate to the folder where you saved your downloaded presets and select them.

Step 7: Click “Import”

Once you have selected your presets, click “Import”. Your presets will now be available in the Yours section of the Presets panel.

To install presets in Lightroom CC Mobile, follow the same steps with Lightroom CC on your computer, which will sync them to your other devices via your Adobe Creative Cloud account.

Rhys Vandersyde

Rhys Vandersyde

I've been working as a motorsport photographer in Australia since 2012, building up my business InSyde Media. I am very fortunate that I have been able to work at all sorts of motorsport events including Supercars, F1 and WRC all over Australia and New Zealand. Also, check out my personal website where I document my travels and a few other things.

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