This is one of the reasons I resurrected this old beast of a blog. Every once in a while someone will ask what I used for post-processing a particular photo and most of the time I do my post-processing in Photoshop so there’s no simple one-click answer to that question. Other times, though, I was just messing around with sliders in Lightroom 2 and stumbled upon something that worked. In those instances – and this is one of the many reasons I love Lightroom – I can just go back in and export the settings I used then email the preset off to someone. There are no “one size fits all” presets, of course, because what I came up with for my photo might look like total rubbish on yours – but it’s easy enough to tinker with.
This is one that I use a lot, though. I exported it once for someone who asked, and in doing so it was added to my own presets (obviously) and now I find myself test-driving it on images a lot when I’m very “meh” about them. As an example, here’s a SOOC shot of my kitten the other day playing under the dining room table. I just couldn’t get the color balance right on it (because it was a poorly lit scene to begin with) and it was grainy anyway. I didn’t feel like spending much time on it.
And here’s after the preset:
And at this point I’ll probably use it on something. So it went from “reject” to “keeper”. You can download this preset below, just right-click on the link and choose “Save As” and save it to a location you’ll remember, then install it in your Lightroom program.