Free Lightroom Presets

Essential Travel Collection

"The goal of the FREE Lightroom Preset Collection is to cover different aspects of Travel Photography."


Viktor Elizarov / Travel Photographer
behind PhotoTraces.com

Free Lightroom Presets

My Free Travel Preset Collection is the result of 10 years of taking and processing photos. Each preset represents a style or artistic direction I explored in my career. By using my presets, it will be easier for you to discover what artistic style is closest to your heart. 

Use my presets as a starting point for developing your own unique artistic vision.

Free Lightroom Landscape Presets

Landscapes are the most important part of my travel photography. Landscape photographs represent about 80% of the total photos I take. As a result, I pay the most attention to landscape editing techniques.

When I take landscape photos, I often have to deal with an extended dynamic range of the scene. This is a common occurrence when you have a very bright area around the sun and extremely dark areas in the shadows of the foreground. The main goal of editing landscapes is always the same—to reduce the dynamic range of light. In Lightroom, we do this by opening up the shadows and recovering the highlights.

When the main goal is achieved, the next challenge is to emphasize certain colors in the photo without going overboard. We highlight the blue hues of the sky and the green and yellow hues of the vegetation.

In the final step, we increase the overall contrast of the scene before we export the photo for publishing.

As you can see, the total number of edits for any given landscape photo can reach up to 50 in what can be a long and tedious process.

The good news is that I already incorporated these edits into my Free Lightroom Landscape presets, which you can use as a foundation for your Lightroom editing. 

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    Natural Preset – gives your landscapes a natural look with rich colors and well-defined skies.
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    HDR Blend – when your photos have bright highlights and dark shadows, this preset is for you.
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    End of Summer – stylish look with a hint of magenta color.
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    Harsh Shadows – adds an extra punch with increased contrast.

Free Lightroom Cityscape Presets

When we edit cityscapes, we can be much more aggressive in our editing compared to landscapes. We can freely experiment with changing colors and tones, boosting the contrast and clarity to the extreme and even exploring unconventional color combinations.

The reason for such freedom is because there is no reference point for viewers looking at your picture. In most cases, the viewer does not know what the color of the building actually is, which allows you to freely manipulate it.

My Free Lightroom Cityscape Presets incorporate a much more aggressive editing style compared to the landscape and portrait presets. 

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    Hawaii Sunset – when your photos have bright highlights and dark shadows, this preset is for you.
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    Gentle Wave – muted colors with extra contrast.
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    Haze – a vintage style with toned down colors and low contrast, which creates a look similar to Instagram filters.

Free Lightroom Presets for Portraits

When processing portraits, the editing process becomes more restrictive. The main reason for this is because of the skin color of your subjects, which becomes the most important reference point for viewers. The degree to which you can manipulate portraits is much smaller compared to cityscapes and landscapes.

You cannot easily manipulate colors in portrait photography because, if the color of skin becomes too unrealistic, the viewer’s brain simply rejects it.

To address these limitations when developing the Lightroom Presets for Portraits, I classified them into two categories. 

The Natural Presets (Clearface)

The goal for this preset is to be as natural as possible. It opens up the shadows without applying any contrast and smooths the skin’s imperfections without making them softer.

 

The Creative Presets

When developing the creative presets, I tried to push the boundaries a bit. Thanks to 1970s and 1980s fashion magazines popularizing the cross-processed style, everyone is accustomed to a more artistic look. Most of my creative presets employ the cross-processed treatment at varying degrees.

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    Clearface – a preset created specifically for portraits. It opens up the shadows, smoothes the skin and de-saturates orange and red colors for more natural looking skin tones.
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    In Style – originally created for portraits and group shots, it has the classic cross processing look.
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    Coffee Time – stylish processing with brown/red overlay

Free HDR Lightroom Presets

I shoot a lot of landscapes and cityscapes where HDR photography is the only way to capture the entire light range of the scene starting with the very dark areas of the shadows to the brightest highlights of the sun. For a long time, it was necessary to use dedicated HDR programs like Photomatix to create HDR images. 

HDR Capture In Hawaii

I shoot a lot of landscapes and cityscapes where HDR photography is the only way to capture the entire light range of the scene starting with the very dark areas of the shadows to the brightest highlights of the sun. For a long time, it was necessary to use dedicated HDR programs like Photomatix to create HDR images.

Everything changed when Adobe introduced the HDR Merge module in Lightroom 6. Initially, I thought it was just another “cool feature” or a gimmick that no one was going to use.

It was not until later when I realized that Lightroom HDR Merge produced images in RAW format without rasterizing the original images. This allowed me to continue working in a nondestructive RAW workflow even after the merge process.

It was huge!

Lightroom Merge tool eliminated the need for dedicated HDR programs, which made the HDR photography workflow much simpler and more efficient.

Since it became possible to create HDR images in Lightroom, HDR Presets became key factors in creating and maintaining an efficient HDR workflow.

I created the Lightroom HDR Presets as a collection to offer photographers nearly any approach to HDR imaginable from natural looking HDR processing to surrealistic and out-of-this-world, Photomatix-like artistic styles. 

Free Black avd White Lightroom Presets

The Free Lightroom Travel Collection would not be complete without black and white presets.

Using the black and white presets with environmental portraits creates a classic look and feel by discarding colors and relying only on tonal contrast.

Another practical way of using black and white presets with landscape photos is when the light in the scene is undesirable like in the middle of a sunny day, for example. The black and white treatment often becomes the only way to salvage the photo. 

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    Soft Shadows – balanced black and white style suitable for portraits and landscapes.
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    Darkroom – retro, analog black and white/sepia style with extra grain.

TOOLKIT Adjustments

TOOLKIT is the collection of adjustment presets that do not create any specific look in your photos but help you to customize the look produced by STYLE presets.

 ELIZABETH COUGHLAN 

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All I can say is Wow! I have loads of Lightroom presets, some of which I am now about to delete, as your ones are the best. I also love the additional tools.

Get Free Lightroom Presets

My Lightroom Preset Collection is completely free for subscribers of my newsletter

Just sign up with your email and I will send you the free preset collection with the instructions
on how to install and use them

The Cornerstone of a Digital Photography Workflow: Lightroom Presets


When I started in digital photography, I was thrilled about building a new digital workflow. I hoped that it would save me an enormous amount of time compared to developing photos in a darkroom.

But, a few years later, I realized that I spent more time in front of the computer than outside taking photos. This is when I developed a new workflow centered around Lightroom Presets that helped me dramatically reduce the time I spent on post processing.

As a photographer, I’ve used Lightroom since it was introduced as a beta version in 2006. Lightroom is the most valuable tool for me as a photographer since it helps me organize tens of thousands of photos and save an enormous amount of time on the editing process.

My favorite and most valuable feature of Lightroom is the ability to create PRESETS.
 

What are Lightroom Presets?


​A “preset” is the functionality that allows us to record editing steps for future use. For example, I may spend 45 to 60 minutes editing a photo and adjusting an endless number of sliders in Lightroom until I am finally happy with how the photo looks. Then, I can save the editing adjustments as a PRESET.

If I want to reuse the preset for another photo, it only takes a second to apply. What is even more amazing is the fact that I can apply the saved PRESET to multiple photos at once.

Over the years, I developed various presets for different types of travel photography. Now, I would like to share them with you to help your photography and save time in your post processing workflow.

Please note that I use these presets on a daily basis in my professional work.

 

Learn How to Use Free Lightroom Presets

Get Free Lightroom Presets

My Lightroom Preset Collection is completely free for subscribers of my newsletter

Just sign up with your email and I will send you the free preset collection with the instructions
on how to install and use them

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