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How to Use Presets and Filters in Lightroom Mobile

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Admit it, applying presets and filters to an image you love is pretty darn fun. With just a tap of the screen, your image transforms before your eyes. Effects that would take hours to accomplish in the wet darkroom—if they could be accomplished at all—are achieved instantaneously, and errors or oversights made at the time of capture can be eradicated or improved immediately. Adobe Lightroom Mobile provides presets and filters all from the convenience of your mobile phone.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn the quick and easy steps it takes to apply presets and filters in Lightroom Mobile. Check out the options Lightroom Mobile provides, and read the steps that follow. You’ll learn how to put the finishing touches on an image so that you can achieve the exact aesthetic you are looking for.

How to Use Presets and Filters on Raw Photos in Lightroom Mobile

The Basics

Lightroom Mobile is a free app that lets you create, edit, and share high-quality images. Embedded Adobe Photoshop technology provides you with over 30 presets, allowing you to experiment with color, clarity, vignetting, and more—all for free. Upgrading to a Creative Cloud Photography plan gives you access to a few more editing options, as well as syncing across devices, a customizable website, Photoshop, and cloud storage.

Creative Cloud plans and pricing for individuals vary from $9.99/month to $74.49/month (or you can pay annually in one lump sum) and usually come packaged with other perks, apps, and GBs of cloud storage. (Businesses, students & teachers, and schools & universities are offered other plans and pricing.) You can also try it out by activating a free seven-day trial.

1. Open the Adobe Lightroom Mobile App in Loupe Mode

First step, open up Loupe mode by tapping the picture/plus icon in the Library.

2. Select Your Image

Choose a nice, juicy, high-resolution DNG (RAW) image so that you have the ultimate editing latitude.

3. Tap Presets in the Edit Panel

Now select Presets from the Edit panel.

There are two tabs of presets: Premium and Library. The Premium tab includes pre-loaded Portraits, Cinematic, Futuristic, Vintage, and Travel presets.

Library includes Color, Creative, B&W, Portraits, Defaults, Curve, Grain, Optics, and Sharpening.

4. Experiment

It’s super fun! This Vintage preset, VN07, gave a soft aesthetic reminiscent of sepia tone. To apply a preset to an image, tap the Checkmark icon.

5. Compare

Now let's see how the image looked before you applied the preset. Tap and hold on the image. Before at the top of the screen tells you it’s the original version. To go back to the preset version, let go of your tap-and-hold.

To reverse a preset you have applied, tap the Undo icon. 

To move forward with a preset, tap the Redo icon.

6. Add More Presets

To apply more than one preset on an image, tap the checkmark icon after each preset. Stacking multiple presets let's you quickly create a stylized photo.

We liked this B&W Punch preset, but wanted to add heavy grain, too.

After selecting Heavy Grain, we tapped the checkmark icon again.

Lightroom Mobile also gives you the ability to create and save your own specific presets. Stay tuned here for a follow-up tutorial on the details!

7. Reset Some or All Adjustments as Needed

To reset the image and remove the presets, tap Reset.

Then tap what you would like to reset.

8. Manage Your Presets.

Tap on the three-dots icon in the upper right.

Then tap Manage Presets.

Select the preset group you want to manage, Premium or Library.

And then toggle on or off the presets you would like to make visible or invisible. Once you know the presets you prefer, this can help save you from having to scroll a bunch to find them.

Have Fun With Presets

Capturing an image is just one part of the process. What you would like that image to portray through its aesthetics is another. You have so many options with presets. Have fun experimenting with the different ways an image can look—and make viewers feel!

Keep Learning About Lightroom and Photography

Here are a few more free tutorials and resources to help you study up on Lightroom and smartphone photography:

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