Lightroom’s photo editing and storage capabilities are awesome, but every user is different and has slightly different needs from the software. Think of plugins like “apps” within Lightroom. They usually do something specific within Lightroom like “find duplicate images”, “export photos to Picasa” or “sync your photos to your iPad.”
Plugins are different than Lightroom Presets. Lightroom Presets are development editing settings that make the images look different (think Instagram filters). Plugins usually have to do with posting, publishing, exporting or editing the metadata of an image in Lightroom. Plugins are more for the Library module. Presets are more for the Develop module.
Here are some of the places you can find free Lightroom plugins:
Adobe, offers a “Plugin Exchange” for both paid and free plugins. This is the Lightroom “App” Store. (You can always get to the from the link your Lightroom plugin manager.) This is an under utilized place to find Lightroom plugins especially by lesser known developers.
Jeffrey Friedl’s Blog provides loads of free Lightroom Plugins. One of our favorites is called “Metadata Wrangler”. What the Metadata Wrangler does is give you great flexibility in changing, removing or adding metadata to your digital photos. This is a handy free plugin to have for Lightroom if you are selling your photos online.
Basically anything Jeffery Freidl does is great. Check out his other Tumbler, Picasa, and Flickr Plugins. (Please consider donating if you enjoyed his plugins.)Also check out Preset Heaven which specializes in paid Lightroom presets but also has some free Lightroom plugins.
OnOne Software also free Lightroom plugins. These free Lightroom plugin offers editing capabilities to add photographic effects to your images. OnOne creates amazing software that serious photographers should seriously consider investing in. Their Free plugins are a great taste of what the OnOne Software can do.
Mosaic also has a free Lightroom plugin. MosaicView allows a photographer to view his or her pictures on any mobile device including the iPad or iPhone. Since the pictures are stored in the cloud, your images will be available for viewing anywhere that you can connect to the internet.
MosaicView comes in two different versions. The free version allows to you access and view your last 2,000 uploaded images, more than enough for most any use. The paid version is just seven dollars a month, and the 2,000 photo limit is lifted. This is a very power plugin for Lightroom that allows you to automatically view your images. All of your collections and folders are now available to you anywhere there is an internet connection with Mosaic View, a free plugin for Lightroom.
Lightroom is a powerful program, and with a few free plugins, you can customize the software to make it more personalized for your workflow.