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Posted by James Maynard – December 18, 2012 browse all

Best Places to Find Free Lightroom Presets

Free Lightroom presets, like Lightroom plugins, can add new functionality to your Lightroom photos. Like the Instagram filters that are such the rage today, Lightroom presets allow the user to create different photo effects easily, taking ordinary photos and giving them a style and look that will make them all your own. There are numerous places online where you can find free Lightroom prests, and we are going to look at some of those now.

Download some presets and try different looks on different types of photographs, and see what looks the best. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

One of the best parts of Lightroom is that is “non-destructive” meaning that you can always get back to your original photo!

If you are not sure how to install Lightroom presets, PhotTutsPlus offers a good tutorial.

You can always start with the Adobe Lightroom App Exchange. There are a number of free and paid Lightroom plugins and presets here.

One of the the more diverse sites out there for free Lightroom presets is Presets Heaven. They have a wide variety of different presets, arranged by category. Presets Heaven has seven different free presets for Lightroom available to give your photos a classic or vintage look, a preset made specifically for underwater photographs, and even ten different presets to emulate the effect of pictures taken with Holga cameras. Holga cameras were a Chinese-made camera developed in the early 80′s that provided a low-fidelity, if charming look to photographs and which still have a small cult following today. This free Lightroom preset allows you to get that same look from your digital photographs.

PresetPond has some nice packages for free Lightroom presets, although they make you sign up in order to download the packages. Many of the free Lightroom plugins that are available on PresetPond are geared toward different seasons and different lighting conditions, as would seem logical. Their Lomo preset package gives photos a retro look, almost making pictures look like they were taken with 1960′s era Technicolor. This effect can be fabulous for the right subject material.

My favorite group of Lightroom presets is from OnOne Software. You can create HDR or vintage looks as well as very nice black and white presets.

It is also possible to design and save your own presets. If you have development edits that you commonly do (like increasing the contrast, upping the saturation and decreasing the whites), save it as your own preset. Or tweak a style from an existing Lightroom preset and make it your own. This can save you some time in your workflow.

Presets in Lightroom allow you to created effects for your photos, giving your digital photographs classic looks, bringing out highlights and making your photographic art highly stylized. Best of all, there is no shortage of places to get free Lightroom presets on the web, plus you can design your own! If you are a Lightroom user, there is no reason to not start having fun and creating great art with your digital photos using free presets for Lightroom. Try it out today!

Then use the free Mosaic View Lightroom Plugin to show off your Lightroom photos on your iPad or iPhone.

  • Mark Treen

    This is a great post. It helped me to collect link and to be able to list all the great sources for presets out there. I made a post of them here;
    Thanks for the great explanation of what presets are and how useful they can be.

  • Fred_photo

    There are also some hi-quality Instagram presets for lightroom on the web.Check

    • nick

      Cheers. Appreciate they recreated the old sutro.

    • Hannah

      Thanks. Really lovely ones though not for free.

  • Sam

    Where is the featured Vintage Retro Warm from?! In the photo from?

    • MosaicArchive

      This is a free preset from OnOne Software. The link is in the article. 

  • Taketohayashi

    Their are 14 free presets at, they are worth a shot.

  • S Walker2383

    I’m a huge fan of the OnOne presets… I experimented with a friend’s Cafe Darkroom Presets too and they seemed pretty decent. They have a free download on their website too

  • MosaicArchive

    Please add value to the conversation, not just links to your site. However, I have approved your comment.

  • Mark

    Bloggers should have a grasp of the language they’re writing in.

    “If your not sure how to install Lightroom presets”

    Your is a possessive adjective, You’re a contraction of you are.

    • gerardmurphy

      Thank you. This typo has been fixed. Appreciate the help.

  • FreeLrPresets

    Hello, we would like to share our new collection of Free Lightroom Presets.

    Check them out here: http://www.freelightroompreset

    Your feedback is very much appreciated.