How to Create a Lightroom Develop Preset

Creating a Lightroom develop preset is a fast way to set a starting point for your editing, taking your RAW file to a custom JPG without any effort!

I apply underwater photo presets while importing photos into Lightroom so that I can see a “closer-to-the-finished-edit” version of the images while batch selecting my favorites and flagging subpar shots for deletion.

RESOURCE: Download my Free Lightroom Presets for Underwater Photos


How to Create a Custom Lightroom Develop Preset

How do I create my own develop preset? Follow these steps:

Creating Your Preset

1. Edit the first photo in a way you expect to edit all other photos in the series. Note that this includes global changes only; local edits are done on an image by image basis. This finished (global) edit will become your new Lightroom preset.

2. Click the + button in the title bar of the Presets panel (located in left column of the Develop module).

Create a Lightroom develop preset

3. Choose the settings criteria you would like saved, then click Create.

Develop preset settings.

How to Apply Your Develop Preset

Navigate to the desired photo in the Develop module. In the Presets panel, click your new preset and watch as the edits are applied to the photo.

Screenshot showing how to apply a develop preset.

How to Apply Your Preset During Import

I generally use presets while importing underwater photos into Lightroom. This way the edits are applied by the time I first scan through the images.

How do you apply presets during import? Simple!

  1. While selecting your settings in the import dialog box, open the Apply During Import panel.
  2. Navigate to your preset inside the Develop Settings dropdown field.
Screenshot showing Lightroom import dialog box and applying preset.
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Brent Durand

Professional writer and underwater photo instructor. Brent is an avid diver and surfer, and has led many intensive photo workshops around the world.