How long do you spend on editing an image? Minutes, hours, days, more? It varies by image, by photographer and all depends on what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

One way of trying out different looks for your images is to use presets. Skylum’s Luminar comes with 67 presets that you can use to experiment with.

After opening image in Lumiar click on categories. Then just click away on presets to see how each one affects your image. Don’t get stuck thinking you need to use Portrait presets only for portrait and Outdoor presets only for outdoor.

If you click on the Get More it takes you to Skylum site where there are plenty of free presets to download and also presets for purchase.

Using Presets

The black and white edit of this one was from the Outdoor collection, while the color version is a preset from the Winter collection.

For this shot, I used the Vivid preset under the Basic preset pack, the Landscape Soft B&W under the Outdoor preset pack, and the Peruvian Desert under the Street preset pack.

Don’t be afraid to experiment, the undo function works great if you don’t like something. Click on each preset to see what it does.

In these examples, I left the preset opacity at 100% but there is a slider that allows you to decrease the amount the preset is applied to your image, play with that until you get what you are looking for.

Presets can be great starting points when you are editing images as well when you want to go back and tweak an image more.

Layering Presets

What really sets apart Luminar’s preset feature is the fact that you can use presets on top of one another, in different layers. To do this, apply your first preset, and then click the “+ Overlay Preset” button to the upper right of the preset grid.

This feature comes in handy when you want to start off with a certain look from a preset, but then make additional adjustments to it. To get creative, you can adjust the Amount slider on every preset you use, so you can blend different presets together for a unique, custom look.


Once you find a preset you do like, click the star in the lower right of the preset thumbnail to add it to a custom “Favorite” preset collection. There are so many options when it comes to presets — the only way to learn what you like and what you don’t is to try them all!