Do image editing presets kill creativity? How to manually edit your landscape shots in Lightroom


posted Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 6:00 AM EST


When editing images, many photographers may opt for the simple solution and apply a preset. There are a lot of nice-looking presets out there, after all. Perhaps in some cases, this approach makes a lot of sense, as if you are editing many images you can save time by applying particular presets to your shots. However, photographer Attilio Ruffo makes the case in the video below that presets kill creativity.

The basis for his argument against presets is that every image is different and requires different adjustments to bring out its best qualities. Further, by editing images on your own, you learn a lot about not only how to process photographs, but you can also learn more about your personal style when you are editing your own images.

Presets don’t understand your intention as a photographer, there is no way for a group of presets to comprehend the kind of emotional response you want from your viewer. Yes, you can influence the emotion of your photos by selecting the best preset for your shot. However, at the end of the day, the more involved you are in the creative process, the more likely your images are to have the impact you desire.

In Ruffo’s video below, he breaks down his case against presets and shows you his personal Lightroom workflow for a particular – and very beautiful – landscape image. To see more of his videos, be sure to check out his YouTube channel.

(Via Attilio Ruffo