Learn More About the Lightroom 4 A-Z Guide

The following tutorial is Lesson “Presets Tab” from Chapter 3 – 2 from the Lightroom Workshop. We will be releasing 1-2 tutorials per week from the LR4 A-Z DVD. The full DVD including 130 tutorials and nearly 14 hours of Lightroom 4 training is available in the SLR Lounge Store.

In this Lightroom Tutorial

In this Episode of the Lightroom 4 DVD Training we will begin going over setting up the Presets Tab preferences in Lightroom 4. We will cover some of the adjustments such as: auto tone adjustments, auto mix when converting to black and white, how to transfer your presets, and more! Enjoy!

Presets Tab Video Tutorial

Presets Tab Written Tutorial

In the Presets Tab you have 3 sections. The “Default Develop Settings”, “Location”, and “Lightroom Defaults”



Default Develop Settings: The “Default Develop Settings” are the default settings for when you import pictures into Lightroom. Under the “Default Develop Settings” you have 4 boxes that you can check.

Apply Auto Tone Adjustments: Lightroom will apply adjustments to your photos based on what Lightroom thinks the photo should look like. We like to keep this box unchecked because most of the time Lightroom doesn’t get the photos to look how we want them.

Apply auto mix when first converting to black and white: When you first convert an image to black and white it will apply an “auto mix” setting. This setting doesn’t get our photos to look how we want them either, so we leave this box unchecked.

Make defaults specific to camera serial number: This is useful during the circumstances when you’re shooting with multiple cameras. If one camera is softer than another, or one camera has more saturated colors than another, a default setting can be created for each individual camera. When this box is checked, the specific develop settings you’ve set will be applied to the cameras.

Make defaults specific to camera ISO setting: You can create noise reduction settings specific to the ISO that the image was shot in. With this box checked you can have custom settings applied to 400 ISO, 800 ISO, 1600 ISO, and so on.

If you decide that you are unhappy with the changes you made in your “Default Develop Settings” you can always click the “Reset all default Develop settings”.


Store Presets with Catalog: When you have this box checked, it stores all of your presets inside of the catalog. That means when you start up a new catalog, all of the presets are gone because they have been stored in the previous catalog. We always keep this box unchecked because we don’t want to have to import all of our presets every time we start a new catalog. The only time option is useful is when you’re exporting a catalog to a computer that doesn’t have the presets. An easier alternative to exporting a catalog with presets is just to copy the presets from computer to computer.

Lightroom Defaults:  

If you ever find that you are unhappy with any of the changes you make inside Lightroom, this is where you would go to restore the default settings. This is especially useful on a shared computer.

Conclusion and More Info

When used properly, the presets tab is a great asset to a photographers workflow. It is a great tab when customizing imports, and when mistakes are made, you can always restore the default settings.

The Lightroom Workshop turns a novice into a complete master of Lightroom  in no time!

– 130 Video Tutorials and nearly 14 hours of content!
– Over 6 hours of tutorials dedicated to developing techniques
– Full Menu System for easy navigation through the tutorials
– Bonus DVD Content that includes Advanced Lightroom 4 Techniques
– Full HD 1080p Resolution for all Video Tutorials
– On-screen Shortcut Tooltips for Lightroom 4
– Exercise Files + Final Catalog so you can follow along during the tutorials
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