Talking Point - Presets

Talking Point – Lightroom Presets – Is it cheating or a time-saver?

Today I thought I would approach a subject that has many opinions on it.  In my talking point discussion I want to ask is using a Lightroom Preset created by another photographer cheating?  Or just a time-saver?

I have downloaded free Lightroom Presets as well as purchasing Lightroom Presets.  I bought a collection of Lightroom Presets from Serge Ramelli.  And I use these Presets on a regular basis.  But is it cheating to use another photographers collection of Presets on your own work or should you play around with that particular Preset to make it your own?

Talking Point - Lightroom Presets

I created the above image using Photoshop Mix on my tablet.  After pulling my hair out trying to get the powder paint image to open in Photoshop Mix; I was pleased with the effect this App gave my image.

And with the powers of Lightroom Mobile, I was able to work further on this image back on my desktop in Lightroom.  In order to create different effects to the image, I used a couple of Presets.

Talking Point Discussion on Image 1

Feint Bluebells of Ashenbank Woods
Blue Bells

For the above image, I used a Preset that I created in Lightroom called Deep and Moody.

Talking Point Discussion on Image 2

Talking Point - Presets

For the image above I used a free Preset I downloaded from Serge Ramelli called America Night Lighter.  To get these presets all you have to do is sign up to his website and share his social media networks.

I did no further edits after applying this preset.   I didn’t feel as if I was cheating by using another person’s presets on my image. To me, it just cut down precious time in processing which gave me the effect I wanted on my image.

My thoughts on this Talking Point

To me, the only time you are being dishonest if you use another person’s preset is when you claim it as your own after altering a few sliders within that preset.  I don’t feel the need as a photographer or a creator of Presets to force people to keep giving me recognition for my Presets.  Recognition is nice.  I feel that when someone purchases a product from you for a price then they have the god forgiven right to use it as and when without having to keep giving you credit.

To me, if you crave for recognition that much, then go and get a dog.  And no it is not cheating, in my opinion, to use a Preset without doing any alterations or edits to that Preset.  After all, isn’t that what Presets are for?  To give you a starting point? Or an ending point?

What I consider as cheating and blatant plagiarism is to breach someone’s terms of use and then claim the preset as your own.

Presets are created to cut down your workflow on an image.  Why spend hours going through different sliders doing the same mundane edits when you can create a preset as a starting point?

On a personal level, I like to modify Presets to my style of photo editing.  But there is definitely no wrong in using a Preset on your image without making further changes.  Within the develop module of Lightroom I have a collection of favourite Presets; a combination of presets that I use regularly along with presets which I’ve modified to my style of photo-editing.  And I have a collection of Presets that I have created myself. To me, the cheating comes when someone unscrupulously takes another person’s presets and passes them off as their own for either recognition or profit.

So, in my opinion, no it is not cheating to use a preset on your image.  A preset is a time-saver or a very good starting point for processing your image.

What do you think?



Written by Bren (Ryan-Photography)

Bren Ryan is a female amateur photographer and blogger who along with her husband, Ashley, have created a photography blog called Ryan Photography which showcases the places they've visited on their photography journey. Bren and Ashley primarily concentrate their photographic skills on landscape, architecture and floral subjects. Based in the South East of England they hope to give their readers an insight into the wonderful and beautiful landscapes, buildings and places that the South of England has to offer.

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