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The best free Lightroom presets for 2021

Free Lightroom presets
(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

Free Lightroom presets are a great way to save time on image editing, without spending any cash. So in this article, we've gathered together the best free Lightroom presets available today, for use on a wide range of pictures, from portraiture to landscape to still life.

Whether you're a beginner at image editing, or an old hand, these free Lightroom presets are a great opportunity to test the waters before committing to the best premium Lightroom presets. Alternatively, they can just be a fun way of trying things out in the best photo editing software

So, if you're ready to cut down on your editing time, it's time to dive into these free Lightroom presets, which in total give you more than 1,000 free Lightroom presets for you to explore. They've each been handpicked to help you take your photography to the next level.

• See also: Why I dumped Lightroom CC and went back to Lightroom Classic

What is a Lightroom preset?

Lightroom presets are a one-click solution for your editing, instantly applying pre-set effects and adjustments to your photos. This means that you don't have to spend your precious time fiddling around with all the different Lightroom options to get the look you want. You can try out different styles for your photography without having to spend hours trying to guess which combination of contrast, saturation and exposure will achieve what you want. 

The best thing about free Lightroom presets is that they're all customizable as well. This means that if you like an effect, but it's making your image slightly too dark, for example, you can simply use the Exposure slider to perfect the look.

If you want to expand your Lightroom knowledge, you might want to check out our free series of Lightroom tutorials. Haven't got Lightroom yet? You can find out how you can subscribe to it here as part of Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan.

How to download and install Lightroom presets

  1. DOWNLOAD THE PRESETS
    Presets are just processing instructions, so the files are quite small, even if they are grouped together in sets. You may need to sign up to a newsletter first before you can get the download. This will typically be a small .zip file containing the preset files and often some instructions or upgrade information.
     
  2. OPEN THE LIGHTROOM PRESETS PANEL
    You will need to be in Develop mode (Lightroom Classic) or editing an image (Lightroom CC) to see the Presets panel. This has a button for importing new presets. Click this and then navigate to where you've downloaded the presets. Here you can import a whole .zip archive (see above) to import the presets as a new group, or import them individually.
     
  3. IMPORT THE PRESETS
    Lightroom can import presets direct from .zip files, unless there are other files in the .zip archive too. If Lightroom says it can't import the presets (next step), try unzipping the download first and importing the presets as individual files. If you do this they will appear amongst your regular user presets, but you can organise them once they are imported.
     
  4. ORGANIZE YOUR PRESETS
    You can do this from the Presets panel too. If your presets have imported individually you can create and name a new presets 'group' and move them into that.
     

Free Lightroom presets for portraits

1.  Nicolesy's Matte Presets 

Before and after shot of young girl posing

(Image credit: Nicole S. Young)

If you want to give your photos a vintage, "faded with time" matte look, then check out this selection of eight free Lightroom presets by Nicole S. Young, a.k.a. Nicolesy. Each preset softens the blacks and adds a slight split toning effect.

Download Nicolesy's Matte Presets

2. Strong HDR

(Image credit: Shutter Pulse)

Want to give your portraits a dramatic transformation, in just one click? This free Lightroom preset from Shutter Pulse will enhance your photos by applying a strong HDR-like effect. 

Download Strong HDR

3. Somber HDR

(Image credit: Shutter Pulse)

Here’s another of the superb free Lightroom presets available to download from Shutter Pulse. Somber HDR enhances the dynamic range of your portrait shots and slightly desaturates the colors.  

Download Somber HDR

4. Altphotos presets

free Lightroom presets: Altphotos presets

You'll be sure to find something you like in this set of 10 free Lightroom presets, including presets that dull and darken, presets that brighten and warm, presets that increase contrast and blue tones, and presets that give warm, retro finishes.

Download Altphotos presets

5. Deep Matte

free Lightroom presets: Deep Matte

Creating a nice, smooth matte effect in your portrait photographs needn't be too difficult with this free Lightroom preset. It leaves you with solid definition and great toning to your shots, which can add extra dimension and texture. 

Download Deep Matte

6. Sepia Presets

free Lightroom presets: Sepia

(Image credit: Fix The Photo)

From soft HDR to clear skin and cold shadows, this enormous pack of 300 free Lightroom presets is useful for applying all kinds of options to your pictures. A handy toolkit for adding a quick burst of nostalgia. 

Download Sepia presets

7. Color Pop

free Lightroom presets: Color Pop

(Image credit: Shutterpulse)

It's a fine line between beautifully vibrant colors and a garish, unsightly mess. Color Pop help you avoid overstepping that mark. Turn down the natural saturation in your photos, this effect will give a pleasant boost to photos that might be a little lackluster straight out of camera. 

Download Color Pop

8. Grace

free Lightroom presets: Grace

(Image credit: Preset Love)

This free Lightroom preset by Silky Presets offers an easy way to lighten shadows without washing out your picture with a lack of contrast. It's refined, controlled and a good effect to use on a portrait.   

Download Grace preset

9. Warm Retro

free Lightroom presets: Warm Retro

Warmth can be tricky to add to your pictures. Too much and you run the risk of an orange overdose; too little makes images look washed out. This free Lightroom preset will help you hit that sweet spot between the two. 

Download Warm Retro

10. Cole's Classroom presets

Best free Lightroom presets: Cole's Classroom presets

With added haze, crispness, summer and black-and-white presets included in this pack of 15, Cole has covered all bases with a fun set of presets. Our personal pick? Big Bold Color.

Download Cole’s Classroom presets

11. Silver Lining

free Lightroom presets: Silver Lining

If you're looking for a black-and-white look but want to avoid high contrast, this glassy, silver lining preset might be just what you need. It takes the color out of your photos and leaves a classy monochrome finish.

Download Silver Lining

12. Hollywood presets

free Lightroom presets: Hollywood presets

If it's glamour you're after, these free Lightroom presets are the ones for you. With gorgeous toning in a range of styles, you'll feel like a Hollywood superstar in no time. The paid-for Pro version contains 70 presets in total, but you can grab two for free to start you off.

Download Hollywood presets

13. Blood Brothers

Best free Lightroom presets: Blood Brothers

(Image credit: Free Lightroom Presets)

If you're looking for deep dramatic blacks, subtly purple-toned highlights and nice warm skin tones, give Blood Brothers a try. This free Lightroom preset gives you plenty of room to get creative with your colors, without going overboard. 

Download Blood Brothers

14. BeArt presets

Best free Lightroom presets: BeArt presets

The BeArt collection is one of the best free Lightroom preset packs for beginners around today. It also contains some great effects that enthusiasts might want to call upon from time to time. 

Download BeArt presets

15. Insta Look

(Image credit: Filter Look)

These free Lightroom presets provide a lovely bright and airy effect by erasing shadows, lighting highlights and brightening the image as whole. Blues are transformed into light cyans and greens are nicely desaturated in this staple Instagram look. 

Download Insta Look

16. Urban Presets

Best free Lightroom presets: Urban Presets

If you're not really looking for HDR, but you're still seeking a clarity boosting preset, this might be the one for you. This set of 10 grungy urban presets do a great job of making the gritty pretty, and is ideal for edgy street portraiture.

Download Urban Presets

17. Lightgram

free lightroom presets

(Image credit: Lightgram)

This suite of 15 crisp, punchy presets is ideal for just about every kind of portraiture. From muted, matte-look tones to moody mono treatments and crunchy color boosts, it’s sure to add some pep to whatever portraits you throw at it. 

Download Lightgram

18. Photoshoot Preset

Free lightroom presets

(Image credit: Preset Pro)

This soft, faded, dreamy look of this free Lightroom preset will add a hint of vintage elegance to any image. It is particularly suited to portrait photography, though, with its muted contrast and soft colors that recall the look of the old camera lenses your parents used to shoot with.

Download Photoshoot Preset

Free Lightroom presets for landscapes

19. Landscape Vibrations Presets and Brushes by Sleeklens

Before and after images of cloudy sky

(Image credit: Sleeklens)

This pack of 30 Lightroom presets by Sleeklens provides a great range of looks for all types of landscape photos. And that's not all: you also get 16 brushes for performing local adjustments.

Download Landscape Vibrations Presets

20. Very Dynamic

Mountain image divided between before and after looks

(Image credit: Presetpro.com)

Very Dynamic from Presetpro.com includes dynamic base settings to balance extreme light and dark areas in your photo. This free Lightroom preset is a great choice for cityscape and landscape images. 

Download Very Dynamic

21. Narrow Streets  

Cyclist crossing busy bridge

(Image credit: Viktor Elizarov)

Narrow Streets is one of the best free Lightroom presets for that classic street photography look. Applying a high tonal contrast to images, it was developed specifically by Viktor Elizarov for editing shots captured in urban environments.

Download Narrow Streets

 22. Matt Kloskowski's Spotlight Presets

Mother and baby posing next to pumpkins

(Image credit: Matt Kloskowski)

This pack from photographer and blogger Matt Kloskowski features a set of 12 free Lightroom presets. Each takes advantage of the Radial Filter effect in Lightroom to control the area in the photo you want to highlight.

Download Matt Kloskowski

23. Skyfall

Free Lightroom presets

(Image credit: Free Lightroom Presets)

While it has nothing to do with James Bond, it has everything to do with pale pink skies and low contrast – so these Skyfall textures can give a soft subtlety to your images. They work well with a number of genres, but are particularly suited to landscape shots. 

Download Skyfall

24. High Tide

Free Lightroom presets

These High Tide effects look gorgeous when applied to bright, summery photos. Combine the 12 free Lightroom presets with your seaside images, sunburst shots and sandy beach photographs for a warm, fresh finish.

Download High Tide

25. Vintage Film

Free Lightroom presets

In the age of Instagram filters and Polaroid-style photos, there's never been a better time for a vintage film preset that replicates the same kind of effect. This one is a particularly strong effort and adds a wonderful tonality to your images.

Download Vintage Film

26. Autumn Color boost

Free Lightroom presets

In many ways autumn is pretty, but in other ways, it can be kind of bleak. The skies become greyer and the temperature drops. Well, you needn't worry about that side of the season anymore; this preset is perfect for keeping the yellow, red and brown tones popping in your images, while negating the dreary grey. 

Download Autumn Color boost 

27. Beautiful Sunrise

Free Lightroom presets

When captured well, a sunrise can prove to be the most beautiful shot in your portfolio. This preset can help to boost it just that little further with added saturation, brightness and clarity to boot.

Download Beautiful Sunrise

28. Light Leak presets

Free Lightroom presets

If you don't fancy shooting Lomography style, or risking dirt getting into your camera by shooting while freelensing, these light leak presets create a lovely splash of color and brightness in your images, and look great in a bright, summery scene.

Download Light Leak presets

29. Blue Haze

Free lightroom Presets: Blue Haze

(Image credit: Bunty Pundir)

Want some gorgeously moody blue-toned landscape shots? You might want to give the Blue Haze preset a whirl. This dramatic preset comes as part of a set of 11 free landscape presets – and each one is impressive in its own right!

Download Blue Haze & 10 more landscape presets

30. Winter Wonderland

Free Lightroom presets

The suite of 20 Winter Wonderland free Lightroom presets via ON1's website is perfect for bringing a chilly snap into sharp focus. It ups the clarity, fixes the contrast and gives a vivid feel to your final image.   

Download Winter Wonderland 

31. Let's Get Lost

Free Lightroom presets

When it comes to toning your images with a sense of social media adventure, the Let's Get Lost preset is great for a once-over. It turns landscapes and lifestyle images into hipster-style shots and it's very versatile.   

Download Let's Get Lost 

32. Dark Presets

Free Lightroom presets

Brightness is all well and good, but sometimes it needs toning down. That's where these 10 darker presets come in. Great for dramatic scenes, but also a necessary tool in tone control, making it a useful tool for moody landscapes.

Download Dark Presets

33. Polar PX - Rough

Free Lightroom presets

This effect will create worn, vintage-brown casts to overlay on your pictures, without losing any color. They're great for achieving a grungy effect to exaggerate textures, and work with any photo – though it lends itself brilliantly to landscapes.

Download Polar PX - Rough

34. Helene In Between

Free Lightroom presets

This set of presets gives a beautiful balmy haze to your outdoor images. The blues become a little more cyan, while the yellows soften up nicely. It's great for your beach and city shots, especially with a little kiss of sun.

Download Helene In Between Lightroom Presets

35. Cinematic HDR

Free Lightroom presets

HDR presets are some of the most popular and readily available online, but these ones are particularly good for their clarity and contrast. Apply them to your landscape photographs to get them to their best.

Download Cinematic HDR

Free Lightroom presets for weddings and holidays

36. Warm Cinematic 

Girl posing in hat

(Image credit: Preset Love)

Seeking a classic or vintage film aesthetic? Adding a dramatic warmth to your images, this preset from Preset Love creates tones and colors similar to pictures shot on analog cameras, Use this free Lightroom preset to imbue any scene with a unique cinematic atmosphere.

Download Warm Cinematic

37. Rich Film

Young girl playing with bucket and spade

(Image credit: Shutter Pulse)

Want to give your digital images the look of traditional film? This free Lightroom preset from Shutter Pulse is one of the most entrancing we’ve seen in a long time. Give it a try!

Download Rich Film

38. Vintage Vixen

Best free Lightroom presets: Vintage Vixen

What’s old is new, and that’s certain the case with the vintage look. This portrait preset creates soft tones, a nice brown overlay and added warmth, which can help give you a classic movie star feel to your shots without any loss of quality. 

Download Vintage Vixen

39. Greater Than Gatsby

Best free Lightroom presets: Greater Than Gatsby

Perfect for beginners and professionals alike, this set of 12 effects is lifted from a range of Greater Than Gatsby's presets, with the slant towards soft-focus portraits, weddings and shots of kids.

Download Greater Than Gatsby

40. Blood Sugar

Free Lightroom presets

(Image credit: Free Lightroom Presets)

Filled with bright, punchy oranges, intense blues and muted, cool-toned greens, this versatile preset can be used on landscapes, portraits, still life photos and more for a bold, unique and stylized look. 

Download Blood Sugar

41. Mini Enlighten presets

Free Lightroom presets

(Image credit: MCPActions)

The Mini Enlighten presets are great for controlling your exposure and offer great overlays for a professional finish. They make your colors pop without overcomplicating the effect and work really well with portraits in particular. 

Download Mini Enlighten presets

42. Entity

Free Lightroom presets

(Image credit: Eksposure)

This free Lightroom preset is perfect for making subtle improvements to your image while making the most out of its natural colors. It's designed to create a soft pastel look and make your subject pop – but it leaves you plenty of room to make your own adjustments too!

Download Entity

43. Grain and Film

Free Lightroom presets

For anyone looking to add that filmic effect to their pictures, look no further than Contrastly's Grain and Film pack, via the On1 website. These 10 presets are wonderfully easy options for adding noise and texture to your images without it being overbearing.

Download Grain and Film

44. No Man Before Travel presets

Free Lightroom presets

If you're hoping to show your friends and families all the places you've been on holiday, you need these four free Lightroom presets. Perfectly designed for getting the best out of your travel shots, they add a pretty glow to your images.

Download No Man Before Travel presets 

Free Lightroom presets for Instagram

45. Fujifilm Neopan

Woman walking down stairs

(Image credit: Preset Love)

As free Lightroom presets go, this one is pretty darned specific. It will transform your color images to highly defined black-and-white ones, based on the look of Fujifilm Neopan film. They’re not 100 per cent monochrome though, but tinted with deep chocolate browns, making for a mood that’s similar to sepia, but darker and more dramatic.

Download Fujifilm Neopan

46. AGF Ultra

Free Lightroom presets

(Image credit: Free Presets)

47. CosmicDancer

Free Lightroom presets

If you're looking for a little something to give you some added clarity, to tone up your images and keep them looking bold and impactful, this strong but subtle free Lightroom preset is the one for you. 

Download CosmicDancer

48. Intense Warm

Free Lightroom presets

Intense Warm does exactly what you might expect it to, but the great thing about it is that it retains a sense of subtlety that can easily get lost in a vibrant, slightly orange image. This is a great start point for a thorough, summery edit.  

Download Intense Warm

49. We Eat Together Food photography presets

Free Lightroom presets

These are not just any old presets: food always looks more appetizing with a little contrast, vibrance and clarity applied, and these five presets are good for making the scrumptious look truly mouthwatering.

Download We Eat Together Food photography presets

50. Moody

Free Lightroom presets

(Image credit: Retouching Blog)

While bright and colorful presets will always have their place, sometimes we all crave something a bit moodier and more dramatic. The suitably titled Moody preset ticks both of those boxes. Lifted blacks perfectly complement the heavy shadows, while the desaturated colors give you a fantastic vintage-inspired effect.

Download Moody

51. Spring

Free Lightroom presets

If the summer presets are a little too warm for your tastes and the colder tones aren't quite cutting it, you'll appreciate the middle ground offered by this preset. It's soft and bright, with just a touch of extra color.

Download Spring

52. Shotkit bundle

Free Lightroom presets

This bundle of 25 presets includes a handful that aim to replicate some of the most popular and well loved film emulsions, such as Agfachrome RSX II 200 and Kodak Ektacolor Pro 160. Definitely one to check out if you love old film stock. You get this as one of several freebies when you sign up to the Shotkit mailing list.

Download Shotkit bundle 

53. PHLearn sample pack

Free Lightroom presets

(Image credit: PHLEARN)

This sample pack has some beautiful effects for you to try, including selections from PHLearn's Minimal Blogger Preset Pack. With 10 sampe presets, this sample selection is worth delving into to add some creative flair to your shots.

Download PHLearn sample pack

55. Car presets bundle

Free Lightroom presets

Every motor enthusiast likes their car to look clean, sharp and smooth when they're out and about, and these 300 presets will help make your car look even brighter, crisper and more toned than it does in reality.

Download Car presets bundle

56. Summer Breeze

Free Lightroom presets

Not to be confused with the earlier Summer Breeze LR collection at number 52, this is another pack of presets that are also warm, hazy and perfect for beach shots. If you're looking for a color boost, both are worth downloading.

Download Summer Breeze 

57. Traveler

Free Lightroom presets

(Image credit: Filter Look)

Sometimes less is more. With no significant adjustments to exposure, this preset doesn't dramatically change your image, it just subtly enhances the colors for a bigger impact on your viewer. Download and enjoy the colorful effect! 

Download Traveler

Read more: 

Best free Photoshop plugins for photographers: 52 to choose from!
25 premium Lightroom presets and plugins for serious photographers
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Mark White

Mark wrote for Photoshop Creative magazine until its closure in September 2018, demonstrating his mastery of advanced image editing skills. He is now a staff writer the leading soccer magazine FourFourTwo.