A cottage industry has grown up around Lightroom, with creative users making a range of Develop presets available for download.
There’s no secret sauce in commercial Develop presets. They simply move the Develop sliders to new positions, just like the presets you can create yourself. The key is knowing which combination of sliders to move to get the result you want, and therein lies the appeal of presets. The preset creators have already spent the time experimenting, so you don’t have to. Simply find a preset you like, and apply it to your photo. You can then tweak the settings further to suit the image or your personal taste, but you’re 90% of the way there.
I’ve just updated my list of the most popular free and commercial Lightroom presets. If there are any other presets you’d like to highlight, please feel free to add them to the comments on this post.
Finally, have you ever wished you could adjust the ‘strength’ of a preset effect? You might want to take a look at The Fader plug-in, which does exactly that.