How I Edit Photos in Lightroom

& Download My Favorite Preset for FREE!

Where’s the ethical line with digital photo manipulation? In journalism, there is a hard and fast line with zero touch-ups for authenticity and objective reporting. However, in the bloggersphere & Instagram world, it’s an unwritten rule that you touch up your photos so they are the best they can possibly be.

Out of curiosity, what do you think about editing photos in Lightroom & Photoshop? Comment below if you like it or if you think it ruins the authenticity of a destination.


I’m a big fan of adjusting the colors so they pop. I don’t like to edit out objects or edit myself to look different, but I like to play around with the coloring of my photos.

All of the photos in this post show the ‘after & before’ of my very own preset!

I’ve found that when I am creating blog posts, if every picture in the post has the same filter on it, there is a sense of cohesiveness that I really enjoy. Having a similar tint brings unity and is pleasing to the eye!

You can also work on creating a custom theme on Instagram. When the pictures in your feed have a specific tint, it’s easy to recognize which photos were from one trip versus another. You can even make it so your entire feed uses the same filter to add that cohesive feel.

I never used to edit my photos, but since I purchased Lightroom I’ve found that my photos get more attention and people talk to me about how I edit them.

I find that I enjoy brightening and warming up the photos I take, and that’s what 90% of my Lightroom Presets involve! Especially since I’m constantly shooting landscapes and food, adding warmth to the photos makes them feel more full of life.

When I work in Lightroom the first thing I do is adjust the exposure and the contrast. When I get the photo to a brightness that works best, I’ll adjust the highlights and shadows as well, either heightening the blacks or dimming them. These are the foundational steps.

After this I’ll move onto the Color feature, usually by adding warmth. I have found that bringing the saturation down a bit but amping up the vibrance adds a really cool look to my photos.

When I have time I’ll adjust the point curve, but normally I leave it alone and make minimum corrections. The last step is clarity & sharpening for an added bonus.

It’s pretty simple adjustments!


This preset is called ‘Nuremberg’ because I created it when I visited Christmas Markets in Germany last December. When you read my post, you’ll see that there is a creative flow because every picture utilizes this preset!

Many of my other posts since this have utilized one filter, and it makes a big difference!

Read More: Two of the Best German Christmas Markets

Since its creation, I have used it to adjust photos in China, Georgia, at home on Lake Michigan and most recently in Colorado. It is a beautiful filter that adds warmth and brightness.

It works best with adding life to dull photos that would otherwise be spectacular! Just because it was cloudy on my hike doesn’t mean the scenery was any less spectacular, and this preset brings out the life in this shot.

I use it for outdoor shots. Sometimes it acts funky on indoor lighting!


To use the preset, download it from my public Google Drive link to your desktop. Go into Adobe Lightroom and go to File > Import Photos & Presets > Nuremberg.xmp

You will see it under your presets now! Happy editing!

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