How I Improved All of My Photographs With One Lightroom Preset

How I Improved All of My Photographs With One Lightroom Preset

Recently, I realized that the best way to get more Instagram followers (and therefore really be a professional photographer) was to start making all of my photographs orange and teal. I downloaded some Lightroom presets and set to work.

Apparently, orange and teal can make any photograph better, no matter what. This means more likes and more comments — and more followers. This is really lucky, because a lot of my photographs are of things that, without the orange and teal preset, are not that interesting.

The first preset that I downloaded was a bit disappointing; it just wasn't as orange and teal as I wanted. Looking at the settings more closely, I could see why: the saturation was turned down to -15 percent, and while the split toning had put loads of orange (34 percent) in the highlights, there was no blue or teal in the shadows. I was annoyed. Look at this beautiful picture of Venice.

orange and teal lightroom preset make your photos pop

It's popping, but not, you know, popping popping.

I resumed my search, and soon, I was in luck. This time the changes in the Camera Calibration panel were much more convincing. Instead of being in the 30s and 40s, the hue sliders were +100 (red primary and green primary), and -100 (blue primary). The split toning was left untouched (I guess they forgot?), but that didn't matter, as I quickly adjusted them to my liking.

Some people say that a Lightroom preset should be a starting point for an individual image and that the characteristics of a photograph should determine the editing process. Fortunately, this is where orange and teal is a real time-saver: it works for everything — portraits, landscapes, cat pictures — you name it. For example, look at this picture of some dogs in a field.

dogs in a field lightroom presets to make your photos pop

Suddenly, photos that I'd never considered publishing were really jumping off the screen. It didn't matter that skin tones now looked like someone had just stepped out of the core of a nuclear reactor. What mattered was the complementary color wheel and the sense that, however overcast it was when shooting, it was now golden hour. If it works for Michael Bay, it works for all of us. Even this picture of my dog after a trip to the vet was now what young people are calling a "banger."

teal and orange lightroom presets will gain you instagram followers

I quickly realized that I was producing art. This is no shopping trolley. This is a social commentary on the wastefulness of consumer culture, its solitary presence offering a brutal critique of city living, capitalism, and urban decay.

orange and blue filter will make your images jump off the screen

So, here's my advice: it doesn't matter that tens of thousands of other people are using this trick. Jump on board and make even the most unlikely photographs real winners on social media.

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Slavek Musilek's picture

:) :) :)

becoming professional photographer by having more followers on Instagram ...

I haven't had a sunny day today, but this joke made me laughing finally

Danny V's picture

I kept reading waiting to find the "I'm just kidding" line. Didn't find it :/ I don't think this preset makes people instant Instagram celebrities or something. How about people have their own style and wait till genuine people like you for YOUR style of work... am I right? Interesting article, but what it does for me is to tell a perspective on how social media is luring photographers to change and accept what's currently interesting (with the teal and orange)....or maybe, I'm reading too deep into it and overlooking the sarcasm and this is a joke article..... OMG I'm confused now....

Deleted Account's picture

Thank you so much for this!

Pedro Quintela's picture

I tend to see presets as something like using the camera in automatic. Don´t take me wrong they could be quite handy to give certain looks withouth effort. Many peers sell them and I guess they earn good money. Still if you want to create a personal style it should be by yourself, with effort, time and understanding how you can combine colors. Then you will be consistent on your images, because you manage the process to have that proper look of yours.

Finally I don´t agree with a statement on the article that says that using a preset is the "best way to get more Instagram followers (and therefore really be a professional photographer). The number of followers on social media doesn´t mean you are a pro by any means.

Nick Collura's picture

missed the part about the humor huh...

YoGi G's picture

Someone missed the "Humor" tag :P

Danny V's picture

I did :( and I responded to someone above in complete confusion lmfao I detected sarcasm but I got a tad bit upset and overlooked it ... fml

Jeff Walsh's picture

you seem super fun and chill, definitely a lighthearted person

Pedro Quintela's picture

You also seem to be very polite and friendly. What a joy having such motivational comment.

Jeff Walsh's picture

Next time just go with the classic, I know you are but what am I.

Rob Davis's picture

No link to the preset everyone should start using?

Dave F's picture

He's gotta crank the clarity a bit more and then rebrand it as his own preset first. Only then will he be truly legit.

"Even this picture of my dog after a trip to the vet was now what young people are calling a "banger."'

Bonus points if you actually change your dog's name to "Banger". With an orange and teal nametag / collar combo.

Deleted Account's picture

You should sell this preset pack. I would totally pay $29.95 to be a professional Instagram photographer. Sign me up!

Daniel Medley's picture


Jen Photographs's picture

This is satire, right?

Johnny Chien's picture

must be satire, because orange and teal is over used garbage, just like those stupid clear glass spheres, and hand slap transitions

Adam Palmer's picture

LOL . more like this

Nic Hilton's picture

Hahaha I orange and teal is so last year. Just underexpose everything and add 100% fade, desaturate almost entirely and blast the warmth

Marc J Wrzesinski's picture

Haha this was a great read.

Aaron Newman's picture

LOL- Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh. 🤣

Jordan Flynn's picture

Or we could read his last article 'Stop Wasting Your Money on Lightroom Presets'...

Alexander Petrenko's picture

I would respectfully disagree with artist as you can't achieve with simple preset the things you'd be able to achieve with LUTs. Presets are just not precise enough to give you proper teal and orange magic.

Only expensive teal and orange LUT gives real artistic poppity pop look.

Josh Spradley's picture

I tattooed my entire body orange and teal and now I'm pulling in ladies left and right. It works.

Greg G's picture

OMG now all my photos look just like that sitcom "A.P. Bio"!

Slide Slide's picture

Looks like someone just purchased the new "boomify" presets sold by Fro. Congratulations, you're now a professional photographer on the Interweb. Just get yourself a long haired blonde who wears big hats and aviators, move to the PNW, buy a VW camper van, adopt a cute dog, and then wait for the Instabux.

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