A beautiful sunrise at Lake Matheson in New Zealand with fog covering trees in the foreground and a beautiful mirror like reflection of mountains in the water.

15 Amazing Free Lightroom Landscape Presets You Need Now

by Jonny Marc Baker
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So you’ve just got back from an incredible session shooting some of the best landscapes you could find.  If you’re anything like me, the first thing you’ll want to do when you arrive back home is boot up the computer, launch Lightroom and start editing your photos, but where to start exactly?  If you’re just getting started with Lightroom or even a newbie to photography in general, the best way you can take advantage of Lightroom’s immense capabilities is with the use of some Lightroom landscape presets.

By using a preset you can easily edit any of your images with the click of a button.  To explain in the simplest way possible, a Lightroom preset is a feature where you can load everything you have done in a previous edit to the current image you’d like to edit.  As well as being able to make your own presets from edits you have made, you can download and use presets that other users have created.

It is extremely popular for travel and landscape photographers, as well as bloggers and even Instagram influencers, to sell their presets online as downloads.  This means that even the most novice Lightroom user can start creating amazing images in no time.  If you’re just starting out though, you might not want to spend a fortune on presets.  If that’s the case, don’t worry as there are many places you can find some great free presets to download.

So if you’re looking for a great way to improve your landscape images, then look no further.  I have trialled tons of presets that are available as a free download and have compiled this list of the best Lightroom landscape presets that you can use free of charge.

I have applied each of the presets to one of four of my selected images.  This way you can see the unedited before image and compare it with what the image looks like with the preset applied.

The Wall

The Wall is one of my favourite free Lightroom landscape presets and is available for download from freelightroompresets.co.  This preset takes a lot of the saturation and vibrance out of the photo to give an almost black and white looking image.  I found this preset works really well on photos that have a lot of contrast between dark and light tones, to create a bold image that stands out.

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called The Wall one of the best free Lightroom Landscape Presets.

Very Dynamic

This Lightroom landscape preset from freepresets.com is great to use if you’re looking to add a whole load of contrast to your image.  Everything that could possibly be done to introduce contrast and tone to your image has been done with this preset.

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called Very Dynamic one of the best Lightroom landscape presets.

Icelandic

This Icelandic preset, also from freepresets.com, gives the colours in your image a boost with some saturation and vibrance.  So if you’re looking to accentuate the colours in your photos, this preset is a great choice.  The blues from this early morning sunrise stand out perfectly.

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called Icelandic one of the best free Lightroom landscape presets.

Vast Landscapes

Vast Landscapes has been created by freepresets.com and is perfect if you’re really happy with your image but would like to perfect it that little bit more.  It keeps things basic, creating a more even exposure and building more tone within the image.  It’s great for editing a vast landscape as the name suggests, adding a bit more interest to an already interesting subject.

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called Vast Landscapes one of the best free Lightroom landscape presets.

San Francisco

The San Francisco preset from freepresets.com creates some warmth in your photos.  It makes some changes to the blues and reds of your image.  It also adds a bit of split toning, adding some blues to the shadows and introducing some orangey reds into the highlights.

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called San Francisco.

Cali Color

Cali Color from freepresets.com creates a lighter, brighter, almost faded feel to your images.  Most colours have been adjusted, especially the reds, yellows and blues.  This is also the first preset so far that has made changes to the white balance, changing it to daylight.  Great to use on bright colourful photos that need a little more of a pop.

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called Cali Color.

Voodoo Lounge

Voodoo Lounge from freelightroompresets.co is a great Lightroom landscape preset to use if you’re looking to add a lot of contrast to your images.  This preset takes a lot of the vibrance out of the photo.  In this example you can see the interesting faded look this creates when compared to the original unedited version.

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called Voodoo Lounge one of the best free Lightroom landscape presets.

Valley View

This Lightroom preset from freepresets.com is one to use if you’re looking to make drastic changes to your photos.  With a boost in clarity, a bit of split toning and adjustments in just about everything in Lightroom, your photos should hopefully be looking great in no time.

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called Valley View one of the best free Lightroom landscape presets.

Whistler

This Whistler preset from freepresets.com goes great with photos that contain a lot of blues, as in the example I have used.  With the use of split toning in this preset, a large proportion of the changes in the blues comes from introducing blue into the shadows.  This is a great preset to use on all types of landscape imagery, give it a try yourself.

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called Whistler.

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast, which is made by freepresets.com, is a great Lightroom landscape preset to introduce into your workflow.  It’s a great preset to use if you’re looking to balance out the colours of your photos and add dynamic looking tone to them as demonstrated in the example.

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called Amalfi Coast.

Captain America

The Captain America preset from freelightroompresets.co is a good preset to use if you’re looking to introduce a faded de-saturated look to your images.  This preset works best with images that have a lot of contrast between the lights and darks of a photo.  It’s definitely a contender of being one of my favourite free Lightroom Landscape presets on this list.

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called Captain America one of the best free Lightroom landscape presets.

Vista

Vista is a preset created by freepresets.com and works best with bright colourful landscape images.  The preset creates a graduated darkening in the sky and boosts the colours in your photos.  With the use of split toning, your photos get an added warmth to them.

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called Vista.

Crisp Mountains

The Crisp Mountains preset from presetlove.com is a great choice if you’re looking to even out the exposure of your landscape imagery.  Although this preset creates a very subtle adjustment to the image, this is enough to bring some detail back into the shadows and add some interest back into your subject.

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called Crisp Mountains one of the best free Lightroom landscape presets.

Driftwood

The Driftwood preset, which has been created by freepresets.com, gives your landscape images a beautiful light airy feel.  Very basic adjustments to the tone curve and exposure of the image make this a very versatile preset that can be used on lots of your landscape photographs.  

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called Driftwood one of the best free Lightroom landscape presets.

Travel

The final preset is a Travel preset made by presetlove.com.  As you can tell from the name, this preset is great to use on your travel photography and works really well on landscape and outdoor images.  This preset gives you a clean looking image, boosting the saturation, contrast and general tone of your landscape images.

A comparison of two images looking at the before and after of using a Lightroom preset called Travel..

Final Thoughts

These are some of the best Lightroom landscape presets I have found that are available as a free download.  Each preset creates a different feel to your images and the outcomes can be vastly different.  Try some out for yourself so you can see which ones work well with your own photography. 

Although these Lightroom landscape presets have been created to help you edit your own photos with ease, I would advise you to try and make your own adjustments on your images as well.  Presets are not a one size fits all kind of thing.  The best way to use them, in my opinion, is as a base edit.  You can then have a play around and fine tune the adjustments to the photo you are editing, and this way you can really create your next masterpiece!

If you want to learn more about Lightroom presets you should check out our Lightroom presets guide which will explain everything.

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If you're looking to improve your editing in Lightroom check out these amazing free Lightroom Landscape Presets that will make your images come to life.

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