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Free Lightroom 3 & 4 Presets for Grungy Urban Portraits

Note: These presets have been designed to work beautifully in Lightroom 3, 4 and 5! Be sure to check out our other free Lightroom presets.

These urban presets will add a grungy, high contrast look to your images. Ten urban presets are included in this collection and have been designed to work with all versions of Lightroom. These babies will make your images jump off the screen!

Free Adobe Lightroom Presets for High Contrast Portrait Photography" title="Free Adobe Lightroom Presets for High Contrast Portrait Photography

Although you can use these presets on virtually any photograph, they are particularly well suited for creating edgy portraits and images of urban environments. I use these presets as the starting point for processing my own urban portraits and street photography. Download and install the presets and then jump to the bottom of the page for recommendations on using them properly.

Download the Presets
Download the Lightroom 4 and 5 Urban Presets (use these presets for LR 4 and newer)
Download the Lightroom 3 Urban Presets (use these presets for LR 3 or older)

Note: The two versions of the presets produce nearly the same look; however there are some slight differences.

Free Lightroom 4 Presets for Urban Portraits and Street Photography

How to Install the Urban Presets (it’s easy!)
The Urban Presets are available as a downloadable zip file. Download the file onto your desktop (or someplace convenient). You should now have a folder named “F-Stop Spot LR4 Urban.zip” on your desktop. Unzip the zip file onto your desktop. Open the folder you just unzipped and look for a sub-folder named “F-Stop Spot LR4 Urban”.


To install the presets, open Lightroom 4 and navigate to either the Library or Develop Module. Next click Edit -> Preferences from the top menu to open the preferences dialog window. Click on the Presets tab (at the top) and then Show Lightroom Presets Folder. Your computer’s file explorer window should pop open. Open the Lightroom folder and then open the Develop Presets folder.

Save the sub-folder named “F-Stop Spot LR4 Urban” (that is within the main folder you just unzipped) inside the Develop Presets folder. Now you must close and re-open Lightroom for the presets to show up. You will find the presets in the left panel under the Develop Module.

Free Lightroom Presets for Urban Portrait Street Photography

How To Use the Urban Presets
No Lightroom preset works perfectly on every image. There’s a chance that your images will need to be tweaked after using the urban presets. If your images are a little dark or too bright after using the urban presets, simply adjust the exposure slider. You can bump up the contrast even further by pushing up the Contrast slider or pulling back on the Blacks slider.

The first eight presets create a uniquely individual urban look with a single click. Once you decide on which of the eight presets to start with, you can click on the last two presets to add film-like grain or a grungy vignette.

To undo a preset or backup, click CTRL+Z (on a PC) or COMMAND+Z (on a Mac). You can also backup by going to the History Panel located on the left side of the screen in the Develop Module.

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About the Author
Steve Paxton lives with his wife and two children in the Seattle area. Steve has been a photographer for nearly 20 years. His experience ranges from wedding and portrait work to landscape photography.

Steve owns and manages the F/Stop Spot; a website dedicated to supporting photographers of all skill levels. You can find more of Steve’s work at Paxton Prints and Paxton Portraits.

9 Comments

  1. Any thoughts on similar presets for Aperture? Or do you have any suggestions? Thanks in advance, amazing work!

  2. Thank you for the kind words Travis – I appreciate it! I don’t use Aperture, but you might try this page: http://goo.gl/N356e.

  3. Hello,

    Can this preset file above compatible with the MAC computer?

  4. Hello Jimmy! Yes, Lightroom presets are compatible between PC and Mac computers.

  5. Thank you so much for these presets. I used one one of my photographs and love the look:
    http://goo.gl/4Uea0

  6. U rock ! Thanks!

  7. I was looking forward how to install a preset, now I can. Thank you.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing these with us – much appreciated! Can’t wait to use them. db

  9. Thanks

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