I am looking for some neat Lightroom Presets for landscape photography. I tried to achive a muted colors look myself, but my photos started to look a bit weird...

Here are some examples of what I'm looking for:

About the Effect:

The effect I am looking for is mainly the flat look of the colors. In th first image you have basically no blue tones and the shadows are not pinch black, they are greyish. The second picture has a similar look. There are no blue tones aswell and the meadows have an amazing color. It's not green or yellow, it's something in between. And the shadows are flat, too.

That's what I'm looking for. Reducing saturation or vibrance doesn't create the same effect.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to Photography! Please read Important information for asking "What's this effect?" questions and edit this post accordingly. Make sure to use a descriptive title, too. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    May 27, 2017 at 20:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Reduce Saturation or Vibrance. \$\endgroup\$ May 27, 2017 at 22:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, I edited the question appropriately and tried to explain it as best as I can. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Mc M
    May 27, 2017 at 23:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't use prefab presets, so I am not really in a position to recommend an existing, commercially available preset that will give you what you want. Both example images look to me to have had HSL (hue-saturation-luminance) adjustments made. Most HSL tools (sometimes called HSV for hue-saturation-value or HSB for hue-saturation-brightness) divide the color spectrum into 8 bands (red-orange-yellow-green-aqua-blue-purple-magenta) and allow adjustments to the saturation, brightness and hue of each band independently of the other colors. A LR preset can incorporate HSL adjustments. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    May 28, 2017 at 0:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The problem with depending on presets to get a certain finished look requires that you start with an image that had the exact same look as the pre-processed version of the image you are trying to imitate by applying the exact same processing steps via a preset. You're much better off learning how to look at an existing image and understand what steps need to be applied to that particular image to get it to look a certain way. (Hint: we say grass is green, but most of the color of grass is in the yellow range of the HSL tool.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    May 28, 2017 at 0:42

1 Answer 1


It's entirely a product of Contrast through the use of Curves (or Levels).

Raise your black point in the curve (RGB curve).

Then lower the white point in the curve (RGB curve):

enter image description here

Then change to one of the individual channel curves and alter the black point slightly to put color into the shadow. For example your second image has a Yellow tint on the darkest portions.

Now alter the white point on an individual channel to put some color into the lightest portions. For example your second image has a blue tint on the lightest portions.

(You could split tone instead of the individual color channel adjustments, but its easier to just learn to adjust these curves)

To verify I'm not making this up or guessing here's a basic analysis of your second example. Notice the histogram doesn't go from the left to the right but stops short of both ends.

The Lab of the Black Point (1) shows the Lightness stops at 16 instead of 0 (which would be black). The a is completely neutral at 0. The b goes positive which is towards Yellow.

On the Lab of the White Point (2) the Lightness stops at 87 instead of 100 (which would be white). The a again is neutral at 0. The b goes negative which is towards Blue.

enter image description here

So in this particular case they're flattening the the image (flattening the steepness of the curve) and then punching some opposing colors into the whites and blacks. The main thing for you though is the muted colors come from bringing down the contrast by raising the black point and lowering the white point.

It's the exact same premise as the answer I gave here except this one is Landscape and in LR instead of a street photo in Photoshop: https://photo.stackexchange.com/a/88464/27243


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