Lightroom presets to emulate Snapseed drama filters

I use the Snapseed app (the Android version) for my smartphone photos and photos that i upload from my wi-fi cameras to the phone. Actually, i may even have brought some of my camera pictures into Snapseed on my phone for some final touches, but that’s a whole different story. Let me show you how to create some of Snapseed’s effects and how to save the settings as Lightroom presets.

There is one effect in particular in Snapseed that i love. It’s called “Drama”. In the current version, it’s a category of filters with six different variations. If you want access to the same kind of effect in Lightroom, they’re actually pretty easy to replicate. Begin by bringing a photo into the develop module in Lightroom. Reset the image. If you do that, you can save the settings i’m about to show you as presets, which will give you access to them with a single click in the future. All the setting are made in the Basic panel.

Let’s begin with this snapshot of three happy guys.

Three happy guys

No Lightroom preset applied

Drama 1 and Drama 2

For these two filters, make the following adjustments:

  • Bring the contrast all the way up to +100
  • Bring the highlights up to +10
  • Pull the shadows up to +100
  • Reduce the saturation by dragging it down to -20

There’s your Drama 1. The only thing you need to do to replicate Drama 2 is to increase clarity to about +20.

Save your settings by clicking on the plus-sign in the settings panel on the left.

Three happy guys with Lightroom preset Drama 1

Drama 1


Three happy guys with Lightroom preset Drama 2

Drama 2

Dark 1 and Dark 2

These two filters have a low-key, high contrast look. They’re really simple. Reset your photo and  make the following adjustments:

  • Decrease the exposure to -0.40
  • Pull the contrast up to +100
  • Boost the highlights slightly by pulling it up to +10
  • Pull the shadows slider all the way up to +100
  • Decrease blacks to -30
  • Set clarity to +30
  • Pull down the saturation to -25

This will give your photo the look of the Dark 1 filter. To make it look like Dark 2, simply pull the clarity slider all the way to +100.

Save your settings as Lightroom presets by clicking on the plus-sign in the settings panel on the left.

Three happy guys with Lightroom preset Dark 1

Dark 1

Three happy guys with Lightroom preset Dark 2

Dark 2

Bright 1 and Bright 2

The bright filters give you a more high-key but still punchy look. Here’s how to do it.

  • Increase exposure to +0.10
  • Pull up the exposure to +80
  • Set highlights to +30
  • Drag the shadows all the way up to  +100
  • Set clarity to -25
  • Pull the saturation down to -40

There you have it, the Bright 1 look. Save it as a Lightroom preset. To get the Bright 2 look, set the exposure to + 0.40 and the clarity to +30.

Three happy guys with Lightroom preset Bright 1

Bright 1

Three happy guys with Lightroom preset Bright 2

Bright 2

This entry was posted in Image processing, Learning and tagged , , .

7 Comments

  1. Jess Schulman July 15, 2017 at 05:37 #

    Would something like that work in photoshop?

    • Mats July 18, 2017 at 20:07 #

      Hello Jess.

      Well, Photoshop is a different creature, but you could actually make the same changes there. Add a camera raw filter to your photo in Photoshop (Menu Filter->Camera Raw filter) . It will have the exact same controls as described in this post.Good luck!

  2. Andy May 16, 2018 at 22:24 #

    I just made the dark 2 in luminar 2018 following your instructions and it came out perfect. Thanks for the post it was very helpful for my car photography. Love the look.

    • Mats June 26, 2018 at 08:13 #

      Hi Andy. I’m so glad this helped someone. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Adam January 16, 2019 at 17:12 #

    Thanks for this, very useful, looks pretty much exactly like Drama 1 & 2!

  4. Adam January 16, 2019 at 17:13 #

    Many thanks for posting this, looks very close to Drama 1 & 2 filters, good work!

    • Mats January 17, 2019 at 07:58 #

      You’re welcome!

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