Warm photo of a boy playing on the monkey bars

Best Years

Best Years is a free Lightroom preset that gives portraits a bright film look. It has brilliant whites and a unique vibrant matte aesthetic. It also draws out colors and lightens dark tones to create a classic yet lively style.

Given its brightening adjustments, you can use this preset on any type of photo, regardless of lighting. It is, therefore, also good for both indoor and outdoor photography. Whenever you take the photograph, this preset will help you make sure that the subject is well illuminated.

Brightens the Entire Image

A bright portrait of a woman with cherry blossoms behind her

Stunning Brightness. The preset illuminates the entire scene by increasing exposure. Because of this setting, you can apply Best Years on dim photos to brighten them up. The preset also lightens blacks and shadows so that it more realistically adds light; this gets rid of harsh and unwanted shadows.

You can easily notice how brilliant the After photo is. Pay attention to the woman’s coat as well: see how the preset softens the shadows of its folds. More importantly, as a portrait, Best Years makes the subject, and her expression, more visible.

Moderates Whites and Highlights

A bright and vibrant photo of two children sitting at the dock

Softened Light. To compensate for the mentioned brightening enhancements above, Best Years consequently softens whites and highlights. This makes sure that less light areas are overblown, thus preserving more detail. You still get enhanced, more diffused, light, without it being too glaring.

You can see how all the lighting adjustments come together in the After photo above. This photo of children looks more illuminated and livelier. This is a nice example of how the preset makes a scene or portrait look more cheerful. This is especially great when photographing children, family, and various events.

Creates a Vibrant Film Look

A vibrant film portrait of a woman wearing a black shirt and holding a red lollipop

Vividly Cinematic. With the lighting optimized, the preset turns its attention to the improvement of colors. It primarily sets its distinct aesthetic by amplifying contrast and creating a custom tone curve that produces an old film effect. These two blend to create a complexly colored film portrait.

In the example above, notice of the preset handles skin tones. It brightens and makes them richer. Observe, too, how Best Years blend the intensity of tones to create that charming film or cinematic look.

Refines Saturation and Luminance

A vibrant and colorful photo of a little girl with paint all over her white dress and face

Colorful Brilliance. Best Years preset focuses on moderating the brilliance of colors. After all, it is the colorful luster that defines its nostalgic style. The preset decreases the luminance of red, blue, and purple so that they look vivid and deep. In contrast, it amplifies that of yellow, green, and aqua.

As a result, photos of landscapes and natural elements like water, plants, and green fields look brilliant, as though brightly lit by sunlight. These are then matched by rich blue skies and crisper midtones. Try to examine the After photo above. Notice the overall brightness and the refined luminance of all hues.

Best Years is for Lightroom Mobile, Desktop and…

Like all our presets, you can absolutely use Best Years preset as is, right out of the box. With any preset, you might need to make adjustments to accommodate your specific camera, settings, lighting and subject matter.

  • Entirely Adjustable
  • Compatible with Lightroom 4, 5, 6 and CC
  • Performs with both PC, Mac, and Mobile
  • Applicable to both RAW and JPG images
  • 100% Free

Portrait Free Lightroom Presets

Free Lightroom Preset by Forrest Lane

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