A cinematic image of a woman leaning out the car window with her arm outstretched

Cinematic is a free Lightroom preset that mutes and desaturates tones to give photos a dramatic and cinematic look. This film effect will make images appear visually striking. You may also use it to further give your shots a contemplative mood, depending on the look and feel that you are going for. This works best in images with strong lighting.

Try it in urban shots, portraits, and other captures that deserve a cinematic treatment.

An Understated Dramatic Look

A darkened photo of a woman sitting at the ledge

Muted Tones. Choosing a color palette when making a film is important for setting the overall mood. This is the same for photographs, if not more so: in the absence of motion, every visual element must be able to communicate. This Cinematic preset does exactly that. It is reminiscent of desaturated tones in movies that will give a melancholic and sometimes eerie atmosphere. The After photo above, for example, gives the scene a dramatic and contemplative look and feel. The mood is drastically transformed.

An Old Film Look with a Modern Twist

A desaturated portrait of a man in red shirt and white coat

Classic Urban. You can use this preset for urban scenes and portraits. See how it gives photos a stylish, in-fashion look. Even with the old-film effect, it can still produce a modern feel. Examine the example above: what looked like a candid portrait now looks like a cinematic scene that is reminiscent of modern action or suspenseful movies. Notice that the muted warm tones are enough to produce subtle yet attractive accents throughout the image. This desaturated look can therefore apply to any scene that calls for a classic yet modern flavor.

For Dark and Suspenseful Photos

A desaturated street with a large red Chicago sign

Mysterious Air. Not only is this preset visually loyal to cinematic traditions, but it also leaves an impression that something is about to happen. This Cinematic preset powerfully sets the stage; it has a suspenseful look that gives the entire scene a mysterious air. Look how the example above is no longer a simple snapshot of a street — it is a stage. This is the go-to filter of those who want to "set the stage" and amplify mood in their photos. It is perfect for professional movie stills and even a casual Instagram upload.

Bold Impression and Details

A bold portrait of a man with sunglasses

Striking Details. This Cinematic preset gives any photo a bold look. In the example above, notice how the details pop more, from the subject's facial expressions to the textures of his clothing. This effect is produced by a tweak in clarity, blacks, and shadows. A special improvement in the tone curve also gives the photo a polished and balanced look. All in all, if used in portraits, the Cinematic preset will boost the character of the subject and make it seem that he or she is cast in an expressionist film.

Cinematic is for Lightroom Mobile, Desktop and...

Like all our presets, you can absolutely use Cinematic 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

This free Lightroom preset was last updated on September 16, 2019




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