A man in a Guy Fawkes mask and black hoodie

Dark Dream

Dark Dream free Lightroom preset gives photos a dark and surreal feel using elegant matte tones. As its name suggests, the preset has a dim vintage film look. It complexly blends a photo’s colors and tones to produce a mysterious, magical, atmosphere. This is the most unique dark film preset that we have in our collection.

Collection: Portrait Presets, Film Presets, Urban Presets
Best for: Urban Portraits
Style: Vintage, Cinematic, Dim, Matte, Soft, Natural

Its creative and dramatic aesthetic looks incredible on landscapes and portraiture. If you want to make the most of its soft haze, it is best to apply it to images with diffused lighting. It is still versatile enough to be used on all types of lighting, whether shot indoors or outdoors.

This is a stunning preset to use as an Instagram filter. Not only does it give an artistic look, but it also applies a professional and cohesive look throughout a social media feed. It can even set a visual identity. The examples below will show you how this special preset leaves a lasting impression.

Sets a Distinct Dark Atmosphere

A soft but dark outdoor photo of a woman covered in smoke

Complex Moods. The preset has a complex style. Dark Dream puts together its unique look by first blending the effects of a few fundamental settings. It cools color temperature and heightens its green tint. It is easy to observe the subtle haze of these colors in the After photo above.

Darm Dream also optimizes light and color by moderately increasing both contrast and exposure. As a result, the After photo looks brighter and vivid. You can now see more of the subject. Notice how this preset retains a soft look even with the amplified settings.

Creates a Dark and Dramatic Feel

A dark matte Lightroom preset applied to a photo of a man walking towards the horizon

Cinematic Film. Dark Dream sets a compelling and cinematic atmosphere. It gives off a mysterious and enchanting feel because of its dim yet tender aesthetic. There are a series of adjustments behind this dark film preset, too: it lowers highlights and deepens dark regions. Then, to create a more polished look, Dark Dream refines the tones in the tone curve.

You can easily notice how the preset transforms the scenery in the After photo. The light regions look somehow muted, while the dark ones are reinforced. Simply examine the terrain, the horizon, and the light blue sky.

A dark matte Lightroom preset applied to a film portrait of a woman wearing a coat

Light Portraits. Dark Dream looks enchanting on portraits as well. It produces such a dreamy look, as you can see in the After photo above. The tones are subdued on the subject’s face, and her skin tones look more complex. Also, observe how the subtle warm-green tint adds a surreal glow. Notice how the preset transforms the entire mood as a result.

The result is reminiscent of analog photography: the subdued tones, matte finish, and pastel hues that tint the image. What makes Dark Dream special is how it expertly balances and blends tones. It, almost paradoxically, produces a light look but dark feel. It is even rarer to find a preset that creates such soft and yet vivid tones.

Adds Some Film Elements

A dark matte Lightroom preset applied to a photo of a man covered in smoke

Fine Textures. Dark Dream also enhances textures by increasing sharpening and adding grain. These are, after all, expected from any preset that incorporates a film aesthetic.

To complete the look, the preset also applies vignetting. This adds an unmistakable analog look. As you can tell from the example above, this simple finishing touch also complements Dark Dreams’ smokey aesthetic. See how the colors, tones, and texture all come together in the After photo.

Dark Dream is for Lightroom Mobile, Desktop, and…

Like all our presets, you can absolutely use Dark Dream film 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.

If you want more presets like this, you can check out our collections of Lightroom presets for portraits, urban presets, and Lightroom film presets.

  • 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

Free Lightroom Preset by Forrest Lane

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