A dark and bold urbanscape

Rising Star

Rising Star is a free Lightroom preset that adds a dark and modern look to cityscape and street photography. It intensifies the drama of urban scenes, whether it is a candid moment in the neighborhood or a majestic view of the city. We consider it as one of the moodiest urban Lightroom presets in our collection.

This preset is ideal for the photos you take outside when strolling around town — so consider using this preset when editing your travel  shots. It is specially designed to bring out the dynamic feel of urban living. It emphasizes structures so well, too, that they look beautifully cinematic. We prepared the image examples below for you, so check out how the preset works and maybe get some ideas on what to photograph within the city.

We highly recommend that you try this as an Instagram filter, too! If you have mostly modern and urban images, this free preset will surely give your feed a nice and professional polish.

Creates a Modern Urban Aesthetic by Tinting Tones

A bird's-eye view of a city

Rich Tones. The subtle yet distinct look of Rising Star comes from this split toning. We love how the preset adds a rich brown tone to highlights and shadows. This goes hand in hand with its various adjustments in tone, which will be further discussed later on.

In our example above, notice how the soft browns have accentuated the details of the image. It now has a nice creamy warmth to it that adds a layer of complexity to architecture. This adjustment is also responsible for the preset’s cinematic feel.

Lowers Contrast for an Industrial Look

A vivid photo of a train on its tracks

Moderate Contrast. Rising Star slightly lowers the contrast to give a milder, and more industrial look. Combined with its tweaks in tone, this constitutes the preset’s modern look and feel.

Examine how this simple enhancement adds to the drama of the scene. In the After photo above, the darkened tones and milder hues make it more dramatic and compelling.

Produces Rich Tones Ideal for Street Photography

A top view of a busy crossing

Amplified Tones. The preset first intensifies the tones: it brightens whites and darkens blacks even more. As a result, there is a broader contrast in tone. This adds depth and further defines the image, as you can often see in most urban Lightroom presets. You can notice it the most in photos with a lot of objects in them (like most street photography captures) and architecture (especially ornate designs).

A vibrant image of a modern architecutre

Refined Tones. After heightening both light and dark areas of the image, Rising Star then fine-tunes them by lightening their extremities. It softens highlights and lightens shadows. These settings make sure that nothing is overblown and that details are preserved.

In this example, we particularly highlight how the preset retains a natural look, but with a stunning modern polish. You can observe the result in the After photo above:: the sky remains bright yet looks more detailed. The dark areas and shadows on the building now help accentuate its design even more.

Moderately Intensifies Colors for a Bold and Moody Feel

A photo of a vibrant street scene in Japan, with an urban Lightroom preset applied

Vivid Hues. To set its dramatic and modern style, this preset by Marc creates bold colors but does not overdo it. Its adjustments in hue are well-balanced: it boosts clarity, slightly increases vibrance, and lowers saturation.

The blend of these three thus creates strong midtones but mild colors throughout. This produces the signature aesthetic of urban Lightroom presets. Look at the After image above: the resulting image is less colorful but more elegantly understated.

Applies Vignetting for a Focused Urban Scene

A dark yet vivid photo of a yellow taxi in the highway

Framed Urbanscapes. As a finishing touch, Rising Star preset applies some vignetting. This helps accentuate the entire scene; it even adds to the overall style of the preset. The effect complements the dark motif and helps complete the urban look.

Rising Star Urban Lightroom preset is for Mobile, Desktop, and…

You can absolutely use Rising Star 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. You can find more urban Lightroom presets in our collection here.

  • 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 Marc

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