A dark and bold urbanscape

Rising Star is a free Lightroom preset that adds a dark and modern look to cityscape and street photography. It intensifies the drama of any urban scene, whether it is a candid moment in the neighborhood or a majestic view of the city.

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.

Go ahead and try this as an Instagram filter. If you have mostly modern and urban images, this free preset will surely give your feed a nice and professional polish.

Adds a Complex Warmth to Tones

A bird's-eye view of a city

Rich Tones. The subtle yet distinct look of Rising Star comes form this split toning. 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 the example above, notice how the soft browns have accentuated the details of the image. It now has a creamy warmth to it that adds a layer of complexity to architecture. This adjustment is also responsible for the preset's cinematic feel.

Mildly Lowers Contrast

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 and Deep Tones

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. 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.

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

A vibrant street scene in Japan

Vivid Hues. To set its dramatic and modern style, the preset 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 preset's signature aesthetic. Look at the After image above: the resulting image is less colorful but more elegantly understated.

Applies Vignetting

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 is for Lightroom Mobile, Desktop and...

Like all our presets, 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.

  • 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 January 9, 2020


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