A modern urban landscape

Urban Life is a free Lightroom preset that gives urban and street photos a dramatic bold look. Its tones look rich and deep. It accentuates depth and draws out a lot of details. You will always get photos that look compelling.

If you are looking for a dark modern preset, you should try Urban Life. It works well on photos that feature a lot of details, as is often the case for urban photography. Each element in the image would look crisply defined and textured.

This preset works well as an Instagram filter! It can give your entire feed an artistic dark look.

Optimizes Tones for Urban Photography

A dramatic urban photo of a woman posing while on a moving walkway

Crisp Tones. Urban Life preset creates a moderate contrast between light and dark regions by finely tweaking the intensity of each tone. After all, its intense aesthetic relies on the light adjustments.

If you look closely in the image above, you will notice that the preset actually produces a matte texture. It does so by narrowing the tones a bit: it softens whites and lightens blacks. To complement this and reinforce depth, it then adds brilliance to highlights and darkens shadows. The preset further refines these tones in the tone curve.

The result you see in the After photo is in moderate-contrast matte; we often classify this look as modern. Hues are understated but the tones are dramatic. Here, we can see how the style matches the statements often conveyed in urban or street photography.

Tints Highlights and Shadows

A modern urban photo of two men at the sidewalk

Modern Urban. The preset refines its modern aesthetic by applying purple and brown tints to its tones. You can easily spot this effect in the images above. Try to compare the skin tones and the cooler light areas on the walls. Examine the fabric folds as well, specifically their shadows.

Notice how this simple enhancement transforms the mood of the image. It can make everyday snapshots look compelling. You can even use Urban Life preset to create a cinematic look and feel.

Desaturates and Amplifies Midtones

A modern urban photo of a man holding up a camera with a smoke effect

Dim and Crisp. Urban Life preset owes its dark look to its undersaturated colors. With hues subdued, tones become more accentuated. The preset further improves this effect by amplifying clarity and sharpening.

You can now see more details in the After photo above. The textures are more crisply defined: look at the camera lens, the smoke, and the building's interiors.

A modern urban photo of a hand outstretched towards a cityscape

Dramatic Grays. The preset further refines its saturation and brilliance in Lightroom's HSL panel. It gets to desaturate and darken colors individually. Urban Life proceeds to lower the saturation of all colors except for the basic red and blue. It then softens the brilliance of green shades and warm hues.

In the example above, try to observe how the preset processes colors. Most of them are pulled towards gray tones, just enough to mute them without sacrificing color integrity. Look at the skin tones, the cooled sunlight, and the grayer skies. These all come together to produce a professional urban aesthetic.

Urban Life is for Lightroom Mobile, Desktop and...

LikeĀ all our presets, you can absolutely use Urban Life 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

Urban Life Preset

This Free Lightroom Preset was last updated on April 7, 2020


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