Volcanic Ash is a premium dark Lightroom preset that transforms lush landscapes into dim and dramatic scenes. It grays out most colors except for a range of warm hues that serve as earthy accents. This preset is our signature take on the popular dark and moody aesthetic.
This preset gives an impression of a mysterious, ashy, barren land, without making the image look grungy. We want the environment to look ominous or mysterious, like the dark but magical movies of Tim Burton and Guillermo del Toro.
We specifically designed this for mountain landscapes and rough terrains. If you, instead, apply this preset on a colorful scenery, the fields and bodies of water would look monochromatic. It only retains warm colors; this means that the Volcanic Ash preset works best on images with accents of red and orange hues. Simply refer to our examples below to get ideas.
Darkens the Landscape
Dramatic Blacks. We begin by setting a dark atmosphere. Think of it as the base of our granular settings. Here, we mostly pull all tones — whites, highlights, blacks, and shadows — to the left, dimming them in various levels. We also increase contrast to give a clear and crisper look.
In this example, notice how this dark landscape preset can retain so much depth and detail even with the thorough darkening. Not much is blacked out; the dark regions are just deep enough to define the photo’s look and feel.
Produces Rich Color Accents
Richly Defined Accents. Even if this landscape preset has limited colors, we make sure that the accents look consistently rich. These hues serve as the focal points.
In our example, notice how this Volcanic Ash preset preserves skin tones very well. We do this to draw attention to the subject. Try to see the effect for yourself by examining the mountain climber above.
Desaturates the Scenery
Grayed Out. You guessed it: we fully desaturate most of the colors except for red and orange. We basically turn them into shades of gray. The result is, of course, as dramatic as the adjustments themselves.
The resulting images would look nearly monochromatic, almost black and white. This motif makes the resulting photo look deliberately designed, made to look dramatic and cohesive. So if you are looking for a dark and cohesive look for your social media, you definitely should use this as an Instagram filter.
Pulls Out Dark Earthy Tones
Warm Terrains. The Volcanic Ash preset looks surreal on mountain landscapes. Just look at this After photo: the sky looks eerily overcast and only the landforms are colored but without the greens. You get reddish browns and deep oranges instead.
What we love most about this aesthetic is its epic feel. Landscapes transform into fantastical, otherworldly, lands, as though stills from a fantasy-adventure film.
Volcanic Ash preset is for Lightroom Mobile, Desktop, and…
You can absolutely use Volcanic Ash 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. We have more landscape Lightroom presets that you can try in our full collection.
Need help with the presets? You can visit our guide to learn how to add presets to Lightroom.
- Entirely Adjustable
- Compatible with Lightroom 4, 5, 6 and CC
- Performs with both PC, Mac, and Mobile
- Applicable to both RAW and JPG images