In this tutorial, we’ll go through the process of creating a cinematic effect in Lightroom. The cinema-inspired style works well with a lot of photos, and it’s not difficult to create. The effects created in this tutorial are used in our “Intensity” preset, which is included in our set of 12 Cinema Lightroom Presets. If you want the effect without following all of the steps you can simply use the preset.
Here is a before version of the sample photo that we’ll be using for the tutorial:
And here is what it will look like after the cinema effect:
Create a Cinematic Effect in Lightroom
The first step is to adjust the settings to contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks. I’m using the settings -15, -40, +30, +12, and +30.
Next, edit the clarity, vibrance, and saturation settings. I’m using +60, -5, and -20.
These changes will give the photo a stronger, bolder look that makes it stand out. If these settings (especially clarity) are too strong for the photo you’re working with, dial them back a bit until it looks better.
Next, edit the tone curve. Click on the arrow next to “linear” and select “medium contrast”.
The last thing I’ll do is give the photo a slight vignette by changing the amount setting under post-crop vignetting to -15.
And the result is a cinematic look with some intensity and a slight desaturation.
You can achieve this look by editing these settings on your own photos, or simply use our Cinema Lightroom Presets to accomplish the task quickly. This is an effect you can use frequently with a lot of different types of photos. It works well with street or urban photos, travel photos, as well as some portraits and landscapes.