TOP 6 Dark and Moody Lightroom Presets in 2021

Dark and moody presets gives the cool, organic lifestyle look that is totally trending on Instagram feeds these days.

Those dark and moody images of home interiors, backyards or the great outdoors have all been kissed by an earthy preset to get that gorgeous deep, dark and moody look. Wherever you live, whatever you do best - you can create these kinds of images as well. 

The dark and moody trend matches all kinds of photography niches, from travel to people to architecture or food. Everyone loves the dramatic imagery that we see on social media and as well as looking awesome, it is also very flattering. Read on for our 6 favourite preset looks as well as further tips and tricks.

What Is the Moody Look?

When you think about dark and moody photography, you probably have some Instagramers or photographers instantly come to mind such as @alenpalander, @muenchmax, @linda_lomelino or @nycbambi

The dark and moody look is striking, impactful and works with atmospheric light accents. These tones are great if you are aiming for a cinematic look.

Lightroom Presets for a Dark and Moody Look by Parker Arrow

It's great for story-telling and it evokes emotion easily. You can look at a dark and moody image and instantly relate to the message the photographer is trying to portray.

Top 6 Moody Presets 

1. Roamer

Are you a roamer at heart with a free spirit and wild soul? If so you will be tripping over your tramping boots to get to these cool presets. 

The Roamer Collection is made for photographers who love the great outdoors, connect with Mother Nature, and want to capture the deep and moody look in their imagery.

Greens, blues, red and orange tones all wake up when this preset is applied. Instagrammable moments you capture during your travels are instantly elevated to the mountain tops and you will get the most likes up there. Then we go deep into the azure waters of vast lakes and nature photographers who focus on scenic travel photography will be in their element.

 It's a natural, authentic preset collection that is deep and moody and we love this latest creation we've made. Try it out and we are sure you will be deeply impressed too. 

Lightroom Presets for a Dark and Moody Look Roamer by Parker Arrow

2. Scandinavian Explorer

You can basically live in a world of cool color tones and vibrant color by using the Scandinavian Explorer presets. You are roaming the world, discovering beautiful places, seeing sights that need to be shared so your images deserve the enhancement this preset can offer. 

It’s made to dramatize the weather elements from misty mountains to murky waters and freshly fallen snowflakes. They will literally inspire you to get outside and get active while clicking a new collection of images to edit later on when you are cozy indoors.

You can explore and experiment with your camera in the snow and the sun and we know your images will go from good to super impressive with a little preset love. 

Presets for Lightroom Dark and Moody Scandinavian Explorer by Parker Arrow

3. Vintage Blogger

We designed this preset collection with all you fashionistas in mind. Getting that vintage vibes look added to your photos turns your outfit of the day into the outfit of the year. The look is cool, timeless and not overpowering. Just enough emphasis is added to your fashion photos with the Vintage Blogger collection of presets.

This preset pack focuses a lot on neutral and earthy colors like white, nude and sand as base tones with pops of red and orange that are another-level wow. 

The black and white preset option is defiantly deep and moody with an artsy touch that is just so high-fashion and chic. Don't tell the other presets, but this is one of our favorites in the dark and moody series. We live for all things retro, recycled and vintage, so love to wear both our old faded jeans and vintage preset almost every day.

Moody Lightroom Presets Vintage Blogger by Parker Arrow

4. Wild Berries

As the name suggests, you will be going wild for rich reds, deep burgundy and burnt orange with this preset that is everything. With eight presets in the Wild Berries pack, you are berry spoilt for choice. Try them all to find the one that looks best with the imagery you are creating this season. 

In autumn, these presets are really useful but they also work well in the winter, spring and summer months. It’s an all-year favorite!

Fashion photographers, food bloggers, travel influencers - everyone can use this deliciously decadent deep and moody preset. It enhances and warms up images to give them life, vitality and richness. 

We notice fabrics looking more detailed and what it does to reds is a bit of magic if you ask us! A little grain gives a slight vintage edge that sends this preset collection to the top of our list of favorites. 

Lightroom Presets for a Moody Look Wild Berries by Parker Arrow

5. New York

You will be feeling the buzz of one of the coolest cities on the planet with this New York-inspired preset collection. 

The New York collection features eight presets with a couple of black and white. Urban scenes always look hip and cool in black and white. But the color presets are also deeply beautiful with desaturated warm brown tones that give images a high-fashion look that is just so seductive. 

The difference in photos from your original image to the final edit after the New York preset is applied is dramatic. You can do your edits quickly and make your Instagram feed look aesthetically cohesive in a natural way.

Fashion photographers and urban dwellers will be loving this preset collection. It lends itself to edgy fashion looks, modern architecture and city lifestyle scenes. Try it out right now if you are in the cafe enjoying your coffee. You will be impressed we promise!

Moody Lightroom Presets New York by Parker Arrow

6. Minimal Black

Who doesn't adore black? It's flattering, stylish and cool. This is the little black dress of your preset collection. Dress your images up with our ultra-edgy Minimal Black presets and you will be dancing all night long.

Your Instagram feed will be distinctively yours if you apply these fashionable on-trend presets. They look great with all kinds of photography in the most punchy way possible. This preset is dark and moody, without a doubt. 

Moody Preset for Lightroom Minimal Black by Parker Arrow

How To Take Moody Pictures

The secret to getting those dark and moody images perfect starts with the moment you take the photo. Starting out with an image that has been photographed with a dark and moody look in mind will make your editing easier and more precise. 

Ensure that you are facing away from the light, so the light is behind you and the subject is well lit. Cloud cover, shadows and shady areas all are wonderful places to shoot if you plan to turn your photos to the dark side during your editing process. Late afternoon sunsets are the best. Shoot slightly underexposed images so you retain the details.

Location is also important. Indoors is usually great for dark and moody shots. Turn off any bright lighting and avoid any rooms filled with sunlight and you are good to go. Outdoors look for natural surroundings, trees in forest areas, parks, woodsy foliage and anywhere that is rustic, rural and natural-looking. If you are in the city, don't worry, urban photography loves dark and moody. 

Outfits should be muted, natural colors - red, orange, green, blue are all great. Avoid those pastels, strong patterns and stripes and remember you can't go wrong with denim, black and white. 

Try to avoid posed photographs and instead capture real authentic moments, you want your subjects to forget the camera is even there!

If you follow these rules, you will start to create images that will edit nicely when you get them into Lightroom. So let's go to Lightroom, or should we say Darkroom?

How To Create A Moody Look In Lightroom

Lightroom is fast, easy and really a genius creation for editing your images. There are many ways to get dark and moody images by using Lightroom. Below are step-by-step instructions with one go-to method. Check out our preset packs for further options.

  • Don't forget to shoot well, so you have the best images to work on once you get to your computer desk
  • Start by importing your image and crop it to the size you want
  • Adjust the exposure, slightly lower it for bright images or only slight raise it for underexposed images
  • Pull the whites and highlights down a little bit
  • Pull up the blacks or shadows
  • Slightly raise the temperature of the image
  • Lower the vibrance and keep a close eye on skin tones to make sure they remain natural looking
  • Remove the saturation of the green and optionally any blues too
  • Open up selective edits and draw over any area you want to pop (such as faces), increase exposure slightly and the contrast
  • You might like to add a little grain for a vintage vibe

Finally, you have edited your image to be dark and moody looking in Lightroom. You can save your preset or batch your photos in Lightroom to save heaps of hours during every editing session.

Instagram Photograph Ideas For Moody Images

Here are some photography ideas for Instagram that will impress and inspire your new and loyal followers. If you really want to make your dark look complete, you can go all-in and have a look at our minimal iOS Themes in black. The customized home screen in earthy tones will take your moody-ness to a new level.

Family Photography

Dark and moody gives an authentic feel to family photos. Keeping it real during a family photo session is what it is all about so dark and moody presets are perfect. Someone in the fam having a meltdown, some hair flying wild or just an air of chaos going down? It's life, it's natural and it looks lovely with a dark and moody preset added. 

Travel Photography

Mother Nature blesses us with rich colors with the green trees, blue lakes and multi-colored flowers in bloom. Dark and moody presets makes it all look even better. The feeling dark and moody presets evoke when applied to travel photography is alluring and seductive. Take me there right now!

Lifestyle Photography

Most photographers have an element of lifestyle and fashion photography in their work. The dark and moody presets we've created look epically real, natural and edgy with our muted presets. Share your life with your followers and they will be loving on your feed once you get all deep and moody with them.

Food Photography

Deep and moody presets make food photography look divinely delicious. There is a trend towards deep and moody food photography that is making us hungry for more. Styling food shoots for this kind of look is fun because there's so much room for creative expression with kitchenware, cutlery, furniture and dishes as well as the food itself.

There are several methods to create the dark and moody look that is trending right now. Presets are a convenient way to post a cohesive IG feed that is carefully curated and consistent. If you are drawn to the dark and moody side, we will see you there. It's a gorgeous look that will be around for a long time.