(CLICK FOR FULL-RES)
Before you apply a preset, get your image into optimum shape. While the white balance will often be tweaked by the preset, using the Exposure slider to set your white point and the Blacks slider to set your black point are key. This is also the time to do any necessary cropping and retouching. In this image, Thew cropped in closer, fixed the exposure, then used the Adjustment Brush to brighten her subject’s eyes and clean up his complexion.