Gold Dunes is a premium Lightroom preset that casts a golden glow on images, whether shot indoors or outdoors. Its effect beautifully recreates the dramatic look of twilight or the golden hour. You can even use it to give pictures a contemplative, nostalgic, and magical atmosphere.
Even with a strictly defined motif, we make sure that the preset keeps a natural look by setting a balanced blend of light, tone, and color. We prepared the below samples for you so you can see for yourself. You may even get ideas from them on how to use this preset.
As you can tell by our collage alone, this preset can produce a stunning cohesive style. We highly recommend this preset as a signature look! It is definitely one of our must-have Lightroom presets for Instagram.
Recreates the Look and Feel of the Golden Hour
Natural Light. Accent lighting can be natural, too. This is the reason why many of us love the golden hour: at this time, we get accent lighting, golden tones, and dramatic shadows. The warm radiance somehow draws out emotions and heightens them.
In this example, we use Gold Dunes preset to reinforce the photo’s intimate and emotive feel. See how the warm dramatic light enhances the mood of this precious father and son moment.
Illuminates Indoor Photos with Sunshine
Cozy Indoors. This preset also makes indoor scenes appear instantly homey. We love how its golden pastel hues look like sunlight through the window.
Just look at the After photo above: the afternoon sun somewhat fills the room with cozy warmth. As a result, the image now looks like it was taken in the late afternoon.
Creates a Warm and Dramatic Scene
Twilight. You may have noticed that this After photo is slightly dimmed. This is to make the afternoon sun, or twilight, look more realistic. We also lessen the intensity of light by softening the bright regions. Many golden Lightroom presets do this, but what makes Gold Dunes special is its complex, intricate, blending.
We want to keep a tender atmosphere so we also lighten the dark regions. We do this moderately, of course; it is a balance between looking soft and well-defined. For you to understand better, you can compare the shadows in the Before and After images above.
Sets a Radiant Aesthetic
Golden Warmth. After adjusting light and tone, we now dive into color. It is not easy to set a color motif while retaining the photo’s color integrity. Regardless, this is exactly what we achieve in this Gold Dunes preset.
Once again, balance is key: the only way to create this aesthetic is for us to dig deep into Lightroom’s granular settings. We amplify the colors by increasing their vibrance. This, as a result, reinforces midtones. Then, to produce the warm motif itself, we pull warm hues closer to shades of orange. We draw greens, too, towards the yellow spectrum.
Deep Dark Blues. Every visual style needs an accent. For such a warm preset, we, therefore, need to underscore cool tones. They can’t be jarring, though; we keep them subdued and undersaturated, but deeply toned. As with all golden Lightroom presets, as mentioned previously, it is important to keep the colors distinguishable while keeping the motif consistent.
You can easily see the effect in the example above. Simply look at the dim yet crystalline pool water.
Emphasizes Accent Lighting with Sunlit Tones and Dimmed Skies
Warm Grays. We amplify the golden hues in sunlight by primarily adding warm grays in highlights and shadows. Although these seem to warm and dull tones, they actually define the photo’s elements very well. This is because we, in contrast, boost the luminance of all colors — Gold Dunes is a preset based on the afternoon sun, after all. It must be as gold and as radiant.
Gold Dunes preset is for Lightroom Mobile, Desktop, and…
You can absolutely use Gold Dunes 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 golden Lightroom presets for you in our full collection here.
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