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How to Edit Dark and Moody Photos

Mastering the Art of Photo Editing with Moody Presets

Did you know that almost 1.5 trillion photos are taken each year?

It's no secret that people love to take pictures, but many of them never see the light of day. Why is this?

It's partially because people don't know how to edit photos to look exactly how they want them to.

Are you one of these people?

Editing with Photoshop and Lightroom is actually much easier than you think!

If you want to take your photo game to the next level and create a dark and moody ambiance for your feed, read on to see how influencer presets can help you achieve this with ease.

Light & Location

Lighting and location are two crucial elements when it comes to capturing the perfect dark and moody photos.

The right lighting can create dramatic shadows and highlights, adding depth and intensity to your images.

For a dark and moody look, it is essential to have soft, diffused lighting that creates a sense of mystery and intrigue.

Natural light during the golden hour or in overcast conditions can provide the ideal atmosphere for this type of photography.

In addition to lighting, the location you choose plays a significant role in achieving the desired aesthetic.

Look for places with interesting textures, architectural details, or natural landscapes that complement the dark and moody style.

Abandoned buildings, forests, or urban alleyways can all provide a unique backdrop for creating atmospheric images.

Pay attention to color palettes as well – choosing locations with darker tones or muted colors can enhance the overall moodiness of your photos.

Experimenting with different lighting techniques and exploring various locations will allow you to develop your own signature style within the dark and moody genre of photography.

Ultimately, it's about finding the perfect balance between light and location to evoke emotion and tell a compelling visual story.

Your Camera Makes a Difference

Another thing to remember when taking photos, especially if you're a social media influencer or working to become one, is that the camera you use does impact your photos.

Even a simple smartphone camera can take wonderful pictures, but you need to know how to use the camera to your advantage. 

When you take a photo, even the lighting can drastically impact the final result. 

If the photo is either an underexposed photo or an underexposed image from the improper aperture, not using the correct exposure or shutter speed, it can result in a dark picture that is harder to rectify.

Try to familiarize yourself with your phone's camera settings and play around with them so you can create the moody photos you're aiming for.

Plan Your Photoshoot

If taking photos is a big part of your job, chances are you understand how important it is to plan out your photoshoots ahead of time.

Depending on the look you're going for, shooting at a different time of day or in different spaces will make a big difference.

Certain brands might want a specific look, and needing to shoot dark and moody photos is common.

To achieve this look, plan on shooting in either a very dim or very bright space.

If you're in a dimly lit space, little editing will need to be done because the vibe has already set the tone.

However, if you're in a bright space, heavy editing can darken the photo as a whole without making one area too dark.

Download Lightroom or Photoshop Apps

While Photoshop works well, and there are countless photo editing apps out there, Lightroom remains the favored editing app by many.

Lightroom is a great tool that should be your go-to option if you plan to use presets because of how easy it is to work with them here, even though the basic panel.

The Lightroom app has a free version packed with powerful editing features that will pop your photos with customizable sliders for brightness and saturation like never before.

You can also download Lightroom on your PC if you prefer to work on a computer.

All of our presets come with step-by-step tutorials for Photoshop and lightroom.

Moody Photos: How to Edit Dark Photos

Editing dark photos can be a challenging task, but with the right techniques, you can create moody and atmospheric images.

Start by adjusting the exposure to bring out the details in the shadows without overexposing the highlights.

Next, play around with the contrast and tone curves to enhance the moodiness of the photo.

Experiment with desaturating colors or applying a split-tone effect to add depth and drama.

Lastly, don't forget to fine-tune the white balance and sharpen it to ensure your dark photo looks polished and professional.

Correct the Exposure / Brightness

When using Adobe Lightroom, changing the exposure and midtones is simple.

The exposure impacts how much light comes in through the lens when taking a photo.

Thankfully though, this can be edited after the photo is already taken too.

To create dark photos, you'll typically decrease the exposure.

This will darken the photo as a whole. It's also possible to select specific portions of the photo to darken so that the rest remains light.

Knowing how to adjust exposure is essential because this one simple setting changes everything about the photo when it's adjusted.

Create Contrast: Dark Photo Editing Made Easy

You can create contrast when you're editing photos or when you're taking them!

It's best to do a mix of both. Try to have contrasting colors in your photo so that certain things pop.

This way, when you adjust the contrast, things will appear even more dramatic than before.

Moody photos don't have to be all dark.

In fact, having a balance of darkness and light makes it interesting to look at!

Editing Textures

Textures can be both a pro and a con when creating dark and moody photos, no matter what you plan on using them for.

On the one hand, the textures create contrast which can be good for a moody look.

On the other hand, when you edit photos containing textures to appear darker, the texture creates shadows that can take over the entire photo.

Try to be mindful of this when you're editing, and make sure that the texture (especially if it's a background) doesn't ruin the photo.

Use Vignette Sparingly

A vignette is when the outside edge of the photo is slightly darkened.

Everyone loves using vignette because it's easy to use and adjust and adds a vintage feel to moody photos.

Even so, it's possible to overdo it when using this editing feature and make your photo look fake and tacky.

Try to use only a small amount to darken the outer edges so that it looks natural and doesn't overtake the photo!

Avoid Obvious Filters

At one time, using filters was commonplace.

Everyone used them, and it didn't matter how obvious it was.

Now, you want your photos to look cohesive, especially if your social media platforms are how you make money.

But, you no doubt want to strike a balance between cohesive and interesting to look at.

Not every photo should look the same.

The best way to do this is by avoiding using commonly over-used obvious filters altogether.

They aren't designed to make every photo look its best, and it's an easy way to ruin a wonderful photo.

Pay Attention to Skin Tones

Another thing you want to consider when editing photos, especially if you're editing to achieve a dark and moody look, is skin tone.

When you darken a photo, skin tones darken right along with it.

So it's important to ensure that any people in the photo still look natural and that no one is being darkened so much that they don't look like themselves or are hard to see in the picture.

Use Presets to Shorten the Process

There are countless ways to edit your photographs, but the best way to do it is by using presets.

Presets are a way to apply a pre-set list of settings to a photo that makes it look a certain way.

Presets, especially ours, are meticulously created to ensure that they provide just the right look and feel, no matter the photo.

All that you have to do is adjust the exposure and white balance.

Exposure and Light Balance

We talked about exposure earlier and how adjusting this setting impacts the overall feel of the picture by increasing or decreasing the brightness.

Light balance impacts the color histogram within the photo.

Changing the light balance can make colors look more rich or bright, dark and moody, true to color, duller, or more warm or cool. 

The key is to make the end result look as natural as possible.

Why Use Presets for Mobile or Desktop?

Using presets is the quickest and easiest way to achieve high-quality, professional-looking edits for your photos in jpg or raw format.

Influencer presets are used often so that their feed looks cohesive and balanced while still being unique.

Beyond this, presets are amazing because:

  • They help with skin tones
  • They're easily accessible in Lightroom
  • They're perfect for beginners
  • They're accessible forever
  • It takes seconds to apply them

Once you get the hang of using presets, it opens up a whole new world.

You don't need to get boxed in by just one preset, either.

Instead, tons of different presets are all designed to accomplish the same thing: a stunning end result.

Types of Presets

Different presets achieve different results.

This article has focused on using presets to achieve a dark and moody look for your feed, but if you ever want to go for a different look, presets have got you covered there too.

Check out some of our popular preset options:

The ones mentioned here are just a drop in the bucket.

There are presets designed to make every type of photo pop.

Whether you're posting gym photos, travel pictures, wedding sneak peeks, club photos, or a new product, there's something to help you out.

Grow 10x With Influencer Presets

Using influencer presets to promote a consistently dark and moody look in your photos (or any other look you want) is the most simple way to edit.

You don't need to waste hours of your time making these edits when someone else has spent hours crafting presets for you.

If you want to take advantage of presets and take your social media or blog to the next level, click here to check out our preset bundles that can get you started with plenty of options and save you money along the way!

Our Moody Presets

Moody Presets (*Best-Seller*)

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Moody presets: Unlocking a world of stunning visuals.

Discover the power of presets and break free from limitations. With a vast array of options, you can achieve the perfect look every time.

From dark and moody to vibrant and aesthetic, our preset collection has it all.

Whether it's portraits, weddings, food, or Instagram posts, we have the ideal preset to make your photos pop.

Why spend hours editing when you can effortlessly transform your photos with influencer presets?

Take your social media and blog to new heights with just a click.

Ready to elevate your visual game?

Explore our Moody Lightroom presets.

Moody Adventure Presets

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Capture the essence of wanderlust and bring out the mood in your travel photos like never before.

With just a click, transport yourself back to those breathtaking landscapes and awe-inspiring moments.

Our presets are designed to enhance the natural beauty of outdoor scenes, adding depth, drama, and an air of mystery.

From misty mountains to sun-kissed beaches, our collection has it all.

Don't let ordinary edits limit your creativity.

Let our Moody Adventure Presets unlock a world of stunning visuals and take your travel photography to new heights.

Dark & Moody Presets

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Step into a world of darkness and intrigue with our Dark & Moody Presets.

These presets are designed to transform your photos into captivating works of art filled with deep shadows and rich tones.

Whether you're shooting portraits, landscapes, or even still life, our Dark & Moody Presets will add a touch of drama and mystery to your images.

With just a few clicks, you can achieve that perfect moody look that will leave your viewers in awe.

Imagine the power of evoking emotions through your photography.

With our Dark & Moody Presets, you can create stunning visuals that tell a story.

Moody Blogger Presets

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These presets are specially crafted to enhance your photos and give them that moody, atmospheric vibe that is perfect for creating captivating content.

Whether you're a fashion blogger, a food enthusiast, or a lifestyle influencer, our Moody Blogger Presets will elevate your visuals and make your posts stand out from the crowd.

Bring out the depth and emotion in your photos with just a click and watch as your audience becomes captivated by your unique style.

From dreamy sunsets to cozy coffee shops, our presets are designed to bring a brief persuasive sales copy for Moody Blogger presets

Moody Romantic Presets

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Prepare to experience a world of enchantment with our Moody Romantic Presets.

These presets are meticulously crafted to infuse your photos with a sense of love, passion, and romance.

Whether you're capturing a couple's intimate moments, a breathtaking sunset, or a dreamy landscape, our Moody Romantic Presets will transport you to a realm of pure emotion.

With just one click, watch as your images come alive with soft tones, warm hues, and an irresistible allure.

Elevate your photography and create visuals that speak directly to the heart. Let our Moody Romantic Presets ignite the flames of 'moody love' with Moody Romantic Presets today.

Moody Wedding Presets

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Capture the essence of love and celebration on your special day with our Moody Wedding Presets.

These presets have been meticulously designed to enhance your wedding photos, adding a touch of elegance, sophistication, and a hint of romance.

From the intimate moments shared between the couple to the grandeur of the venue, our Moody Wedding Presets will transform your images into timeless works of art.

With just one click, watch as your photos come alive with rich tones, soft highlights, and a dreamy atmosphere that perfectly encapsulates the magic of your wedding day.

Create stunning visuals that tell the story of your love today.

Black & Moody Presets

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Step into a world of shadows and intrigue with our Black & Moody Presets.

These presets are carefully crafted to bring out the dark and mysterious side of your images, adding depth, drama, and a touch of noir elegance.

Whether you're capturing moody landscapes, urban cityscapes at night, or intimate portraits shrouded in shadow, our Black & Moody Presets will transform your photos into captivating visual stories.

With just one click, watch as your images take on a new life with deep blacks, rich contrast, and an air of mystery that leaves viewers spellbound.

Moody Grey Presets

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Introducing our Moody Grey Presets, designed to add a touch of sophistication and understated elegance to your photographs.

These presets are perfect for those seeking a minimalist and timeless aesthetic that is both moody and captivating.

With just one click, watch as your images are transformed into stunning black and white compositions, with subtle grays, soft contrasts, and an overall sense of depth.

Whether you're capturing portraits, landscapes, or still life, our Moody Grey Presets will bring out the beauty in every detail.

Moody Travel Presets

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Write Welcome to the world of Moody Travel Presets, where every photo becomes a passport to adventure and wanderlust.

With our carefully curated collection of presets, you can now bring out the moody and atmospheric elements in your travel photos, creating visuals that transport viewers to faraway destinations.

Imagine capturing the misty mountains of Norway, the sun-soaked beaches of Bali, or the bustling streets of Tokyo in all their moody glory.

With just one click, our Moody Travel Presets will enhance the colors, textures, and emotions of your images, immersing viewers in the essence of each location a brief persuasive sales copy for Moody Travel lightroom presets.

Moody Urban Presets

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Write Experience the city like never before with our Moody Urban Presets.

Capture the raw energy and enigmatic atmosphere of urban environments with just one click, as our presets bring out the true character of the concrete jungle.

Whether it's the neon lights reflecting off rain-soaked streets, the gritty textures of abandoned buildings, or the vibrant chaos of a bustling cityscape, our Moody Urban Presets will transform your photos into captivating visual stories.

Add an air of mystery and intrigue to your street photography, architectural shots, and nightscapes, and watch as your images come alive with deep blacks, rich contrast a brief persuasive sales copy for Moody Urban lightroom presets

Our Moody Bundle Collections

Dark & Moody Bundle

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Influencer Starter Pack

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Step into the world of influencer photography with our Influencer Starter Pack.

Designed specifically for aspiring influencers, this collection of presets will give your social media feed a cohesive and professional look, instantly elevating your online presence.

From enhancing the colors of your fashion and lifestyle shots to adding a touch of glamour to your travel photos, these presets are the secret behind those stunning Instagram feeds you've been admiring.

With just one click, you can now achieve that perfect aesthetic that will make you stand out from the crowd and attract more followers and brand collaborations. Join the ranks of successful influencers today.

Earthy Tones Bundle

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Write a brief persuasive sales copy for the Earthy Tones presets bundle. Embrace the beauty of nature and infuse your photos with warm, earthy tones that evoke a sense of tranquility and harmony.

With our Earthy Tones Presets Bundle, you can effortlessly transform your images into captivating works of art.

Whether you're capturing breathtaking landscapes or intimate portraits, these presets will bring out the natural richness and depth in your photos, enhancing the organic colors and textures that make each moment so special.

Escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in the soothing hues of autumnal forests, golden sunsets, and verdant fields. Let the

Master Collection Vol 1 Bundle

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Write a brief persuasive sales copy for the Master Collection vol 1 presets bundle Introducing the Master Collection Vol 1 Presets Bundle - the ultimate package for photographers who demand nothing but the best.

With this comprehensive collection of presets, you'll have every tool at your fingertips to unleash your creativity and turn ordinary photos into extraordinary masterpieces.

From vibrant landscapes to stunning portraits, this bundle is designed to enhance every genre of photography.

With just a few clicks, you can bring out the true essence and emotion in your images, making them truly unforgettable.

The Master Collection Vol 1 includes a wide range of presets carefully crafted by industry professionals. Each preset has been meticulously designed to complement

Flourish Pro+ (ALL-ACCESS)

Write a brief persuasive sales copy for Flourish Pro+ our all-access ultimate presets collection.

Introducing Flourish Pro+ (ALL-ACCESS) - the ultimate solution for photographers who want unlimited access to our entire collection of presets and editing tools.

With Flourish Pro+, you'll never have to worry about missing out on the perfect preset for any occasion.

From moody black and white to vibrant cityscapes, we've got you covered.

Unlock your full creative potential with this all-access pass.

Experiment with different styles, moods, and tones, knowing that you have an endless array of options right at your fingertips.

Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting out, Flourish Pro+ is your ultimate all-in-one solution for all of the presets you'll need to level up your Instagram socials.


What are the benefits of using moody presets?

Using moody presets can enhance the overall aesthetic of your photos by adding a dramatic and atmospheric effect.

These presets can help create a consistent and cohesive look for your images, making them stand out on social media platforms and attracting more engagement from your audience.

What are moody and dark presets?

Moody and dark presets are pre-configured settings that can be applied to photographs to give them a specific mood or aesthetic.

These presets often enhance shadows, reduce overall brightness, and add a touch of desaturation to create a moody and atmospheric look.

They are popular among photographers and social media influencers who want to achieve a unique and artistic style in their images.

Moody and dark presets can be used in various editing software or apps to quickly transform the tone of a photo with just a few clicks.

How do I make moody Lightroom presets?

Creating moody Lightroom presets involves a few key steps.

First, start by adjusting the overall tone of your image using the "Tone Curve" panel.

By manipulating the curve, you can create a darker and more dramatic look.

Next, enhance the colors by adjusting the saturation and vibrance sliders.

Decreasing the saturation can give your image a desaturated and muted look while increasing vibrance can add depth to certain colors.

Finally, fine-tune the mood of your preset by adjusting the white balance, split toning, and adding vignettes if desired.

Remember to experiment and adjust each setting until you achieve the desired moody effect.

How do you make a picture dark and moody?

To create a dark and moody effect in a picture, there are several techniques you can use.

Firstly, adjusting the exposure and contrast levels can help darken the overall image.

Increasing the shadows and reducing the highlights can also contribute to a moody atmosphere.

Additionally, applying a desaturation effect or using a black-and-white filter can further enhance the darkness and moodiness of the picture.

Lastly, adding vignetting or playing with shadows and lighting in post-processing can create a more dramatic and intense feel.

The Bottom Line

Editing dark photos or moody photos doesn't need to feel like rocket science.

You could make all of the adjustments mentioned above and spend hours striking the right balance between several different settings.

Or, you could tap on a preset, make two small changes to ensure the lighting and color are set, and post it just in time to get the most eyes on your work.

A cohesive brand image online is crucial to increase engagement and grow your followers.

One large part of that includes having a feed that entices people and draws them in.

Use presets to make your job easier and your feed better.

Follow our step-by-step tutorial for easy edits to achieve the photos you've always wanted!

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