Holga Lightroom Preset Download – The Toy For Grownups

If you’ve never heard of a Holga, trust me when I tell you it can quickly become an obsession! That’s why we developed this Lightroom preset download for you!

Being a digital photographer at heart, I still love to shoot a roll of 120 in my Holga.

It’s not cheap shooting, developing, and printing images from this baby – but the this plastic camera with it’s foggy plastic lens and leaky housing which leaves your images prone to light streaks is just beautiful.

Working with the Holga Preset

There are 2 presets included in the download:

  1. Holga Base preset with the core look
  2. Holga Base preset that also includes a Kodak T-Max emulation all in one!

Let’s walk through some sample before and after images to give you a feel for how you might use this preset.

For a standard Digital SLR frame (portrait or landscape), when applying the Holga Base preset:

image of the holga preset in action

… you’ll get a nice base Holga effect.

For the pseudo-120 film cropping, I tend to just set the cropping in Lightroom to 1×1:

1x1 cropped image of the holga preset

This is my favorite one … the Holga Base + Kodak T-Max emulation preset:

image of the holga preset base with Kodak T-Max preset emulation

… and as if it can’t get any better:

cropped image with the Holga Lightroom preset download and Kodak T-Max emulation

The mood totally changes on this one … this definitely reminds me of the black and whites I get from my Holga.

A few basic things to keep in mind as you work with this preset:

  • First, use the Post-Crop sliders in the Develop Module to manage the vignetting on the edges of your image
  • Additionally, the secret sauce is in the Graduated Filter which you can use to determine the angle, brightness, exposure, saturation, clarity, etc.

If you’re new to graduated filters they’re very straightforward. Once you have applied the preset in the Develop Module, simply press the M key and you’ll open the graduated filter panel:

screen capture of working with holga and the graduated filter

Now, select the circle in the image inspector and use the sliders to the right to tweak the look to your liking.

Working with the Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) Holga Base Preset

If you want to leverage this look in ACR exclusively, we’ve provided .XMP files to allow you to do just that! For a quick primer on ACR files, read more on that here.

There are 2 .XMP files included in the download:

  1. a Holga Base .XMP with the core look
  2. a Holga Base preset that also includes a Kodak T-Max emulation all in one!

To install the files for use in ACR:

Download the archive, extract the contents to a temporary folder – (download link below)

Next, go to the temporary folder, and copy the Holga Base Gradient.xmp file.  This needs to be copied to the proper folder, as listed below for popular systems:

Mac: /Users/UserName/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRawFolder/LocalCorrections

WinXP: C:Documents and SettingsUserNameApplication DataAdobeCameraRawLocalCorrections

Vista/7: C:UsersUserNameAppDataRoamingAdobeCameraRawLocalCorrections

(This places the Holga Base Gradient.xmp file in the location needed to be used as a Local Correction Preset)

Next, copy the Holga Base.xmp file to the appropriate folder listed below:

Mac: /Users/UserName/Library/Application Support/Adobe/CameraRawFolder/Settings

WinXP: C:Documents and SettingsUserNameApplication DataAdobeCameraRawSettings

Vista/7: C:UsersUserNameAppDataRoamingAdobeCameraRawSettings

(This places the Holga Base.xmp file in the location needed to be used as a ACR preset)

Using the installed .XMP files in Adobe Camera Raw 5+

Now that the Holga Base has been installed into Adobe Camera Raw, it is ready to use.  Fire up Photoshop and open a RAW format image.  Once the file opens, click on the presets tab in ACR:

Image of presets tab in ACR

Then click on the Holga Base preset to apply the first phase of the Holga simulation:

Holga base applied to image. Heavy vignetting

This applies the clarity adjustment and post-crop vignette used by the Holga Base preset.  Now we need to apply the second part of the Holga Base preset; the Graduated Filter.  Click on the Graduated Filter Icon in ACR:

Working with the graduated filter in ACR

Now click on the Graduated Filter Menu in ACR:

Image of graduated filter sliders in ACR

Then click on the Holga Base Gradient preset:

Holga base gradient preset

Accordingly, this populates the standard Holga gradient adjustment settings.  Therefore, you just need to draw the path of the Graduated Filter:

Drawing the path of the Graduated Filter

Finally, click at the starting point you desire and drag to the desired ending point.  Adjust the gradient guidelines as needed.

Once satisfied, click Done to open the image up in Photoshop with the Holga Base Applied.

Holga is included in the XEQUALS Platform.

Brandon Oelling

Hi there! I'm Brandon Oelling, the founder of XEQUALS. My team and I believe deep in our hearts that inside every one of us is an amazing photographer.

  1. Also, if you are enjoying the Holga preset so far, I just released 2 more Holga+Film emulations on LifeInDigitalFilm. You can get the Holga Effect stacked to Kodak Kodachrome 25 and Kodak Panatomic X. 2 classic films that you would very likely never run through a Holga. Kind of like a Lightroom what if.


  2. Can’t say I’ve ever used a Holga before, but these presets are very cool. Thanks Brandon and Mike.

  3. Mike,

    To crop to 1×1:

    1-go to Library Module (press G on the keyboard)

    2-on the right under the ‘Quick Develop’ panel there is a drop-down called ‘Crop Ratio’

    3-it will most likely be set to ‘Orignial’

    4-select this value and you will see 1×1 in the settings

    Happy Croppin’


  4. I did not notice this preset at first glance, but it really very usefull!!! Thanks a lot!

    I rarely write in English,so,I know i may have written some poor words.

  5. Can’t say I’ve ever used a Holga before, but these presets are very cool. Thanks Brandon and Mike.

  6. Good looking preset. I can’t wait to try this out tonight. The 1X1 crop is a good idea too.

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