Daido Moriyama Lightroom Preset

 daidoWhat happens when you want to take street photos but it’s almost night, you’re not using a tripod and don’t like to hug a traffic light to avoid camera shake?

Just that you get frustrated, bored, and a Zeiss 50mm/0.7constantly comes to you in your dreams.

But don’t let that devil’s tool called tripod tempt you, there’s a solution to take photos at night, with high shutter speed and having a lot of fun. It’s called: The Daido Moriyama Kit by ReallyJapan.

First of all, Daido Moriyama is a Japanaese photographer I kinda like because his street photographs are gritty, harsh, raw, very analogish, punk in some way. 

This style is pretty cool, and works pretty well with grainy, high iso shots.

Now, let’s open the DM Kit and let’s build the perfect low-light-fun machine, here’s what you need to do:

  • Set your camera to RAW (so, couldn’t care less what you see in the display of your camera, it’s just for your pleasure, what you’re saving is the original, not processed raw image)
  • Change the setting in your camera from the “better safe than sorry” color mode to Black and White, Highest Contrast, Highest Sharpness (we’re using RAW, so no worry)
  • Set your ISO to anything between 1600 and H3/3200.
  • Set your camera to Shutter Speed Priority
  • Set exposure compensation to -0.3/-0.7 (to preserve the highlights)
  • Set your shutter speed to 1/125 or 1/400 for super-speed shooting
  • Go and act wild! Take photos of everything you see, don’t look through the viewfinder, just point the camera and shoot, shoot while walking, go fast, very fast! 

I don’t know if that works for you, but for me it’s a really refreshing technique. As soon as I get too stressed trying to take good, non grainy shots, I turn on the Daido Moriyama style and I have a lot of fun.

Now, how do you process this shots?
Well, I’m gonna give you some presets for Lightroom! If you wonder how those presets look like, take a look of this shots in the photoblog:

How to install presets on Lightroom?

Click on Preferences, select Presets tab and click on Show Lightroom Presets Folder… button.
Uncompress the ZIP file, move the folder in the Lightroom Presets Folder/Develop Presets and relaunch Lightroom.


Download the free Lightroom preset here: moriyama_kit

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17 thoughts on “Daido Moriyama Lightroom Preset

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  3. Ruben Post author

    Hi ugentomari,
    sorry no workflow for photoshop.. but I guess it’s something like a black and white filter and a S-shaped curve..

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  6. ugentomari

    hi, what about if shooting in color and converting in B&W later with photoshop along with increasing Contrast and Sharpness in post-production?

  7. Kari

    For some reason, I can’t get this preset to open in Lightroom 2.0. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. I download presets alot. Can you help? Thanks.

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  9. Enrico

    I love your Moriyama presets, I use them on some particular moody portraits but are very good also for street photography. Good job!

  10. Chi


    Just found these presets and I tried them. Looks great.
    I was just wondering. Which focus points and focus mode are you using for this. Since you’re not supposed to stands still and look through the viewfinder this must give you not the desired picture from time to time not?

  11. Chi

    One thing I forgot to mention. I had to use the jpg files as Lightroom didn’t showed the black and white pictures that I took. Any way to get that setting in Lightroom?

  12. mas

    Great idea, but I think the result lacks the grain that makes Daido’s photos so special.
    What do you think?

  13. MC

    Chi, I’m having the same problem. I’m new to Lightroom (and shooting in RAW frankly,) and for some reason the images look great in BnW but once I import them into Lightroom they are processed in color without any prompting whatsoever. Any thoughts?

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