Lightroom Presets – Focal Point for Portraits and Landscapes

Hey there! I just wanted to say a quick thanks to everyone who came out to my Austin “Photoshop for Photographers” seminar on Friday. The city pretty much shut down because of dangerously icy roads but we still had a great group that braved it anyway and it turned out to be an awesome day. Thanks for coming by. Stop by KelbyTrainingLive.com to see where I’ll be next (Houston on March 9th for Lightroom 3 I believe).

Anyway, today I’ve got a follow up to some presets I released a while ago. Here’s the back story so you know where they’re coming from. See, I had an idea a while back about using the adjustment brush to create a focal point in certain parts of the photo (by darkening the rest of the photo). The vignetting controls are great for doing this but if your subject isn’t in the middle of the photo then it doesn’t work as well. So I figured I could use the adjustment brush to darken parts of the photo and save it as a preset. Nope! I quickly found out you couldn’t save adjustment brush controls as a preset so I went back to the drawing board and came up with this idea instead. I’ve created 8 different presets that each use the Graduated Filter to do something similar. 4 of them are for Portraits (or portrait oriented images) and 4 of them are for landscape oriented photos (top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right). Enjoy ‘em and let me know what you think!

Portrait (Top Left)

Click to See Larger

Portrait (Top Right)

Click to See Larger

Landscape (Bottom Right)

Click to See Larger

Click here to download Matt’s Focal Point Presets
Click here for a video on how to install presets

Author: Matt Kloskowski

Matt is the full-time Director of Education for Kelby Media Group and a Tampa-based photographer. He's the Editor-in-Chief of Lightroom Magazine, the lead instructor on the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom LIVE Seminar Tour and author of several best-selling Photoshop books. Matt also hosts the world's top Lightroom blog, LightroomKillerTips.com, where he's built up a massive library of Lightroom videos, presets and tips. In addition to teaching Photoshop, Lightroom and photography seminars around the world, he's an instructor at Photoshop World and one of the full-time staff writers for Photoshop User Magazine.

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22 Comments

  1. Thanks Matt… Very useful presets!!

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  2. Thanx Matt! I’m going to play with this preset tonight.

    I really appreciate your effort. I’ve used a lot of your presets as inspiration for my own presets. Very helpfull!

    Keep up the good work! *thumbs up*

    Dennis

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  3. Matt your Austin session was entertaining, informative, and inspirational. I passed 4 cars in the ditch, 1 accident, and barely missed rear ending a car that was sliding sideways in front of me on the interstate exit ramp a block from the convention center! But it was worth the risk. FYI, the iPad panorama app I showed you is PangeaVR developed in Austin.
    Keith

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  4. Thanks Matt – would you recommend deleting the older focal point presets?

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    • Hi Sara,

      I would keep them, Matt has a heads up and always gives an updated preset a different name by adding a 2 to it.

      you may want to go to your presets folder where they reside and make folders for certain groups of presets to better organize your presets so you don’t ind yourself scrolling through a long list just to find the preset your looking for. I personally have a folder for each group of Matts presets. example ; MATTS LR 1, MATTS LR 2, MATTS LR 3. And then i have BW, EXPOSURE, NOISE, SHARPEN ECT..

      ANOTHER THING, I would burn a copy of all your presets to a disc and/or make a back up copy to another drive. Just in case you ever need to re install your OS and format your drive, or replace a failed drive. Or if you ever accidentally change/over write a preset. Makes it easy to put things back to normal.

      Also makes it easy to share with your friends . :)

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  5. Thank you! These are very timely!

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  6. Handy! Thanks Matt!

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  7. This website is really a great helper for me as a photographer…thanks a lot to the editor..you are great..thanks again

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  8. Hi Matt,

    Not sure what the issue is but several comments have shown up in your rss feed as posts.

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  9. Hey Matt, where was the third photo taken?? What a beautiful landscape.

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    • Thanks! It was in the Palouse region in Washington state. About an hour away from Spokane.

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  10. Thanks, Matt! We can always use more presets! :-)

    –John

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  11. Thanks Matt – Great shot from Steptoe Butte – looks quite familiar … http://t.co/xrrOltF

    Guess I’ve got a similar photo to try out this preset. Enjoy seeing your presets and how you’ve applied them – well, along with all the other Lightroom info!!

    Jeff

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  12. I have a preset challenge for you. I love the new Juicy Couture ad campaign photos. They are gorgeous desaturated images. Check them out at http://www.juicycouture.com. I don’t know who the photographer is but I love the look. Can you develop a similar looking preset? Thanks for all the hard work and great presets.

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  13. Well done…thanks for the preset….

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  14. Thank’s Matt, very pretty and very handy.

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  15. Thank you, great stuff as always.

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  16. Hi Matt! I just want to let you know those presets are really cool and useful. I just had a problem. When I updated my lightroom 3 to version 4 all your focal point presets stoped working and I couldnt update them. Could you help me to solution this issue?

    Greetings,

    Daniel

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  17. Yes please Lightroom 4 versions!

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