Monday Presets – Cinematic Midnight Effect

Today I’ve got the first visitor-suggested preset download. Last week I got a ton of ideas and suggestions for presets and one of them came from Julie Mcleod. She suggested the “Midnight” effect from Nik Software’s Color Efex. It turns a daytime photo into something that looks more like it was taken at night. Not totally at night but it’s a cool cinematic styled effect nonetheless. As I usually like to do, there’s a few different levels of the effect that range from light to dark so you have a choice when applying the effect. Many thanks to Julie for the idea. She’ll get a free month subscription to Kelby Training’s online training site. Happy presetting! :)

Click here to see a before/after sample of the preset.
Click here to download Matt’s Midnight Preset

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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26 Comments

  1. Looks great. I’ll definately check this one out, when I get home from work.
    I’ve done something familiar with one of my shots, where I changed a sunset picture into a moonrise picture with whitebalance and some color tweaking. But this one looks a little bit different :D

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  2. Hi Matt

    Great presets…. I really enjoy your writing!

    Looking forward to follow this series :-)

    Best regards Charlotte

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  3. Hi Matt,

    Many thanks for this cool preset. The before / after image looks very promising! I?ll give it a try tonight.

    Have a great day.

    Kind regards, Gerry Pacher

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  4. Different folks like different things. I would not call this a midnight effect, rather a heavy/darkened polarizer. I was expecting something better. Many of your tips are great, this one just misses the mark for me.

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  5. Oh my gosh, I’m so thrilled to have you create a preset based on my suggestion! And it looks great – the effect is very much like the Nik filter I referenced. I can guarantee I’ll be using this preset frequently. Thank you so much, Matt!

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  6. Matt I really like the effect that can do. Sweet..

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  7. Matt, I was excited that you worked my suggestion and that was before I even noticed I’m getting a free one-month subscription to Kelby Training. Now, I’m absolutely ecstatic! Thank you (and Scott) even more!!!!

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  8. Matt,

    You are really showing us the power of Lightroom. I bougt it just a month ago and love it. Fantastic software.

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  9. Thanks Matt for all the great things you are doing for us.
    One comment, I find these presets work so much better when the original picture(s) don’t have harsh or strong shadows. My 2 cents……

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  10. Everyone – Thanks for the kind words. Glad you like ‘em.

    Denear – you’re absolutely right. They tend to work on lighter photos. Also, they’re meant for photos with lots of sky in them.

    Irene – Thanks for the criticism ;)

    Matt K

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  11. Dude … THESE ARE WICKED! I will upload some of my … I mean your … work to your flickr group.

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  12. Matt,
    Awesome! Thank you.

    TB

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  13. Matt,

    Great preset! I have a question that I am sure you get asked all the time. I know you made a video on how to solve my problem, but I can’t seem to locate it. Sometimes, when I open an image in lightroom and edit it in photoshop, the filters are not all available. I’m sure it’s a simple fix, but it’s driving me nuts! How do I fix this?

    Thanks so much for all the help you provide!

    -Mary

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  14. Mary, you have to convert to 8-bit.

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  15. So, as promised, I checked out the presets. My conclusion is: works best with really blue or little blown out skys and a well lit subject. If the subject is not lit good, the contrast really goes down bad. Sometimes I even got halos.
    As with many presets, use carefully and only specifically.

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  16. Matt you right on the sky photos.. used them on some of my hot air balloon photos.. lots of sky there.

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  17. Thanks Gina! That’s something I am not likely to forget again. :)

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  18. Hi Matt:
    I took your workshop in Page, Arizona in October and loved it. I especially liked all your great teaching about Lightroom and now I am a believer and I use it all the time! The only question I have is whether or not it is possible for you to run the video on your website about Print Settings and Color Management in the Print Module. I know it isn’t hard to grasp, but I am having a bit of a mental block about it. I am taking a photography class in Los Angeles and showed a photo I took of a boy in Panama, who ended up having green blotches on his face. Well, the class liked it and when I went to print it again, I couldn’t find it, as I was messing with the Print Management stuff in Lightroom. So, many thanks in advance and hope to see you sometime this year again. Frank

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  19. Dear Matt,

    thanks for your clear and kindly tips and advices. Thanks to the RSS-feed, I follow all of your articles.

    Today I had a lovely girl here and tried as starting point one of your presets. Then, I adjusted it to fill my needs.
    Now it’s exactly the effect I was looking for:

    http://www.hansvaneijsden.nl/fashion/Photoshoot-Zwolle-Midya-HvE-20080207-2419.jpg.html

    Thank you very much, and keep up the good work! :)
    Greetings from The Netherlands, Hans van Eijsden

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  20. Matt,

    Thanks for all the great presets and Lightroom tips. I’m a new convert to Lightroom, and your site has been a great resource. Also, this particular preset? Yeah, it rocks! Wow, it just does something special to certain images, especially some long exposure midnight moon/ocean pictures I took a while back.

    Fantastic! Thanks again,

    Bob M.

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  21. Thank you very much for these presets! You sure make it easy for a newbie to get great results!!

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