Tip – Fading a Lightroom Preset

I’ve got a big article due for Photoshop User magazine this week so I’m gonna make this one short. In fact, I’m being so lazy today that I’m stealing a tip from some one else. See, for a while now I’d have to say the most common preset-related question I get is how to fade a preset. Say the effect is just too strong and you don’t feel like going through each slider and lessening the amount it applies. Instead you basically want a volume control for the preset. Well the other day Piet (one of the blog readers) posted a comment pointing me to a video he’s done on fading Lightroom presets. Now before you get your hopes up, there is no “Fade Preset” feature in LR that you’re missing. The tip that’s been out there for a while involves going to Photoshop and Piet’s tip is no exception. But I thought he had a really slick way to do it and one that I hadn’t seen before. Here’s a link to Piet’s video. Enjoy and thanks Piet! :)

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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  1. Excellent. This opens up a wide range of possibilities. Thanks, guys.

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  2. Oh man! Thanks so much for that tip! I used it today and love it! That was one thing I was so frustrated about with LR. I’m so used to using actions in PS and then being able to reduce opacity when I need to scale back on something. This is a godsend!

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  3. That is an awesome tip. Maybe the final version of lightroom3 will have a “fade preset” option. Kind of like the fade in Photoshop.

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  4. Great tip Piet!!!! Thanks for posting this link Matt!
    This is going to save me so much time!!!

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  5. Just tried it & I love it.

    Add a Layer mask also & be able to paint it in where ever you want. I did this with a Wacom Tablet & the results are AWSOME !!

    Matt ROCKS !

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  6. Hi Matt,

    Have been a big fan of the website for some time now. Also enjoying your video tutorials over at KelbyTraining.com.

    Down here in Australia, Capture Magazine (Australia’s Top-Selling Pro Photography Mag) has just published their annual round-up for 2009 and asked for photographers and assistants to send through their Top 10 lists of inspirational websites and blogs.

    Not sure if my vote made a big difference but you’ll be happy to know your website made it onto one of their lists in the ‘Gear and Technical’ category.

    Congratulations all round! Keep up the great work.



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  7. Good tip; however, the open as layers option on my menu is grayed out and not available. Any ideas why?

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  8. @ Irene: could it be that you’re on an older version of Photoshop and Camera Raw?

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  9. Hi Matt,

    I have been using LR3 Beta and love it. There is one thing I wish it could do though. When croping a photo I wish I could turn on specific photo image sizes 5×7 or etc. That way when I crop I would know that I am cropping it to fit a specific size. I hope that makes sense. I also know you must have an in with the LR folks and if you like my idea – you could pass it along. Heck take the idea and call it from Matt for all I care..


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