Lightroom Presets

Lightroom Presets – Focal Point Background Effects

A while back I had an idea 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 (in the Effects panel) 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!

Here’s a couple before/afters:




  1. Nicole 21 October, 2012 at 12:57 Reply

    I’m crazy about this preset! When I downloaded it months ago I didn’t think I would ever need it but I shot a birthday party at a skatepark yesterday and this preset is ideal for these types of venues! Thank you!!! I can’t wait until the seminar in San Diego… I’ll be the one “ooooing and ahhhhing” the entire time!

  2. Luca 16 October, 2012 at 12:26 Reply

    Some users are complaining that after downloading the compressed (.zip) file, they are unable to open them.
    They might get a … Cannot open file: it does not appear to be a valid archive… blah, blah, blah.
    The problem is that the unzipping/uncompressing program is having trouble understanding its format… presume it’s because either 1) it was compressed using a MAC or 2) the version might be outdated. Used Winzip and had the same problem; used 7-zip and life is good again… thanks!
    Regarda, Luca.

  3. RR 18 September, 2012 at 03:04 Reply

    Hey matt not to be a pain but the zip files being downloaded do not contain presets just one file that says mattsfocalpoint. just thought id let you know.

    thanks either way

  4. Ski 29 August, 2012 at 23:24 Reply

    Thanks, Matt, for taking the time to develop these Graduated Filter presets and also for sharing them with us all!

  5. Zoe 28 August, 2012 at 22:07 Reply

    Hi. Pretty Presets offers adjustment brush presets packages on their website. When you say that you can’t save adjustment brush presets are you speaking of something different? Just curious. Thanks for all you awesome tips and presets!!! They are really helpful.

    • Matt Kloskowski 29 August, 2012 at 11:02 Reply

      You can save them as presets but not as Develop module presets that show up on the left side. You can only save adjustment brush presets and they only work when you actually go to use the brush. I wanted to actually brush on to the image and have it save my brush strokes as a preset which it won’t do.

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