Lightroom Presets

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



  1. Bob Montgomery 9 February, 2008 at 10:52 Reply


    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.

  2. Hans van Eijsden 7 February, 2008 at 12:05 Reply

    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:

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

  3. Frank Damon 6 February, 2008 at 13:09 Reply

    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

  4. Ivan 6 February, 2008 at 07:55 Reply

    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.

  5. Mary 6 February, 2008 at 01:35 Reply


    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!


  6. mattk 5 February, 2008 at 18:23 Reply

    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

  7. Denear 5 February, 2008 at 18:00 Reply

    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……

  8. Claude Cormier 5 February, 2008 at 11:05 Reply


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

  9. JulieM 5 February, 2008 at 09:34 Reply

    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!!!!

  10. JulieM 5 February, 2008 at 09:23 Reply

    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!

  11. Irene Strowe 5 February, 2008 at 07:00 Reply

    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.

  12. Ivan 5 February, 2008 at 03:03 Reply

    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 😀

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