Monday Presets – Sharpening

This week’s free presets deal with sharpening. Now, I know Lightroom has a couple of sharpening presets built right in (one for landscapes and one for portraits). The reason I created my own was that I felt these presets were a bit on the “not enough” side. A couple of times they worked great, but most of the time I found I was increasing the sharpening strength. So I created my own (3 for portraits and 3 for landscapes). They’re grouped into a “a little, a little more, or a lot” format. I’ll tell you right off the bat that there is absolutely no scientific reasoning behind this other then these presets look good when applied to my photos. Actually there’s a little reasoning. You’ll see with the portrait ones that the Masking setting is always cranked up, which is generally what I use when I want to preserve the skin tone. For the landscape ones I leave it at a lower setting. Anyway, enjoy them. I hope they work well for you.
Click here to download Matt’s Sharpening presets
Click here to see a video on how to install presets.


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  1. Hi Matt, I’m trying to get to grips on pre and post sharpening, reasons for etc.

    I use a Canon EOS 400D and import raw into Lightroom 1.3. Should I be pre-sharpening my images on import? If so, why? Following that, how about a video on how to create an import/pre-sharpening effect.

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  2. Matt,

    Are these sharpening presets intended as digital Capture sharpening, or for final output? Any difference if intended use is print, press or web? Does it make any difference if the capture was from 21MP Canon, 12MP Nikon or 7MP point & shoot?

    Thanks for providing them, and the instructions on how to install.

    – Greg

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  3. Great job. . .love the videos, blog and presets. Question: I used the sharpening presets in develop mode so do I not sharpen then in the printing mode or do you do both? Book suggestions would be to delve further into nuances of LR. . once I make general changes in LR how to drag photo into PS without it taking FOREVER, how to set export presets for e.g. into iphoto so that you could use iweb easily, workflow for exporting (do you save or just re-export things you email or send out to print, hate to duplicate work but also hate to have extra files on computer).

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  4. Again Matt you outdid yourself, I really like the way you teach very simple to understand.

    Keep em Coming

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  5. This preset thing you are doing is wicked sick!

    Keep it coming! Good stuff!

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  6. Matt, how do these sharpening presets compare to the ones Kelby espouses (with luminosity…in “7 steps”)?


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  7. Matt,

    I have been watching photoshop TV for few months and enjoy it. I also have been subscribed to your lightroom killer tips. Great tips and information. Thank you for sharing it with us. Keep up the good work.
    I have two questions.
    First is to do with new opensource Pod Cast Player “Songbird” I have that installed and it does not seem to work with feeds from feedburner. Have you come across how to correctly se up subscription in it.
    Second is on use of Lightroom and Bridge. How do you propose the workflow to make use of Lightroom and Photoshop or Bridge. Is Camera Raw better or Lightroom better for that type of work.

    Thank you,

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  8. Those are pretty cool and, more importantly, very useful! Thanks 🙂

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  9. Hey Matt!
    Love the preset section. As far as a Lightroom Book I would reccomend the on-line course to everyone. However a better suggestion would be to attend your workshop if it passes within a reasoable distance. Having done both I would encourage others to do the same. Your workflow will improve by giant leaps and you’ll meet great people as well.
    Rob O

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  10. just wondered if any of you guys had a problem with saving the watermark psd
    for the identity plate in previous video i only had a option to open jpeg or tiff but then came with a white background not transparent as is needed

    i run PC not Mac by the way

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  11. Hi Matt,
    Thanks once more for your tips/videos and presets–love them!
    Just a quick suggestion but an important one: could you please make your presets’ titles a bit shorter (I don’t know how to rename them and they don’t fit in my left hand side panel)? This would be great–thanks!
    Best regards–Florent.

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  12. mat,when i open photos in lightroom they immediately all darken.i can fix and sync or fix each one indiviually and this change i have some setting turned on that is darkening all files on import.appreciate your work and your help.thanx al

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  13. Just curious if you could tell us what these presets for sharpening do specifically. Is it just a clarity boost?

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  14. Thanks Rob and everyone else. I’ll try to answer Rob’s question with another question…
    What Lightroom book do you want to see? I won’t be writing another “How to use Lightroom” book. There’s already enough on the market that are done well. So what book is it that you guys would want to see.

    Thanks for any help.

    Matt K

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  15. Matt, Thanks a lot. I just got back from Yosemite so these will come in handy. Question….So is there a book in the future?

    Your site is great.


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  16. Thanks for all your work, Matt. I am a huge fan.

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  17. thanks Matt
    I love Lightroom and I love your tips

    I live in Thailand and now I enjoy to take pictures more than the past

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