Monday Presets – The "300" Look

Happy Monday everyone. I’m proud to report that I finished the Disney Marathon yesterday (all 26.2 miles of it!) and lived to tell the tale. Scott Kelby has a mini-report and photo up on his blog. Thanks to everyone who posted comments of encouragement and congratulations here. You guys are great!
Now to the Lightroom preset. As you probably saw from the title, this one is my take on the “300” look from the movie The 300. It’s very similar to what I did in Camera Raw on Photoshop User TV this week, but doing it in Lightroom is even better. I actually saw a great take on this preset from Mike Lao Photography. I had a few things that I wanted to add to it to take the effect in a different direction and that’s where this preset comes from. You’ll notice there are 2 presets in the zip file. One of them is for a harsher stronger look (good if you’re looking for that gritty effect). The other one is for a softer look (better for portraits that have women in them).

Click here to see a sample of the presets.
Click here to download Matt’s 300 Look Preset
Click here to see a video on how to install presets.


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  1. Hi guys,

    I cannot see the video on how to install presets. Not sure why. I use imac. Any tips or other instructions on how to install them please?



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  2. Is there a way to produce the same effect using Photoshop CS4?

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  3. Hi Matt,
    I’m new to LR, and humbley thank you for all that you do with it and for us newbies!
    I am having a similar issue to a previous poster. I seem to sometimes be able to manually reorder my photos by highlighting and dragging to a new spot, and sometimes I can’t seem to move the image. I make sure to always have the “sort by” on User Order, but with some folders it just doesn’t work. I must be missing something really basic.. Any ideas?

    Many thanks in advance for your help, and thanks again for all you do.

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  4. ???? ???????? ?????????? ??????? ?????????, ?????? ??????????? ? ??????? ????????????? ??????.
    ?????? ????????? ? ??????? ??????.

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  5. Mine are looking really off as well. Are they supposed to be void of any color?

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  6. I not getting these presets to look the way I see them. They really look off. Any tips??

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  7. Thanks very much for that preset Matt. Been a regular visitor to your site and and avid watcher of your videos, thank god for IPODs! I’ve recently used this preset on a slight unusual subject. It was a family day out to a Thomas the Tank Engine (kids tv programme here in the UK) which my son loves to bits. There were steam engines in “character” and when I saw one of the drivers starting to fill the engine with water I saw the shot unfold. I knew how I wanted it to look but didn’t know how to do it, then I came across this preset πŸ™‚

    All the best,


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  8. would love to see this effect workflow, but I dont have lightroom, and i bet we can do it in bridge/PS, so if we could just see a video or something?

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  9. That’s a very wonderful one! Nice work! πŸ™‚

    Hi Nath, the flower looks very great! Very Cool!

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  10. This preset is amazing! I’ve used it some photos I took of the Forbidden City in Beijing and it looks so much better (in my books anyway)

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  11. Hi Matt

    I’m sorry i’m posting to this video about something that doesnt relate – i couldnt figure out where to send a general comment/question…

    one problem i keep having with lightroom is that sometimes in cerain collection i’m unable to reorder my photos (or “sort” them) by “user order.” when i try to move the picture it just goes back to where it originally was. i have tried unstacking all the pictures as well as making sure that i unchecked “include items in subgroups.” is there some basic principle i’m not getting?? it is driving me crazy because i often have multiple pictures of the same thing in different parts of my shoot and i like to put them together so i they are easier to visualize…


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  12. Reacting to the series/movie style resquest (Salech). Sure it’s cool to get that particular series/movies/commercial style/preset…LR is a great thing, but don’t forget what really does the trick…Lighting. Great lighting especially.

    But hey, since you want them really bad (plus, youknow exactly what you want !), what about taking +1hr of your time, trying different things, then saving it as a preset ? You’ll learn way more quickly, with a triumphant efficiency as a result.

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  13. Hi Matt,

    Congrats on the marathon. I’m only a 5K (Canadian) guy so you get great respect for 26.2 miles!.

    This preset is great, too, really cool effect. Now if I could only solve my LR printing issue it would look even better in print.

    Are you able to shed some light on all the printing issues with LR? There seems to be a mismatch with some print drivers and profiles. I saw a similar issue with CS3 that was addressed by Adobe. Any help to resolve would be appreciated.

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  14. Well done Ski!! Congrats!


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  15. Matt,

    Congrats on the Marathon. They are an effort. I keep wanting to cross photography with marathon running, get photos of the crowd and all that stuff.
    Anyway, enjoy the rest. BTW, have you caught the fever?


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  16. Hey everyone! Thanks so much for all of congrats. I’m recuperating nicely. A little sore still but it’s going away and in a few days I’m sure everything will be back to normal.

    I’ve been keeping a list of all the questions to answer here on the site so keep an eye out.

    See ya!
    Matt K

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  17. Way to go on the Marathon. That is a real accomplishment. Also thanks for all your tips and courses. Presets are a great touch. I use them and experiment with them and get some very nice results.

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  18. Cool! Thanks for sharing that Sir! πŸ™‚ Congrats for the great work…

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  19. i like you’r preset for “300”!!
    how about presets for the different CSI series or CarnivΓ le or…

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  20. Hey Matt – thanks for giving my site a shout out and congratulations on finishing the marathon! πŸ™‚

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  21. Great job on the marathon, Matt!!
    That’s quite an accomplishment!


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  22. Matt,

    Congrats on completing the Disney Marathon. It is a notable feat that not many folks can take bragging rights on.

    I’ve got a comment/question not necessarily related to today’s post but perhaps you may salt it away for a future item. What are the implications of using a single instance of Lightroom on a computer that is accessed by multiple users? I have a single computer in my home that my wife and I both use (we each have separate users logins set up). I was think of perhaps putting the lightroom catalog and the base photo folders in the public directory but I’m not sure that would work. Could you possibly comment on this for the entire group sometime?


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  23. Thanks heaps for this. I was talked into getting Lightroom by some folk who said it had changed their whole workflow process speed. Since coming across your site I can now see why as the presets are really fabulous and the speed is great.

    Have you ever tried to get the effect of Pirates of the Carribean – World’s End. I’ve been trying to do it as an action in photoshop but I don’t think I’m smart enough. It’s grey blue feel would be as awesome as 300.

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  24. Congrats on the marathon Matt. Doing one with your brother is doubly great. That was a nice finish time as well, I am really happy for you.

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  25. Congratulations Matt,

    Buy Scott and RC a couple of Donuts to hold them over until the next race πŸ™‚

    It’s great what you can do with only Lightroom to get some neat effects.

    I used a similar effect on images that I took at the Ghost town, Bodie California.

    If you increase the recovery on your preset to 100 and the tone curve to medium contrast, the preset works real well with older buildings like you see in Bodie.

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  26. Huge Congratulations Matt for an awesome achievement!!!

    Well done to you!

    Best wishes,

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  27. Congrats Matt! How long did it take you to finish? πŸ™‚

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  28. Wow! You survived! Congrats on the finish, Matt!

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  29. Congrats on the marathon! I ran in Houston yesterday and I can’t even imagine doing it in the FL heat! I’m so sore today too. Hope you feel bette soon.

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  30. Congrats on the 5:16 marathon. This is an accomplishment you will always remember. Good time also for your first; I thought the 10 minute mile guesstimate was a bit optimistic. Hope your legs come back to life in a few days.

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  31. hi Matt
    Great for your marathon !!!

    Thanks for all the work you do for us about LR, very helpful !!!!

    Some thing is bugging me, it’s the best way to convert to B&W.
    (it’s not today subject but…)
    We could do it by clicking the grayscale button but I’v been reading it’s not that great because it brings a lot of noise.

    The other way is to desaturate evrything as Martin Eveing says

    What would be your advice about that ??

    Thanks again


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  32. Wow that is awesome that you did the marathon.. Then that photo of you in the preset sample, showing us your emotions of finishing.. LOL.. sorry just being a goof.

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