Lightroom Presets

Presets – Deep Blue Sky

Happy Tuesday everyone! I’ve got a brand new set of presets for you this week targetted directly at blue skys (or lack of). Here’s the deal: There’s 3 different presets in this one each making the sky a deeper blue. Go ahead and develop your photo first (Exposure, Recovery, etc…) and then apply this preset. But there’s a couple of things to note:
1) You’ve got to have some degree of blue in your sky for this to work. Don’t think you can hit a gray overcast sky with this preset and turn it blue. It’s got to be somewhat blue to start with.
2) Anything else that’s blue in the photo is going to be affected so watch out if you’ve got people in there (Thanks Dave Alton for mentioning this in the comments)
3) Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Meaning, your sky may be just fine to start with. These presets will really bring out the blues and if you use them (especially Level 3) on a sky that is already pretty blue it’s going to look fake.
Sound good? Well, I hope you have a great day. Enjoy the presets and, as always, let me know what you think by leaving a comment.

Click here to see a sample of the preset.
Click here to download Matt’s Deep Blue Sky presets
Click here to see a video on how to install presets.



  1. Timothy Mathews 23 April, 2008 at 11:45 Reply

    I’ve been using the free WOW presets from Onone Software for some time and just checked them against these presets. They create less noise, though only the first and second options really seem usable as the 3rd WOW preset makes the sky purpleish.

  2. Peter Marcaurelle 23 April, 2008 at 10:43 Reply

    Hi Matt,

    I’m getting the same “mottled or dappled appearance ” as mention above.
    It doesn’t appear in all images and seems more pronounced on images where I have used a polarizer.

    On other images however, the presets are just what the doctor ordered.

    I hope you don’t mind if I try to help Matt Denton-

    Matt D.- what I have done for the copyright is to create a copyright symbol and appropriate text in photoshop and then I removed the background to get a transparent background behind the symbol and text (NOTE: make the image size to fit largest image). I then saved the resulting image as a png file (retaining the transparency).

    You then can apply the copyright as a identity plate on top of your images and since it is transparent, the image will show through . You can change the size and opacity to suit.

    You can print out this combination, however, exporting the resulting output as a jpeg will have to wait for Lr 2.0 or you can use the PDF work around that Matt K described in a previous posting.

    NOTE: I know this works on a Windows system, do not know about Mac.


  3. Matt Denton 22 April, 2008 at 22:11 Reply


    Love the site and love the Layers book!! I am really getting a lot of great tips and ideas from it. And the best part – it is so well written and easy to follow. It rocks!

    Here is a question on a preset. Is it possible to have a watermark preset made? Right now I am adding them in CS# – but if there is a Lightroom way – that would totally rock!

    Thanks for the great Killer tips, the Layers book and all the great training tips you provide.

    Take care

  4. Frank Damon 22 April, 2008 at 20:16 Reply

    Hey Matt:
    Your presets are terrific and I really appreciate them. This new one is especially good, as you say, with skies with any amount of blue in it, and then I combined it with your midnight blue preset and it was amazing. I also put one of the deep blue sky effects on a photo with green foliage in the background. It created an almost surreal grainy effect–beyond cool! As a wise person has said–experiment, you never know what you will get.

  5. Kris 22 April, 2008 at 15:31 Reply

    Hey Matt,
    Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate the presets…I just downloaded the Lightroom 2.0 Beta so that I could see if Lightroom is a must have — and I have been impressed. I haven’t really gotten a new workflow figured out yet, but I still have another week or two before my 30 days is up, so hopefully by then I will know if this is a program I can’t live without. If nothing else, presets do incredible things to my photos and the whole “click of a button” ease is amazing.

    At any rate, huge fan here and I wanted you to know!

  6. Tim 22 April, 2008 at 14:29 Reply

    A workaround for the dappled look you mentioned can be a combination of adjusting the saturation and luminance.

    I like using this polarizing effect to bring out clouds in the sky that can be hard to see in a washed out sky.

  7. lux 22 April, 2008 at 13:49 Reply

    tanks for your job.
    i have in my lightroom library presets more matt’s presets and they work fine.
    sorry for my english..

    from italy

  8. Seim Effects 22 April, 2008 at 11:45 Reply

    Nice Matt, thanks. I love a good blue sky.

    I like #2 the best. Keep up the good work. It’s great to get other peoples effects and ideas rolling in your preset library.

  9. Martin Chamberlain 22 April, 2008 at 09:49 Reply

    One thing I’ve noticed before when trying to really deepen a blue sky in Lightroom is a mottled or dappled appearance in the blues which is usually too bad to live with. This is not a problem in Photoshop using curves to darken a sky, so it must be the way that LR does things. I’ve noticed the same with Matt’s preset – not suprising since he’s using a similar method. Anyone else experienced this and found a solution (other than resort to PS) ?

  10. Dave Alton 22 April, 2008 at 09:28 Reply


    Great preset and thanks for it. One more thing you should mention, while somewhat obvious…Deep Blue Sky is going to affect all blues so if you have say blue jeans in the photo well those jeans are going to be un-naturally blue. It looks good though and I am enjoying playing with it. Thanks again.


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