Lightroom Presets

Presets – Dramatic Skies

This week I’ve got some sky-enhancing presets for you. I created some similar presets a couple of years ago, but I’ve replaced them with the ones you’ll see below. There’s 3 versions (Lite, Medium, and Strong) and they do a few things. First, they add some extra punch to the blues in the sky. It’s actually more of a deepening effect, rather than just saturating the blues. They also increase the contrast of the clouds so they stand out more. They definitely work in different ways on different photos, so don’t be surprised if you see changes for a sunrise/sunset photo vs. a photo taken in mid afternoon.

As always, your comments are welcome. Download ’em and let me know what you think.

Here’s an example of the medium version. (click to see it larger).

To install:
1) Unzip the preset zip file on to your desktop
2) Go to the Develop module. NOTE: YOU MUST BE THE DEVELOP MODULE
3) Go to the Presets panel on the left. Right click anywhere in it and choose “Import”.
4) Select the .lrtemplate files you unzipped in Step 1 and click Import NOTE: DO NOT IMPORT THE ZIP FILE

• Click here to download the preset.



  1. Inma Monte Picante 7 October, 2010 at 12:33 Reply

    thanks a lot for these and before presets,they work really good!
    keep up your great job!!!
    sending good vibes from the white island!

  2. Dean Ayres 29 September, 2010 at 18:35 Reply

    Thanks; this is a great set of presets.

    When I apply them in Lightroom 3, I notice that Lens Correction is turned off. Is there any reason for this?

    • Marcos 6 October, 2010 at 06:12 Reply

      Myra, make sure you are in “Presets” and right click on top of the submenu “User presets” then it would come up the “Import” dialog

  3. Bill A 17 September, 2010 at 09:47 Reply

    Like other posters I find it odd that you have written 2 to only alter blue luminance (as far as I can see) while 1 and 3 reset everything done already and then shift blue luminance.

    You’ve provided some good presets in the past but not so sure about these.


  4. Dennis Zito 15 September, 2010 at 14:34 Reply

    Hey Matt,

    You did it again! Very nice presets! Hope you don’t mind, but I deleted the older ones.:-) I’m getting way to many presets. Thanks for sharing and glad to see you made it back from Vegas safely!


      • christian 19 September, 2010 at 14:18 Reply

        Thanks Matt. Do you have any idea if anything changed from LR2 to LR3 regarding the auto-updating the DNG file. Meaning that the develop settings are getting saved in the actual file and not only in the LR catalog.
        Looking at your sky presets I’m wondering if you can achieve something like the high pass filter in PS just using LR. Your preset already goes into that direction.
        again, thanks. your blog is killer

  5. John Bamber 15 September, 2010 at 08:26 Reply

    Hi Matt. The Killer Tips podcast doesn’t seem to be working on iTunes, even though it is still listed in the podcast directory. In iTunes it shows up with a warning sign saying that the link does not go to a valid podcast. Do you know if this is a temporary problem or a problem with the new iTunes 10? Thanks for all your help.

  6. Scott 14 September, 2010 at 17:08 Reply


    Is that kinda like Gandhi said?…

    “Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

    – Scott 😉

  7. Dennis 14 September, 2010 at 16:03 Reply

    Love the preset!

    Now if only you would update your auto-fix presets for Lightroom 3 including Camera Profiles + Lens Correction 😉

  8. Chip 14 September, 2010 at 14:34 Reply

    I think you already shared with us these presets, since I have them (and sometimes use them :)). Thanks anyway. They’ll be great for those who don’t know your blog for long enough. 😀

  9. John Swarce 14 September, 2010 at 13:24 Reply

    Thanks for the presets, Matt. I kept the old ones that you had and just renamed them. Can never have enough presets!!


  10. Tom 14 September, 2010 at 13:14 Reply

    I can’t right click on my iMac. Is there another way to access Import in the Presets panel as noted in #3 above? I have Lightroom 2.

  11. Chrys Gakopoulos 14 September, 2010 at 11:06 Reply

    I tried on more photos and noticed it doesn’t do as well in raw but does amazing if in jpg or tif. I thought I was done with some photos and then I applied the action and they got even better. The trick may be to go back and enrich even more outside of raw. I’ll keep playing with them. I know I’ll use them for sure.

  12. Chrys Gakopoulos 14 September, 2010 at 10:56 Reply

    I love all three presets. I used a photo I took of the San Francisco skyline from across the bay in Sausalito and the water and sky looked beautiful and sharp. Each present deepend and sharpened a bit more than the other. Thanks so much. Love them.

  13. Maryann 14 September, 2010 at 08:57 Reply

    Seems to depend on the photo you start with Maciunio. The 1st pic I tried I got the same result you did, Levels 1 and 3 just left it muddy and Level 2 was okay. On another that had more clouds and a broad range of exposure, all 3 levels gave nice ‘dramatic’ results.
    Thanks Matt!

  14. Steve 14 September, 2010 at 01:02 Reply

    If you right click the download link, copy, paste it into a new window or tab, edit out the last “.zip” and press enter, you can download the file

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *