Presets – Focal Point for Landscapes

Hey there! I’m pretty excited about this week’s presets. I had an idea a while back about using the adjustment brush to create a focal point in certain parts of the photo (by darkening the rest of the photo). The vignetting controls are great for doing this but if your subject isn’t in the middle of the photo then it doesn’t work as well. So I figured I could use the adjustment brush to darken parts of the photo and save it as a preset. Wrong! I quickly found out you couldn’t save adjustment brush controls as a preset so I went back to the drawing board and came up with this idea instead. I’ve created 4 different presets that each use the Graduated Filter to do something similar. This week’s batch is for Landscapes only (top left, top right, bottom left, and bottom right). However, I’m working on an update that I’ll get out next week for portraits as well. Enjoy ’em and let me know what you think!

Click here to see a sample of the “Focal Point Top Right” preset.
Click here to download Matt’s Focal Point Presets
Click here to see a video on how to install presets .


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  1. Hi Matt-
    I have LR presets from you since last summer. I just got a new computer, and I have forgotten how to install these presets. The video tutorial is not working on this site right now, so, if you could post the basic steps, I would greatly appreciate it.
    I have quite a few of your actions as well, which I use often. Love them!

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  2. DigitalOxygen – you are correct, didn’t think of that.

    Now if we can just get Matt to make up the appropriate templates 🙂


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  3. Peter: that is not a bad idea at all!

    Having the dummy / template file in a different folder than the destination image however means that sync won’t be available and rather than having to either move the images into the same folder or collection you can simply copy the desired settings from the template file CMD+SHIFT+C / CTRL+SHIFT+C the locate and select the destination photo(s) and paste on the adjustments (CMD+SHIFT+V / CTRL+SHIFT+V) !

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  4. Oops !

    I didn’t finish my previous comment.

    This might be more work than is necessary, but I had a thought on a possible method to “psuedo save” a local adjustment. I tried it with the graduated filters and brush and it seems to work ok.

    Create a “dummy” file, maybe a image of a white background in the various crop sizes that you may normally use. Then apply local gradients (and adjustment brushes) in a series of desired locations and save as snapshots the desired focus locations.

    Then while selecting the dummy file with the desired snapshot, select the image that you want to apply focus on and then “sync” with local adjustment from dummy file.

    Once applied you can make further adjustments by selecting desired points.

    I would suggest, keeping dummy files in a folder just for that use.

    Like I said maybe more work than necessary, but seems to be a work around.

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  5. Hi Matt,

    Your preset has inspired me to attempt to create a gradient based solution for the undesirable post-crop vignette tool.

    Although the results were fairly good I did not realize when I started that the gradient tool is relative to the edges of the original photo and will be chopped off just like the lens correction vignette tool when you crop the image. Still a fun experiment and might have some value to some people. Check out the full write-up here:

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  6. Hi Matt,
    Interesting idea, but these presets look very similar to a collection of presets that have been on the Adobe Lightroom exchange since November of last year. Perhaps you should have a look at the Focus Beauty presets at the exchange. You might find they’re very similar.

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  7. Hi timofej,
    You can create preset settings for the Adjustment Brush (and I have) that set the Exposure, Saturation, etc… to certain settings. But you can not save the actual brush strokes. So I couldn’t paint all around a photo with a low-exposure brush, and then save it as a Develop preset that some one could load and get the same exact brush strokes as me.

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  8. I don’t understand why you are saying that it is not possible to save presets of the adjustment brush? Moreover, I think that it was you who published adjustment brush presets for eye enhancement etc (thanks for that!). Why was it not possible to make a similar preset for edge darkening?

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  9. Thanks, Matt! I love the graduated filter localized adjustment tool, and your preset should be quite useful, as always.

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  10. You are officially my LR hero! I’ve been wanting to figure out a way to add a vignette with more control over where the “center” is. I’d love a set of presets where the vignette centers around areas that work well for portraits.

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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