Presets – High Key Effect

This time around I’m digging way back into preset requests to one that really wouldn’t have looked as good in Lightroom 1 – the High Key effect. There’s a few components to this effect. First and foremost shooting a high key image (the exposure and lighting work done before hand) is really the main way to do this. But there’s still some things things that we can do in post-processing to help if the photo wasn’t taken that way. There’s also a degree of blur involved that we really couldn’t do in Lightroom 1 but with Lightroom 2 we have negative clarity and it makes things a bit easier. As you download the presets you’ll notice there’s 3 flavors ranging from high to higher to highest so you’ll have a few choices to pick the best from. As always let me (and the other comment readers) know what you think and if/how these can be useful for you. Thanks for stopping by!

Click here to see a sample of the preset.
Click here to download Matt’s High Key Effect Presets
Click here to see a video on how to install presets .


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  1. I cannot open the presets which have been downloaded. What file type should I use?

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  2. You do great work,but I need help. I have tried to see the video on installing presets,and the page comes up blank with header installing presets. I found someones statements,but it must be for ver 1. Thanks for your help

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  3. Hi Matt-
    Love the preset….and all the others, too! I think I have them ALL.
    However, I’ve tried this high key preset with a couple of portrait shots and it seems to leave a reddish or orangish cast on blonde hair with one of the poses that doesn’t exist in the original shot.
    Is that some sort of residual effect of the adjustments?
    Thanks…and keep ’em comin’!
    Steve L

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  4. Chris,

    If you open the lrtemplate file in an application like Notepad, you’ll be able to see/edit what changes are made.

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  5. Thanks for sharing this preset! Very interesting effect. The resultant color is a bit “muted” for me but that you can adjust/refine easily. Great job ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. I have a general question on presets: how can you actually see which settings are in a given preset ?

    You can of course apply the preset and see what changes, but that’s a bit cumbersome. Is there any other way ?

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  7. Thx Matt for the great preset

    Suggestion for the next preset: an Annie Leibovitz preset

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  8. Cheers for this Matt – these presets are great and this is deffinately one I will use. I’m gaining a lot from these and using them as a standard for my own presets.


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  9. Hi,

    I used your presets a lot and this one, his the best you are ever created!
    Thank yo so much to share.


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  10. Yummy! Love it! Thanks for all of these. (Check your ‘sample’ link. You are missing a dot before jpg)

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  11. Another approach for high key is to use the vignette by making it positive rather than negative. While it doesn’t affect the entire image the same, it does affect fromthe middle out, with the most effect at the edges. I’m going to test a combination of this preset and vignetting to see how that works. Thanks.

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  12. Seims effects downloading your pre-sets,hmmmm,interesting!!

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  13. hi Matt,

    thanks again for your Presets – they are so much different from the most others – wich are available in the web

    Thanks and meny greetings from germany


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  14. Hi Matt,there the dogs bollocks, these high key presets!
    now off to watch psutv (if its on line!)

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