Lightroom Presets

Presets – Landscape Graduated Filters

Hi everyone (presets below – quick story first). I’m teaching a landscape workshop in the northeast this week with legendary photographer Bill Fortney. We’ve been having a blast so far. It’s a great group. Lot’s of laughs and each day just keeps getting better. The weather has been nearly perfect (nice and warm for this Florida-loving guy). We’ve been photographing some small towns and great fall color, so I figured I’d share a couple of my photos. One was from our sunset shoot. We were actually at a small church when I turned around and saw it. The moon and the slight touch of color from the setting sun on the hills caught my eye. The other is from our morning shoot earlier today. Not much done to them. Some cropping and a quick Exposure, Blacks and Vibrance adjustment. I did have to clone out my shadow in the church photo, but Content Aware made it about a 3 second fix.
(Click on the photo for a larger version)

Anyway, on to the presets. This week I’ve got some updates to my graduated filter presets. Since I’ve been shooting a lot of landscapes over the past couple days, they’re getting use a decent amount. I used to adjust the Exposure setting in the Graduated Filter but lately I’ve been digging the Brightness setting better for skies. Since Graduated Filters are mainly used over sky, I figured I’d make some changes. Now, there are literally a ton of ways I can go with these presets so I’ve decided to get fairly specific and create presets for blue skies. When you download them, you’ll see they’re listed in -1, -2, and -3 increments (they’re not actual photography f/stops though, just the overall darkness level). You’ll also see that I’ve included placement for 3 locations. Top Third, Bottom third, and Middle. The top and bottom probably make sense since we typically try to position a horizon at the top third or bottom third. However, after looking through some of my photos, I’ve realized that when there’s another subject in the photo the horizon will often need to shift toward the middle which is why I included that one. Oh, and there’s also separate presets for vertical and horizontal photos because Lightroom has issues with presets created for just one or the other. Finally, there’s a few other settings thrown in there to help enhance the sky as well as any clouds in the sky. Whew! That sounds like a lot for some simple presets doesn’t it? The good news is all you have to do is click on them to use the preset.

That’s about it for today. I hope you enjoy ’em. Let me know what you think. Thanks 🙂

• Click here to see a sample of the presets.
• Click here to download Matt’s Graduated Filter Presets