Lightroom Presets

Presets – My New Auto Fix Preset

It’s time for another preset day and I thought I’d give away a brand new one that I’ve been working on. This preset is the one I apply to my photos as I’m importing them. Now, if you’ve watched any of my earlier Lightroom videos (from earlier in 2007) you may recall that I never applied a preset to my photos as I imported them. That’s changed as of late. I’ve been working on this preset and I’ve had some really good results from it. Here’s how to use it:

When you import your photos there’s a section in the Import dialog that allows you to apply a preset. Once you add this preset to your Develop module presets, it’ll appear there and you can select/apply it on import automatically.

A few things to note:
• This preset works great on just about everything I threw it at. However, realize that the Auto settings that it uses tend to overexpose the photo sometimes. Not all the time, but I found some of the photos a bit bright after it was applied (especially portraits and studio work). If that happens, the first thing you can do is adjust the Exposure setting and bring it down a little.
• Just because you applied an auto adjustment preset when you imported doesn’t mean you’re done. It’s a starting point, so you’ll definitely have to do some adjustments after.

I hope you enjoy it. Make sure you let us know what you think by leaving a comment.

Click here to see a sample of the preset.
Click here to download Matt’s Auto Adjustment Preset
Click here to see a video on how to install presets.



  1. Niels 12 May, 2008 at 14:51 Reply

    Dear Matt,

    I always like reading your blog as it is very inspiring, interesting and great fun with using presets. However, I came across this look that I am trying to reproduce for quite some time in lightroom, but just can’t seem to nail it. Could you give a go at it maybe? That would be great. The look is explained in detail at:

    The great thing for me about this look is that is looks less digital, but gives the photographs a very human honest feel. instead of the harsh look easily done in Lightroom, although a great look, I want to also investigate this subtle look.

    Thanks and with regards,

  2. Napoleon 4 May, 2008 at 07:53 Reply

    I just applied this to a few new pictures that I thought were pretty good ( I was a little sceptical) but, I can honestly say that they REALLY impress me after this. slightly overexposed but who cares, Thats easily fixed. they seem a little vignetted but on these it looks great!
    I have just added your site to my favorites
    If you ever get to Scotalnd pay us a visit

  3. Danielle Tan 4 May, 2008 at 06:22 Reply

    Thank you so much for this preset. Works with ver. 1.4.1, beta version, and import using aperture 2. Well done!

  4. Paulo Jordao 4 May, 2008 at 03:10 Reply

    I work with a lot of Weddings and Bar/ Bat Mitzvahs here in Fort Lauderdale Miami area ( ) and your presets are just a time saver… Thanks for that. I just gave a try on this new preset, and worked great. I just had to bring up the exposure a little. But worked just great.
    Thank You
    Paulo Jordao

  5. chris 2 May, 2008 at 10:57 Reply

    I tried this preset on about 300 photos when importing, and I must say this rocks. in few cases some overexposing or too much vignetting is shown, but i think sometimes the photo itself is the reason not the preset.

  6. Lonnie 2 May, 2008 at 01:02 Reply

    Oh sorry Matt:

    Hope it wasn’t crossing any lines posting the fix for lightroom not seeing CS3 as the primary editor, Adobe also has a kb solution if someone is more comfortable doing it from them, however they go through all the steps to modify the registry and you should be comfortable doing that if you go that route. Now on to the preset: Very good preset, I used it selectively on different types of images, and it works good on most of them, I had the most success with flower macro shots, and with the others only minor tweaking, just the normal stuff you and everyone have already mentioned, exposure, vignetting and it seemed like most of them had a little too much pop, but after a few minor adjustments, the photos were good to go. It was my first experience with downloaded presets, I am going to experiment with a few more I think, I got good results with little work and in a short time, which is what we all are looking for in editing, the less time in photoshop the more time behind the camera, where all of us are comfortable.

  7. Lonnie 1 May, 2008 at 23:05 Reply


    Besides the obvious that Matt pointed out, not having CS3 installed, lightroom sometimes has a problem with the path for CS3 in the registry. I only know because I had the same thing happen to me, I did some research and found the fix. This is assuming that you have CS3 installed in the default folder. Here it is, just copy and paste this into a notepad page:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionApp PathsPhotoshop.exe]
    “path”=”C:\Program files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS3″
    @=”C:\Program files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS3\photoshop.exe”

    Save it as “CS3_path.reg”
    double click it, click OK to the prompt and restart lightroom.
    It should have CS3 as the default editor now.

  8. Joseph 1 May, 2008 at 09:17 Reply

    I’ve been downloading tons of these presets from various websites the past week and playing with them- I’ll try them across portraits, landscapes, macro shots etc, and some seem to have a niche- but this one really does rock! In almost every case, adjusting exposure, or recovery tweaks the image perfectly. Really pops off the page, makes it an outstanding jumping off place to go into photoshop and fix blemishes and thats about it.

    Thank you, your “share with everyone” mentality is truly appreciated (in support of YOU I bought Layers… 🙂

  9. Trevs 30 April, 2008 at 12:16 Reply

    I can’t wait to try this preset out!

    Thanks for all your work Matt, it is extremely helpful and really smoothed my transition to using LR now for nearly 95% of my work.

    One request: any way you can either eliminate the word “Matt’s” from your presets or putit at the end of the preset name? For those of us that have smaller-ish monitors it makes reading the preset names more difficult due to reduced screen real estate with the left hand menu. Makes searching/scanning visually fr a specific preset harder.

  10. mattk 30 April, 2008 at 08:44 Reply

    Comment roundup by Matt:

    David: Not sure why they’re darker. Funny comment about Aperture too. I was about to write a “What the heck don’t you understand about the site title “Lightroom Killer Tips” message back, and then I saw your “LOL” next to the message 🙂

    Don: Silly question, but do you have CS3 installed. You can always go to LR Preferences and set up an external editor there.

    Travis: I’ll see what I can do.

    Bruce: You can set Recovery and Fill Light to whatever you want when you make the preset. If you use Auto Tone it will set them for you.

    Joel: Sweet!

    Dilip: Come on! Have faith in me man!!!

    Seim: I think they just assume everyone underexposes. I agree though.

    Jose: No special reason. I was in a vignette mood when I created. Again, I made it for me and one of the first things I always do is crank up the vignette settings.

    Talk to you later!
    Matt K

  11. Jose-Miguel 30 April, 2008 at 05:07 Reply

    Hi Matt’s, I’ve been using a similar preset to all my imports.
    I just saw a little difference, you’ve included a Vignette of -73/37 by default.
    Any special reason, apart from giving some central focus?

  12. Seim Effects 30 April, 2008 at 03:45 Reply

    Cool Matt. These auto presets are such time savers. I know what you mean on the exposure part though. I don’t understand why Adobe’s “Auto” algorithms can’t calculate exposure better.

    I have done a few semi auto ones where I manually edited the XML, and prevented to exposure from being manual, while still having auto on some things. Still there seems to no one preset that works for all, even though we can get close.

    Keep it up… Gav

  13. Dilip Barman 29 April, 2008 at 22:36 Reply

    I’m looking forward to selectively trying out your preset – thanks. I don’t know if I have faith in applying it on import, but then again it’s from you and I know I shouldn’t doubt 🙂 . Thanks! (Sorry for the misplaced comment on your post about your teaching – can that be removed?)

  14. Joel Gottlieb 29 April, 2008 at 21:03 Reply

    Matt, great preset. I’ve been scanning in hundreds of 30 year old plus slides and the preset reduced my post processing time from from 3-5 minutes per slide to 20 seconds! What a gift! Many thanks. Joel

  15. Bruce 29 April, 2008 at 17:56 Reply

    Matt, This preset is very nice. I have not used a lot of presets up to this point. I guess I just like to work harder than I have to (LOL).

    Question: I noticed that the exposure, blacks, and some other settings adjust to a different level on each photo when the present is applied. Is there a way to also have Recovery and Fill Light auto adjust some? Perhaps a starting point of 5 for Recovery and 20 to 25 for Fill Light.

    I attempted to make these adjustments after applying the auto present, then save the settings as a new (different named) preset. The problems is then the newly created preset has the same exposure, blacks, etc. settings for every photo, instead of making a specific setting for each one as done with Mark’s Auto Preset.

    I hope this makes sense. Thanks in advance.

  16. MarkH 29 April, 2008 at 17:04 Reply

    The Auto Tone feature has been in much improved in LR 1.4.1. No more overexposed JPGs. Everyone who hasn’t installed the update yet should do so.

  17. Travis 29 April, 2008 at 15:22 Reply

    Matt, not really a comment on this preset, but presets in general. I’ve been looking at a lot of wedding shots and e-sessions lately and know that you’ve got a lot of expertise there as well. I see so many different actions and actions sets out there for Photoshop, which are great. I was just wondering if you had considered starting a preset collection for wedding or e-session shots. Thanks!


  18. Kevin Novak 29 April, 2008 at 13:33 Reply


    Not really a comment on the preset–I will give it a try.

    But I was just at that hotel–Signature at MGM Grand. Fabulous hotel, and I took almost the exact same shot.


  19. John Larson 29 April, 2008 at 13:32 Reply

    First of all, neat Preset. Now a couple of general comments. You should know that you have been of enormous help to me (both with CS3 and LR) over the past year. Your tutorials are superb; they are very clear and easy to understand. Second, I have asked you and others why you prefer LR to Photoshop (Bridge and ACR); the answers that I have received have not been as helpful as I would have liked. However, after trying LR 1.4.1 and LR 2.0, I can easily answer that question for myself. The non-destructive way that LR works is worth the price alone. Here are some other things that I appreciate: being able to create virtual copies; Develop module Presets (much easier than ACR); the new Develop module features in 2.0; the Interface, especially in the Library module; almost everything about the Print module. If I need PS, the ease of going back and forth with LR is very smooth. LR is clearly a photographer’s resource.

  20. Don Temple 29 April, 2008 at 12:52 Reply

    I viewed Kelby’s movie on Lightroom to Photoshop in Beta 2. He shows were one can right click {PC} on a photo and get a menu that says EDIT IN CS3. All I get is EDIT IN ANOTHER APPLICATION which is blank. What is wrong?

  21. David Hopkins 29 April, 2008 at 12:45 Reply

    Hi Matt Preset looks great after I adjust exposure. Whenever I use auto exp my photos are really hot is there any way to tweak this or am I doing
    something wrond at exposure. I think this preset works best on outdoor photos just a little contrasty for portraits but its a good starting point.
    On another note when I open my lightroom photos in PS they apear about 1/3 darker am I missing something in Prefrences or something?
    Thanks for all you do

    PS why dont you ever talk about Apeture on your blog? LOL

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