Video – Anatomy of a Lightroom Preset

I thought it would be cool to take a quick look at the anatomy of a preset. What goes on behind the scenes as I come up with a preset and then what kind of things to take into consideration when you’re actually saving the preset itself. For example, some presets of mine include white balance and toning adjustments (Exposure, blacks, etc…) and some don’t. In this week’s video I’ll go into why that is along with some ideas of how you can create your own. I hope you enjoy and by all means let me know what you think. Thanks!

Click here to download the video to your computer. [Right-click and choose the “Save As” option]


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  1. In the video you seem to have used a JPG file and thus changed the white balance relative to the white balance the JPG was taken with (in this case +74). What happens now when you use the preset on a raw file where you set the color temperature directly? How does +74 translate into Kelvin?

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  2. Thanks Matt for the video.
    The problem I have with preset is the other way around.
    After a while I don’t remember what is in it, specially with I downloaded from the net.

    I know you can open the file itself with Textedit but it’s not very userfrendly.
    Do you have a better idea ?



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  3. Thanks for the informative video, Matt. I love presets! They save me a ton of time in front of the computer so I can get back out shooting again.

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  4. thanks matt! very interesting to see the behind the scenes of creating preset.

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  5. In Matt’s video, he mentioned that he hoped we didn’t have lots and lots of presets cluttering up the left nav “like he does.” If you have LOTS of presets like I do, you can make folders in the directory and open and close the sets. I tend to have a “favorites” folder for portraits and then I’ve got a folder for Matt’s creations and one for Matt’s Graduated Filters, and for other favorites Preset Gurus, like “Black and White” etc. Just thought I’d offer the tip.

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  6. Hi. I wonder that you try Lightroom 2.7 and look at its new (from beta 3 version) sharpening demosaic algorithm. I found that my photos from 20D look more ugly because of too much agressive sharpening methods on default settings. I take my picture processing in version 2.6.1 and 2.7 and there is to much noise because of too much sharpnes in 2.7 version on the same settings. Before 2.7 my pictures looks great but now I will have to change settings for my all picutres or Adobe will do something with it. I switch back to 2.6.1. And another one about processing – with the same export setting my jpeg size is 3.9MB in LR 2.6.1 and 5MB on LR 2.7. Do you have tha same?

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    • Why not sharpening in PS. I never sharpen images in Lr2.7. It looks ugly, still. Maybe it will change with Lr3.0. Camera Raw sharpening tool isn`t good enough for most cases. Im sure it will usable in Lr3.

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      • Hi Jacob. I’m talking about default sharpening settings in LR 2.7 for RAW files. I don’t even make them sharper. Default shaperning settings put some visible noise even for pictures with goos light, so in my opinion when you move from LR 2.6 to 2.7 or 3.0 when you want the same results you should change them for all pictures. I don’t use PS, I don’t need it I only have LR.

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      • Hi Stef,
        If you don`t have selective sharpenings on yr images then it`s no big deal. What if u just make a new sharpening presets and at this to your images. It should work for all yr 20D shots. Maybe you already thought about that. Less is more, even when it comes to sharpen images. I know this can be very frustrating to reedit final images. That`s why I alway export them as final tiffs and burn it to dvd. Safe peace of plastic:)

        Cheers jk

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  7. Great learning video Matt! I’ve just started making my own so this helps a lot!

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