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How To See what Preset You’ve Previously Used in Lightroom

How To See what Preset You've Previously Used in Lightroom

If you’re a Lightroom user and you regularly use Lightroom presets, you may have come across this situation from time to time. You are looking back through some old images or projects, and you come across a photo that you like. You know you used a preset on it but you can’t remember which one. Luckily there’s a really easy way to find out.

First of all, this trick only works if you’re looking at the original file in Lightroom. If you’ve made a virtual copy of the image, and you’re looking at the copy this won’t work. However, if you’re dealing with the original file, here’s what to do:

  1. Go to the Develop Module
  2. On the left hand side of the screen, scroll down the panels, past your presets till you come to the history panel.
  3. Look down through your history. If you’ve applied a preset in the past, it will be listed here in this panel.

previous-preset-history

That’s pretty much all there is to it. What I’d really love to see is the ability to search across the history of all images in the library panel in the same way you search for other metadata. Then you could create a smart folder to you images on which you’ve used various Lightroom presets. Unfortunately that’s just a dream for now!

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Free Lightroom Sharpening Presets added to the store

Free X-Trans Sharpening Presets for Lightroom

Free X-Trans Sharpening Presets for Lightroom

Over the past few years I’ve written a lot about processing Fuji X-Trans files in both Lightroom and other software. I’ve experimented lots of times with ways to improve the look of files from Lightroom, and in particular, on how to minimise the smearing effect that can sometimes occur with Fuji X-Trans files and fine details, especially foliage.

I’ve worked out some sharpening settings in the past and posted them here, but that was a good while ago, and I’ve updated them several times with various different attempts. In order to save a bit of confusion and make it easier for everyone, I’ve put them altogether into one download, together with some new versions that I haven’t shared in the past. In the past these were hosted on my blog, but to make them easier to find, I’m now hosting them here, on the store as a free download.

the reasons for doing this are twofold. First of all, it was kind of buried on my blog, and I wanted to make it easier to find. A few people have emailed me and asked me about this before. Secondly, If I update it in the future, it will still be in the same place, and so I won’t end up with multiple versions in multiple locations.

Unfortunately, I had a little difficulty implementing this. the way the store back end software works, there’s no problem adding free content to the store, but you still have to go through the process of checking out. Obviously you don’t need payment information, but it’s still a bit of a pain, and I know some people would have an issue with that. There is a software add on though that would let me change this behaviour, so that you could just click a download button and it would download, but I tried it and it wasn’t working.

So, for the moment I’ve added a text link for those who don’t want to go through the process of adding it to a shopping cart, creating an account and checking out. Alternatively, you can use this method also, and if you already have an account, this means that the downloads will be added to your current account once you check out.

I know this all sounds a bit messy and it is. It’s not the way I had hoped to implement this. I am attempting to fix the problem that is preventing a single download button, and hopefully I can get that implemented.

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Behind the scenes of “Alpine”: QuickLux 2 in Action

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I recently posted a short photo essay over on my Photo Journal about some of the lovely images you can get when it’s a dull overcast day. Here’s a short excerpt from what I wrote:

Where I live, we’re sort of in the foothills of the Dublin mountains, and during the summer, sometimes we get a kind of misty cloudy rain, that has a real mountain like feel to it. It reminds me of so many episodes of the X-Files which took place in forest settings of Canada, and it has a real frontier feel to it, even though we’re still just in a superb of the city. I always think of it as “Alpine” weather, even though this is probably just a name I’ve given it myself.

To create the look for this I used my QuickLux 2 Lightroom presets. In fact, it was for this very style of shot that I created some of the presets in QuickLux 2. I shot these set of images with a Sony A6000, and processed them in Lightroom.

The first step was to import them with my A6000 import preset (Available Here). I use this preset to get a better starting point. Once I’d rated and sorted my images I went through them and started applying the presets. Here are a few examples from the photo essay.

Bridge

In this example of a bridge over a stream, I used QNeg-Basic02 from QuickLux 2. Once I applied that, I then tweaked the Dehaze amount using the +DH25 preset that also comes with the set.

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Before | After

Old Gateway

For this shot I used QTrans-Basic 04 for the shot. That’s pretty much all I did to it. You can see the before and after result below.

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Before | After

Walker Sign

For this shot I used QTrans-Basic05 from QuickLux 2. Again, that was all I did to the shot in Lightroom.

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Before | After

Old Log

For this shot I went with QNeg-Basic 02. I like this preset as it has the blacks raised a little. I did some additional exposure compensation for this shot.

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Before | After


 

Quick LUX 2 Lightroom Presets
QuickLux 2 for Lightroom

These are just a few examples of how I processed the images from this shoot. You can see the full project here, and to learn more about QuickLux 2 visit the product pages here in the store.

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Customising Lightroom Presets

Customising Lightroom Presets

If you regularly use any of my (or any other supplier’s) Lightroom preset packs, then you may often find that you have some preferred presets that you use all the time. You may also find that you have a favourite that you use, but regularly make the same changes after you’ve applied it. If this is the case then you can always save a custom version of the preset.

I’ve actually covered this in most of the Read-me files that come with my own Lightroom presets, but I thought I would go into it in a bit more detail.

There are a few ways you can go about creating custom version of the presets. You can either turn off certain adjustments, or you can make tweaks to the individual settings and save those.

Turning off individual adjustments in a Lightroom Preset

Say for example you’re using one of my Coffee Tones presets, but every time you use it, you find yourself turning off the vignette effect. To make this more convenient, you can create a custom version. To do this you need to simply save a new version with the vignette turned off.

Before we look at the procedure for customising the preset to turn off the vignette, let’s look at some important points about saving presets in general.

When you save a preset in Lightroom, you will get a window with a list of individual adjustments, and checkboxes beside them. When you check one of these boxes, then the current settings for that adjustment are saved as part of the preset. Even if you haven’t actually adjusted anything, that setting will be saved. For example, if you have clarity set at zero, and you save it as part of a preset, it will be saved set at zero. that means if you then apply that to an image to which you’ve already adjusted the clarity setting, then applying the preset with the zero clarity, will overwrite the current setting. This is why it’s important to only turn on the things you want to save.

The adjustments that I use for my presets vary form preset to preset. However, I generally avoid using the following adjustments when making presets as these are generally part of my setup presets:

  • Lens Correction
  • Calibration
  • Sharpening
  • Exposure (see note)
  • White Balance (see note)

I try to avoid using exposure and white balance where possible, but some of my presets do have an exposure or white balance adjustment baked in. In particular Monolith uses exposure adjustments as part of the look, and Coffee Tones uses a white balance adjustment. I try to avoid using exposure as part of the design of a Lightroom preset as it’s something that you’re most likely to want to adjust from image to image, and the same goes for white balance, but sometimes they’re an essential part of the look. You will see when you apply a preset if the individual slider is changed or not, if that setting has been saved.

Saving a new Lightroom preset dialog box

Ok, with that information in mind, back to the example. Here’s what to do to save a custom preset with the Vignette turned off:

  1. Apply the preset you want to modify. Make sure it’s on an image that you haven’t already adjusted.
  2. Click the + Button on top of the Lightroom presets panel in the develop module.
  3. When the window opens, check the settings you want to save as part of the preset, and turn off the settings that you don’t want. In this example, turn off vignette.
  4. At the top of the window, give your preset a name. For example you could call it the name of the preset your customising, with the word custom added.
  5. Select the folder you want to save the preset into.
  6. Click save

This will save the preset as a customised version.

Changing the Settings in a Lightroom Preset

The other possibility is if you want to save a custom version with an individual or multiple adjustments changed. In this case the process is much the same:

  1. Apply your preset
  2. Make whatever adjustments you want
  3. Save your preset using the instructions above.

Combining Lightroom Presets

Another possibility for which you might want to make a custom preset is if you want to combine presets. For example, if you are always applying the same setup preset and the same look, then you can combine these and save it as a custom preset. Alternatively, if you’re shooting with a Fuji X Series camera and you use my sharpening presets, then you may want to combine a look preset (from one of my preset packs, or from another preset maker) with one of the sharpening presets. In all these cases the procedure is the same.

  1. Apply the first preset. For example one of the Setup Presets.
  2. Apply the second preset.
  3. Save the preset using the procedure above.

If you’re combining one of my Fuji sharpening presets with a look preset, then you should apply the look preset first, and the sharpening preset second.

Respect Copyright

One important thing to remember, is if you’re creating custom presets, is to respect the copyright of the original creator. This is regardless as to whether you’re customising one of my presets or some one else’s. You shouldn’t post the custom versions to the web or other file sharing or other output. They’re fine for personal use of course!

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Introducing MonoLux for Lightroom

MonoLux for Lightroom - Virtual Box

MonoLux for Lightroom - Virtual Box

I had stated when I launched Coffee Tones for Lightroom last month, that it was my intent to launch a new set of Lightroom presets every month this year. Well, it was getting close, but it looks like I made it with a few days to spare! I’m happy to announce today, that my newest set, MonoLux for Lightroom is now available.

MonoLux is my second set of black and white presets for Lightroom. The set was designed with the aim of creating a rich but natural black and white filmic feel. Within the pack are 10 variations with some extra special effects presets. This set also comes with separate Grad, Grain and Vignette presets, as well as set-up presets to help speed up you’re workflow.

MonoLux makes use of Lightroom’s dehaze function to add depth to images, and so requires Lightroom CC 2015.1 or higher, or Lightroom 6.1 or higher. In fact, dehaze was integral to the look of the presets, and I think the way that I’ve used it creates an interesting black and white effect. Because the dehaze slider is only in the creative cloud version of Lightroom, I’ve included some presets which will let you adjust the de-haze amount without using the he slider.

[MonoLux is available now for just €5](because the De-haze slider is only in the creative cloud version of Lightroom, I’ve included some presets which will let you adjust the de-haze amount without using the he slider. ) and requires Lightroom 6.1 or CC2015.1 or higher.

In some other store related news, and in the theme of black and white, I’ve put Monolith, my first set of black and white presets, on sale too, with the price reduced to €8 from €15. Many of my other presets are on sale too, with up to 40% off in some cases. Finally, I’m discontinuing my ACR presets, as there simply wasn’t enough demand. For the few people who bought them, you can still get support and re-download them through your accounts, but they are no longer available for sale.

In the mean time, here are some more examples of MonoLux in action. For full details and more samples, stop by the store and check out the product pages for MonoLux.

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Bleached Bronze for Lightroom now Available

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I’m delighted to announce that Bleached Bronze for Lightroom is now available. Bleached Bronze was one of the very first presets that I made when I first started selling presets for Aperture . Since I stopped selling presets for Aperture, I kept getting requests for a Lightroom version of Bleached bronze. Well, it’s finally here!

Bleached bronze for Lightroom is a set of artistic effect presets for Lightroom, designed to give your images a bronze effect. The idea is to give your images a warm, earthy toned metallic look, while still retaining some colour for a creative, cinematic style.

Incidentally, I had mentioned earlier that it would only be available for Lightroom CC or 6.1, but I re-worked it since then and it should work fine with any version from 5.2 or later

Because it’s a little smaller than some of my other Lightroom sets, it will normally sell for €10 but for the first two weeks it’s only €8. Here are a few examples of Bleached Bronze in use:

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You can see more examples of Bleached Bronze in use over on its product page.

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Preset Compatibility with Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6

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As you are probably aware by now, Adobe has released the next major new version of Lightroom. Called Lightroom CC (Or Lightroom 6 for the standalone non subscription version) it features many new features and changes. I’m pleased to report though, that there are no compatibility issues with any of my presets, and all should work perfectly out of the (virtual) box.

I’ve covered the launch of the new version of Lightroom on my Photography Blog, and on the Lightroom Diary, and I’ve also posted my first impressions of the software. If you have any questions regarding Lightroom CC and any of my presets, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

For ongoing coverage of Lightroom don’t forget to check out my Photography blog, and my Lightroom blog, the Lightroom Diary

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Autumn Lightroom Preset Sale Now On

As it’s my favourite time of the year for Photography, to celebrate Autumn, I’m knocking a third off the price of some of my Lightroom Presets for the month of September. Film Candy, Quick Lux and Monolith are all reduced by a third for the month. The normal price for these was €15 but for the month of september you can get them for €10 each.

Film Candy

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Film Candy was my first set of Lightroom presets and is designed to mimic the look of old and expired films and faded prints. You can find more information about it on the product page.

Quick Lux

 

quick-lux-demos

Quick Lux is a set of presets designed to give your images a film like look, but rather than being based on existing films, is my artistic interpretation of the “film look”.

Monolith

 

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Monolith is my set of Black and White presets designed to create a high contrast black and white look that is popular with Street Photography in particular. You can find out more about Monolith here.

In addition to these three, I’m also knocking €15 off the price of the Bundle for the month of September. The Preset Bundle contains all of my current Presets. It’s normally priced at €70 but for the month of September it’s just €55.

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Lightroom Presets Bundle now Available

The first 6 of my Lightroom Preset packs are now available for sale in a digital bundle. I noticed that some people were buying all the presets at once and I wanted to make it a bit easier so I created a bundle. I also wanted to be able to give a discount if you buy all 6 at once, so I took the opportunity of the Steely Blue launch to introduce a bundle as well.

The normal price to buy the presets separately would be €75 – So you save €5 by getting the bundle. In addition there is a special launch discount, so for the next two weeks (until September 1st 2014) it is on sale at just €65 (which means you’re effectively getting one of the cheaper €10 presets for free) The bundle contains the following 6 sets of the Lightroom Presets:

  • Landscape Gold
  • Steely Blue
  • Monolith
  • Vivid Extreme
  • Quick Lux
  • Film Candy

The Bundle contains the same exact preset files that you would get if you downloaded the presets individually, and so contains 6 individual zip files containing each of the preset packs and their respective documentation. For full details see the product page for the bundle.

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Steely Blue for Lightroom Now Available

Steely Blue - Lightroom Presets Demo Image

I’m delighted to announce that my latest set of Lightroom Presets, “Steely Blue” for Lightroom is now available. “Steely Blue” is a set of presets for Lightroom designed to bring out detail and enhance the colours in an image without creating a style that looks too much like a special effect. The look also enhances the dynamic range of the picture to which it is applied, by compressing the highlights and enhancing shadow detail.

There’s a long story behind Steely Blue, and it’s unusual name. I originally created the core look of this preset ages ago. In fact it was one of my first Lightroom presets that I created for myself. I’ve used this look extensively in my own work. The style actually came about by accident. I was working on a way to make images from my Nikon cameras have the traditional “Canon” colours (heresy, I know!) It was more to see if it could be done than anything. Anyway, the result ended up being something rather unique, and I really liked it. I found that on a lot of the initial images that I was using it, it gave them the cool steely look that was made popular in some science fiction movies (in particular those of James Cameron) and so I decided to call it steely blue.

It sat in my library of personal presets for ages, and I even made an Aperture version of it at one point and sold it on the Aperture blog. When I started doing Lightroom presets, I knew that I wanted to make Steely Blue into a proper product, and so, I saved it till last, as it is the one I use myself the most often, and the one that I’m really close to.

Steely Blue - Lightroom Presets Demo Image

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Steely Blue - Lightroom Presets Demo Image

Steely Blue - Lightroom Presets Demo Image

Steely Blue - Lightroom Presets Demo Image

Steely Blue - Lightroom Presets Demo Image

Steely Blue - Lightroom Presets Demo Image

Steely Blue - Lightroom Presets Demo Image

Steely Blue - Lightroom Presets Demo Image

The normal price will be €10 but for the first two weeks (until the 24th August 2014) Steely Blue will be on sale for the special launch price of €8.

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Landscape Gold for Lightroom – now available

I’m delighted to announce the launch of my latest set of Lightroom presets, “Landscape Gold for Lightroom”. Landscape Gold is designed to give your images a golden hue. It creates a look which aims to mimic the effect of bright golden sunshine that is often seen in warmer climates early in the morning or late in the afternoon. While it is primarily designed for landscapes it works well with other types of image too.

There are four main versions of Landscape Gold. The names are based on popular “Carats” of Gold, and each version has a different level of tinting, so that some add a hint of gold, while the stronger ones tint your image significantly in a golden colour. Each “carat” or version has a number of “strengths”. There are three strengths of each version, “lite”, “medium” and “strong” and each of these has two versions, one with a vignette and one without a vignette. A number of modifiers are also included so that you can easily tweak settings such as vignettes and grain with a single click. There are also a number of pre-built grad effects included also.

Landscape Gold is another one of my presets that originally started life on Aperture. Because of the differences between each application, the Lightroom version of Landscape Gold is not exactly the same as the Aperture version, but is an inspiration based on it. The original Aperture version was designed around a single look, and the Lightroom version is a much broader set.

Here are some examples of Landscape Gold for Lightroom in action:

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NYC Skyline at Sunset, North East

Lake in the park

Lonley Rock

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Church Ruins in Glendalough

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Riverboat and Customs house

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Red door on a brown brick house

Yellow leaf on fallen leaves

Brown and Orange leaves against the warm Autumn Sun

You can see more samples on the product page

I also created a video showing some before and after demos of the presets in action:

Landscape gold is available now. The normal price will be €10 but for the first week it will be on a special launch price of only €8. You can find out more details on the product page.

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Vivid Extreme for Lightroom – New Lightroom Presets now Available

I’m delighted to announce that my latest set of develop module presets for Lightroom, “Vivid Extreme” is now available. Vivid Extreme was one of the first set of presets that I had originally made and put on sale for Aperture and I’ve finally brought out a Lightroom version. The idea behind Vivid Extreme is simple. Take the idea of the typical “Vivid” settings in most cameras and push it to the Extreme. I wanted to create a look that wasn’t so much a throwback to the days of film, but instead embraced modern digital imaging. I also wanted to emulate the “high saturation” look that is popular among some artists.

Vivid Extreme comes with a variety of different looks. They were named after the types of images that I was optimising them for when I was developing them, although they will all work reasonably well on different types of images, so the names are more like code-names! The looks also vary in strength for creating degrees of vividness! In some ways, with this set, I was trying to achieve with colour what monolith did for black and white. The pack also includes a set of “Setup” presets designed to set a few things up depending on your camera manufacturer and help speed up your workflow. I’ve also included a set of modifiers, vignettes and a few graduated filters to help bring out punchy skies.

Vivid Extreme is a more focussed and smaller pack than my previous ones, and it doesn’t include the elaborate “Thomas’s Toolbox” so it’s cheaper. It will be €10 but I’m having a special launch sale, so you you can get it for the next two weeks for €8.

Rather than waffle on about it, let me show you what it can do. Here are some examples of Vivid Extreme in use, followed by a “Before and After” video so you can see just how much of an effect it’s having. For more examples see the preset details in the store.

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A Lone Red Tulip

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Before and After:

There are lost more sample images and more details over on the product page.