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How to use presets on Lightroom Mobile

Adobe recently introduced a new feature for the mobile version of Lightroom CC that people had been requesting for a long time, and that is the ability to use presets. What’s more, they also added preset syncing between the desktop and mobile versions of Lightroom CC. You can now use all of your Lightroom presets, and profiles on your mobile device and the process is fairly simple. You will, however, need to use Lightroom CC on the desktop. You will also need a creative cloud subscription.

If you’re not currently using the desktop version of Lightroom CC (not to be confused with Lightroom Classic) you will need to install it. Even if you don’t intend to use it, you still need to have it installed in order to sync presets to the mobile version. Once you have it installed and setup you’re ready to go. 

Installing presets in Lightroom CC

The first step is to install your presets into Lightroom CC. This requires a different process than Lightroom Classic, but it’s actually a little easier. Here’s what to do:

  1. Open Lightroom CC
  2. Go to the Edit Mode (Press E on your keyboard)
  3. Click on the Presets button at the bottom of the interface.
  4. At the top of the presets panel that appears click on the … menu button, and from the menu choose import presets.
  5. From the open and save dialogue, select the folder of presets that you want to import, and click on “Import”
  6. This will import your presets into Lightroom CC on the desktop. they will now sync over the cloud to your other versions (providing you have an internet connection, obviously)

Applying presets in Lightroom Mobile

Once you have the presets installed, you can now use them on the mobile version of Lightroom, providing you have the latest version and an active subscription. The process is pretty simple but here’s what to do:

  1. On your iPhone, iPad or Android device open Lightroom
  2. Select an image to work on by tapping on it.
  3. Tap on the presets button. This is the second button down on the interface and it looks like two circles intersecting.
  4. if you don’t see your presets immediately, it may take a few moments for them to sync
  5. Simply tap on the preset to preview it.
  6. Tap on the Done button at the bottom of the interface to apply the preset.

Applying a preset to multiple images (a workaround)

Unfortunately there currently is no way to apply a preset to multiple images as there is in Lightroom Classic. There’s also no “apply on import” option or the ability to set defaults. If you want to apply a preset to multiple images you will need to apply it to one and then copy and paste it to others. Alternatively, you can use the previous button. 

To Copy and paste settings, here’s what to do.

  1. Select an image and apply your preset as per the instructions above.
  2. Tap on the … menu at the top of the screen
  3. Select “Copy Settings from the menu”
  4. Select the options that you want to copy. 
  5. Move to another image
  6. Tap on the … menu again
  7. Choose paste settings

To use the “Previous” button. Note the Previous button is the last button on the top right set of controls.

  1. Select an image and apply a preset
  2. Move to another image.
  3. You may need to wait a moment before the previous button becomes available. Once it is no longer greyed out.
  4. Tap on the previous button
  5. Select “Adjustments” to apply just the things that were changed, or All to apply every setting.

That’s all there is to it. I recommend the copy and paste option as this stores the settings in the clipboard, and it doesn’t matter if you make changes to an image, or if you interrupt the process of switching to a new image and applying previous settings.

Don’t forget to check out the latest presets for Lightroom that I have available here on the store!

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Preset Tips: Changing the Colour Profile for a different Effect

Preset Tips: Changing the Colour Profile for a different Effect

If you’re a user of any of my presets, then you will know that I’ve designed them with the idea of being used with the “Standard” camera profile. The idea behind this was to provide a base level of compatibility across cameras, without having to create custom colour profiles for different models. Most manufacturers have a standard profile, and while obviously this isn’t exactly the same across different cameras, it’s generally the most “normal” looking profile, which is why I use that as the base for my presets.

Having said that, there’s nothing to stop you from changing the profile for effect. Using the standard profile will give you a similar look to what I had in mind when I created the presets, but changing the profile won’t break them, and if you’re looking for some creative alternatives, then using a different profile might be beneficial.

On many DSLRs there are portrait, neutral, vivid and landscape profiles in addition to the standard ones. These may be called different things depending on the camera and the make, but most cameras contain some variation of these picture modes, and Lightroom generally has corresponding profiles.

Using a Neutral or Portrait profile will generally lower the contrast, and reduce the saturation a little bit. Using this profile can be useful if you find that some of the presets are too contrasty, but you otherwise like the overall look. On the other hand, using a Vivid or Landscape profile can have the opposite effect and actually increase the contrast. This can be useful if you want to add even more punch to an image. It can also be an interesting thing to try if you’re using presets on images of greenery, foliage and so on, as the Vivid profiles generally bring out the greens more in an image.

If you’re using a Fuji camera, your choices are a bit different. Fuji doesn’t use the standard profiles that are with most cameras, instead basing their picture profiles on “simulations” of fuji film stocks, or at least based on those. In the case of Fuji cameras, the standard profile is “Provia” and this is what I set as the base level. However, again, you can get interesting results by using one of the other ones. For example, Velvia will give a vivid like effect, and Astia will have a similar effect as using “Portrait” or “Neutral” from the previous paragraph. If your camera supports it, Classic Chrome can have a very interesting effect. It seems to work particularly well with some of the presets in QuickLux 2 and FilmLux.

If you’re a Sony shooter, your camera also includes profiles that aren’t typical of the average DSLR. In particular “Clear” is an interesting profile. Using this has a similar effect to adding clarity to an image. It adds quite a lot of punch to an image, an can work well in conjunction with some of my more creative presets, such as FilmCandy or Coffee Tones.

Changing the colour profile

Changing the colour profile in Lightroom is pretty straightforward, and you probably already know how to do it. If you don’t, here’s a quick step by step guide.

  1. Go to the Develop module if you’re not already there.
  2. Scroll down to the Camera Calibration panel.
  3. Click on the Profile pop-up menu to select an alternative profile.

That’s it. If you want to change a few images at once, you can select multiple images and turn on the auto sync option that appears at the bottom of the adjustments list in the develop module, or alternatively you can just copy and paste the settings.

Here’s a short video showing this technique in action:

For more information on my presets, see the Lightroom Presets section of my Digital Download Store.

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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.


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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Using my E-books on an iPad

Using my e-books on an iPAd

Using my e-books on an iPAd

All of my e-books are supplied as PDFs which can be read on an iPad. However, because some either contain additional files (such as presets) or may contain additional files in future versions, they are supplied as a Zip file. In order to read them on your iPad, you will need to download them to your computer first, and then copy the PDF file to your iPad.

Why are the books supplied as Zip files?

Two of my current line of E-books are supplied as Zip files. These are the Lightroom and Iridient Developer X-Trans processing guides. In the case of the Lightroom guide, this contains additional content in the form of Lightroom presets.

In the case of the Iridient Developer guide, I plan to supply additional bonus content soon in a future version. By zipping the file now, it makes it easier for existing customers to download the updates in the future because you will be able to use the existing link that you got by email as well as logging into your account on the store for updates.

Getting the books onto an iPad via iBooks

If you’re using the current version of Mac OS X, iOS and iBooks then the easiest way to get the books onto your iPad is via iBooks. If you have the iBooks in iCloud feature enabled (which it is by default in the latest versions) then all you have to do is the following

  1. Download the file from the store via the email you received or your account page.
  2. Unzip the file
  3. Copy the PDF to the iBooks application on your Mac.
  4. This should then sync via iCloud to your iPad

If you’re using an older version of iBooks which doesn’t have the iCloud library enabled, you will need to add it to iBooks on your mac and sync manually.

Alternative methods

If you don’t want to use iBooks on the mac there are many other ways to get your book onto your iPad. Here are some options:

  1. Via iCloud Drive. Copy the PDF to your iCloud drive, and then on your iCloud drive app on your iOS device, simply open the PDF. To add it to iBoos from iCloud drive, tap and hold on the PDF file, and choose Share. Then from the share menu, choose the option to “Copy to iBooks”.
  2. Via DropBox. Copy the PDF file to a folder in your DropBox folder. Then using the DropBox iOS app, locate the PDF and open it. You can also add it to iBoos from the DropBox app.

Download Directly to your iPad

If you want to download directly to your iPad, then you can do this. However, because iOS doesn’t directly support zip files, you will need to download an app from the App store. There are many options available which support opening of zip files and many are free.

I have personally tested WinZip and this works fine. Once you install WinZip when you click on the link from your account page, you should get the option to open it in WinZip. This will unzip the file, and you can then open the PDF in iBooks on your device.

To add it to iBooks from WinZip, Open the PDF and then click on the Share icon at the top right of the screen. Then tap on the open in icon from the sheet that pops up from the bottom of the screen. From there choose “Copy to iBooks”.

This is all very complicated, can I not just have the PDF?

If you’re still having trouble, then send me a support request, with your order details and I’ll send you a link so that you can download the PDF version. I know this is a bit complicated, and I realise that it’s kind of a pain, but I am looking for additional ways to make this process easier in the future too.

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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!