Lightroom tips – Customize your Photos During Import

Peggy Farren 2017-04-14
Most digital cameras have settings that let you customize the look of your photos. Canon calls them Picture Styles, Nikon calls them Picture Controls and Sony calls them Creative Controls. They can be a good starting point but are limited and only work on JPEGs. Contrast, saturation, sharpness and color tone are what they usually affect. For those who choose to shoot RAW and for JPEG shooters who want more control there is a better solution. Adobe’s Lightroom can apply many of its adjustments during the import process via presets. You can create a preset to apply exposure, contrast, clarity, saturation, vibrance, sharpening, noise reduction, white balance, and lens corrections to name just a few. Creating a preset is easy. First, select a photo, and in the Lightroom Develop Module, apply all the adjustments, in the strength that you want in the preset, to the photo. Don’t use adjustment brushes, graduated or radial filters, red eye, or other local adjustments.

Then, still in the Develop Module, in the left column click in the plus sign in the Presets section. The develop preset dialog box will open. Check all the adjustments that you want the preset to contain, name the preset and save it.

The next time that you import photos, the preset you made will be available to apply to your photos during import. You will find it in the right column of the Import Window, Apply During Import section. Expand the Apply During Import section if not already expanded. In the Develop Settings box click on the up/down arrows and choose the preset you made. Now all the photos you import will have the preset applied.

~Joe Fitzpatrick is Understand Photography’s lead photography instructor. Joe heads up most of Understand Photography’s trips and day trips.

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