How to Build and Use Lightroom Presets

 

How to Build and Use Lightroom Presets

 

Lesson Info

Four Way to Batch Process

Four ways to batch process your photos. I just want to give you guys a brief rundown of all the different ways that we can actually batch process in this segment. Any questions so far? We good? We're good. We're good. Let's do this. Okay, so these are the four. Number one is the sync panel. So basically, let's grab a set of images and I think in the next slide you'll see I selected a grouping of images that we'll be doing it on. So I'm just going to select a subset of these images, and these haven't been culled yet, so I haven't taken out any shots that we want to not deliver. We're just going to show you how to batch process over all of them. So what I'm going to do is, first, we're going to bring out this sync panel, okay? What you're going to do is, you're going to dial in your adjustment. So this is exactly how we work in the studio. Exposure and temperature are the only things that we adjust on an image to image basis, other than like local adjustments. So, exposure comes up. ...

I've got, like, a nice glare right on my-- there we go. Nope, still there. It's like the perfect angle to look into gives me the view of that like-- Alright, so I'm gonna do this. Okay, widen the stance, we're gonna go four stance and let me go ahead and go soft color, okay? What we're gonna do is just take that and we're going to sync it now over this set of images. Okay, so press Control-S, oops, Control-Shift-S. I'm not used to this Mac layout. I'll be honest, I don't process on this machine. So this brings up our sync dialogue and we basically would choose what options we want to synchronize. And I should say, for those that are on Mac as probably most of them are, so it's Command-Shift-S. Replace command with control, control with command. So what we would do is, generally, when you're syncing across images, you would turn things like local adjustments off. Because those are things that you need to make independently, right? We'd also probably turn off things like transform. We'd probably turn off things like lens corrections, unless you actually want the lens corrections synced across them. You just have to be careful with that kind of stuff. You'd probably also turn off crop and spot removal. These are all local items. So now that those are selected, take a screen shot of this, or mental screen shot? I don't know guys, just do something with it. But this is basically the settings you would use to sync across a group of images that are shot in the same scene with the same settings, okay? Alright, we press synchronize and now all those images get adjusted the exact same way. Okay, and you can see them all updating. So, from a shooting standpoint, what do you guys think is probably pretty important that we're doing from a shooting side to make this process that much more effective? That you are the same location with the same lighting and everything. Absolutely, same location, same lighting, shooting manual, right? Right. So that's absolutely right. So when you select across a grouping, you're going to make sure you select everything that's in the same scene. We're also going to make sure that we've set our white balance in camera, we've set our exposure in camera, we're shooting manual, so there's no adjustments. Look, I know, I know aperture priority and shutter priority are gonna get you there, okay? They're gonna get you to a place where your image is close to what it needs to be. The problem is that when you synchronize, even a half stop exposure variant is going to make it so that you have to go into that individual image every single time and make adjustments every single time. So go manual, manual, manual, manual. What about flashes? Same thing. 'Cause little variations, like when you fire TTL, there might be a little bit more light this time, a little bit less light this time, same thing. Question? So what if you move the flash? Yeah, so if you move the flash, so basically what happens is, once I set up my flash, it's set. Now if a subject is gonna move, if they're gonna move from different places to different places, then I'm gonna make adjustments as I move as well. But, Susie, if I'm shooting you ... I have my camera right here. Let's say I'm working on the dance floor, right? And everybody's moving on the dance floor, nobody's holding still, correct? But my flash, let's say I'm working on a 35 millimeter lens, which is the one I have on right here, so roughly I'm gonna be always this distance between my subject because I'm working that distance. So once I set my flash, I'm gonna keep it there because I'm the same distance from the subjects every single time. Even though we're moving around, even though we're doing different things, I'm keeping that distance. Once I change to a different lens, then I will make an adjustment again. Or, if I change my distance, or I change the scene, or whatever it is, I'll make an adjustment again. But otherwise, you can keep it the same. And it takes time to get used to. You're gonna have to get a little bit quick in making adjustments and understanding that oh, they just made a big movement, I'm gonna go ahead and just bring it up a stop. But you'll get used to that. Okay, next way to sync, we have copy and paste. And by the way, you'll notice that sometimes, sometimes I'll make an exposure adjustment midway into a scene, so what you'll notice is, if I got to loupe right here, if we look at these first three images, they look great. And then this image right here got too bright, right? So all I would do is, and I'm actually gonna show you how to do that in just a second, I want to show you with the auto-sync feature on this. So let's just show you the copy function. So the other thing we can do is, if I bring up one of the-- actually what is, bring up the slide. The slides are there. So, Control-Shift-C, so instead of Control-Shift-S, you can press Control-Shift-C, which will literally copy your settings to the clipboard. Okay? It's the exact same process as the synchronize dialogue, same thing, just in your head, imagine that I don't need to select a grouping of images because now I've copied those settings to the clipboard. And just like you'd paste something over something else, so let's go ahead and copy-- I'm going to reset one of these images. So let's reset this guy. Okay, let's go back to this guy, Control-Shift-C. We're gonna press copy. Once we go to that next image, or whatever image we want, I can just say Control-Shift-V and it'll paste the last setting. And then we can just make a quick exposure adjustment here. Okay, did you guys notice that I made that adjustment from the library view? Okay? So you can, ideally, when you are working like this, if you can do things from library view, your computer will actually go faster. Library view loads a different type of preview than develop module. So the library module is going to use standard size previews. The develop module is going to use one-to-one previews. So that's gonna speed up your machine. So if you can do all your syncing and all your batch processing from here. So again, if I'm only touching exposure and white balance, do I need to be in the develop module? So whenever you copy and paste the settings, do you usually always try to go in the library module than the develop module? 'Cause you say it's faster. I try to work from the library module as much as possible when I know I'm just syncing across a group of images. Yeah, so whenever you're-- if you know you're going to be dialing in, like, local adjustments, you know you're working on a set of key images that you really want to perfect, just stay in the develop module. But if you're working over a set of portraits that are gonna look great, you've made all the adjustments, you know that it's gonna be fine, go to the library module. Because culling inside the library module, and by the way, usually you cull before you go through this process, you'd cull first in the library module and then go through and do your developing. And yeah, the more you can stay there, the better. And you can even see it, like, if I go, this is in loupe view right now, if I cycle between images, you can see how fast this is loading, right? I can press it and it just keeps going. As soon as I go to the develop module and do this, you'll notice that this automatically starts slowing down. You see that? Guys, when you have two million images going through your workflow, you test these things. You're like, "How can I possibly do this faster?" Okay. I have a funny anecdote we'll get to in a second. Paste last, let's talk about that one. So paste last, so now that we have that setting copied to the clipboard, it's gonna stay there. It'll stay there until we change it. So it could be a half hour later inside of Lightroom, I could paste the same setting wherever I want it, it's just gonna stay there until we actually copy a new setting to the clipboard. But you can only have one copied to the clipboard at a time, okay? Paste last is a little bit different, where what paste last is gonna do, if I select this image, for example, actually let's select, okay, let's select this image. I'm gonna press R to bring up my cropping tool. I'm going to press auto because Lightroom should figure out that there's staircases and it should not that it can correct that. Did you know that little auto tool works nicely? If you guys have strong lines in the scene, Lightroom can detect those lines. Those are the images you want to press auto on. Otherwise, if you press auto on an image where it can't detect the small, like the lines, it's just gonna screw it up and then you have to fix it. So, don't do it unless there's-- don't do it. Okay, so take a look at this one. What we're gonna do is, let's say that I like the settings on that one and I want to jump over to this one, right? I'm gonna re-set this out just so it's reset and you guys can see it. So I'm like, "Ooh, this looks nice." This is how I actually talk when I do this. I'm gonna go, "Mm, I like to have a little burn exposure." Perfect, looks beautiful. Alright. So I have that done, right? So what I'm gonna do is go to the next thing on the bottom right here, and what previous does-- you'll notice at the bottom right here, is it actually pastes the last setting that you were on. So if I click Previous, it'll make the same adjustment that it did on the prior image. But did you notice a couple problems? What was it? What about the crop, yeah? The crop was-- The crop shifted. The color's not quite right because, guess which area of the image that I'm brightening? Oh, the one behind them. It changed, right? So this local adjustment right here, that I added? It's on their waistline, so I need to bring it up to the faces, okay? Also, the crop, auto doesn't re-evaluate on every single image. Does that make sense? So if you synchronize an auto crop adjustment, it doesn't go and say auto next time, what it does is it just syncs the angle adjustment that you made. Okay? So it actually cropped this incorrectly. If I press auto again, you'll see it actually corrects it out. And I can pull this in. So those are-- and what we'd do is make a tiny adjustment to, like, the white balance and everything. Those are the issues with doing paste last. So not only does it have to be the next image, so it pastes last from the prior image you had selected. So not only do you have to make sure the prior image is actually the right image, but then it's gonna take every single adjustment over to the next one. So where this actually works well is, if I make an adjustment, like let's say this one, it's like, okay, I'm gonna make an adjustment here. That looks great. I have my radial. I'm gonna drop that in. Okay, that looks fine. If I go to the next image-- wonderful, the next image they moved positions. I can press Previous, and on this one, I'd actually have to make the adjustment to my radial, so once that makes that adjustment, I'm gonna go right to this little spot right here. So when they're not moving and your exposure is not changing at all and you make a micro-adjustment, that's where this tool can actually be handy is just moving from image to image, making small adjustments as you go. Okay? There we go. Now we can press Previous. Got it? That's where to use that tool. But don't do this, don't be like, "Okay, I need to find the previous image. "I'm gonna go up here. "I'm gonna get that one. "I'm gonna go way back down here. "Let me find the other one," and then do Previous, because that takes so much time to go find that image, you'd be better off copying it to your clipboard and just doing it that way. Huh? Actually that long? It takes a lot of time, I mean, you can do it, it just takes a lot of time. I know these things because I do them myself, like when I'm being lazy, I just, I'm like, "Oh, let's scroll up." Duwas, go ahead. So where do that clipboard exist at? Like how do we open that if we want to see what setting it's on. The clipboard is in the cloud. I'm just kidding. (everyone laughs) It's nowhere to be, like, seen. Like, you're not gonna go to the clipboard and make adjustments. All you'd do is, if you want something new on the clipboard, just press Control-Shift-C again, or Command-Shift-C, and bring up the copy settings dialog, and yeah. If there is a place where you can adjust the clipboard settings, awesome. I haven't found it, I don't think there is one. But it works like, kinda like how, actually in a Word document, it would show you the clipboard, you can actually make adjustments and that kind of stuff, but we're not there yet, we're not there yet. And by we, I mean Adobe. I say we because it's my company. I'm just kidding, it's not my company. I wish it was my company, that'd be rad. Okay, last thing I want to show you guys is just auto sync. So, auto sync is a lovely, handy-dandy feature. Let me show you guys something. (whispering) Let me show you something. Okay, I'm gonna select all these. So you'll notice I had that grouping selected, right? You guys saw that? That was my grouping. I'm gonna go in develop module and what I'm gonna do is, do you see this little button down here called Auto Sync? You see the little switch turned on? Okay, if I press Reset right now, it will reset every image in that grouping. Likewise, if it's reset, and auto sync is turned on, and I apply a preset, and then make an adjustment, it'll actually apply that to every single image. And then you go, "Well, what happens "when the exposure slightly changes?" Right? Simple, I'm so glad you asked. You didn't ask, I said it. It's okay. Okay, so you can select a new grouping. So let's say from here, it looks like this has gotten too bright, right? So I can select this grouping right here, all the way down to where it looks like it got appropriate again, press D, and then I can just pull this down with Auto Sync turned on, and now it makes that adjustment across this grouping. Is that not handy-dandy? That's awesome. Handy-dandy, and then when you get to the new section, this one was already adjusted, these ones looked fine, they looked okay, right? It's close? Can you do that on the library module too? No. Oh, okay. I'm just kidding. (everyone laughs) Auto Sync only works in develop module. Yeah, and you really only need it in develop module, because in library module, it works automatically. You know what I mean? So like, watch this. If I'm in the library module and I'm in grid view, okay, I am in grid view, okay, brain fart. Okay, so if you go to Presets, so you can actually select what Preset you want, so if you go down to Portrait Mixology, you can actually set the Preset directly from here and it will automatically do it. Anything you do-- sorry, to be clear, anything you do inside of the library view is already being done to whatever you have selected. You don't have to turn anything on or off. Does that make sense? You synchronize all the presets on the develop module and but there were some of the images that you need to turn the exposure? Yeah, so same thing. Like if I'm in, so basically, anything that I do from here, like, for example, if I press Control-Shift-R, it will reset out every one of those images. If I go to my saved Presets and go to Tools and do a soft color import, and then do an exposure bump, everything you do from the library module is automatically synced across your selections. There is no turning on or off that. That's just the way it works. So you could do the same thing where you select this grouping. If you're gonna work this way, by the way, I would recommend you do slightly larger thumbnails so you can actually see them a little more clearly and then you can say exposure down. And you're able to apply different presets in library, not just one? Any saved preset. So like if I wanted to switch this over to black and white, I would go to my portrait, soft black and white, and it's done. Okay? So yes, the more you can stick to that library module, oh my gosh, the easier your life is gonna be. So, yes? Once again, blown away by sticking with the library module. Yes! By people at home. But, can you clarify? Scott Hamill had asked, "Can auto white and black levels "be applied with a preset?" So auto-- Auto white and black levels. Um, yeah, you can, but I'm gonna actually show them how to make a black and white preset that is gonna blow away Lightroom's black and white conversion. And I can give you guys a quick demo of this. So, let's just take this image here and what I'll do is I'll reset this image. We'll create a little virtual copy. Okay so we have two versions of that same image, or we should. Okay, so Lightroom's black and white conversion. Okay, our black and white conversion. There's no other adjustments being made. And what happens is, is when it comes to portraiture, we're gonna talk about this, I have a black and white mix that is just lifting skin tones. So how do we make skin look flattering? We brighten it up, right? Same thing we do with highlights, same thing we do with everything else, except now I'm just doing it with a black and white mix. So we're actually pulling the reds-- skin tone is primarily orange, we're pulling it up so it's slightly brighter. So now when you actually get to the right exposure, so currently I have both of these images, I'm gonna select both of them. Watch this, in the library module, I'm gonna adjust the exposure by one click. So if you look, we literally have the exact same exposure and then let's go side-by-side. That's pretty easy, right? So that lift is what makes it so that their skin tones look soft and it looks like I've re-touched it, but I haven't done anything. It's just that. So my story. My buddy, Trevor Daly, he's another workflow nut. Like he is just crazy when it comes to, like, I've gotta figure out how to do this faster and do it better. There is no pressure like wife pressure. And she came in one day and she's like, "You gotta figure out how to go quicker "inside of whatever it is you are doing "because I need more time." Because he's spending ridiculous amounts of time in post-processing. So in one night, he's like, "I'm gonna figure this out." So he goes and like, completely re-vamps his entire process in, like, one night, to the point where all he does is he shoots and he runs a batch process and he's like, "Hey babe, I got all the time "in the world now. "Let's do this." I was like, "Dude, you are the champion." So it can be done. Alright. Uh, Pye, just before, before we move on, Scott Hamill, who had asked that last question about auto white and black, had a clarification, which is again-- The Scott Hamill? I don't know. He is the Scott Hamill for him. Right. Okay, but his question was regarding the auto black and white level that is applied when you Shift Double-Click the white or black sliders. Shift Double-Click the white or black sliders ... So getting-- Like this, the auto there. That's what he's talking about right? When you Shift Double-Click the white or black sliders. I'm not sure-- These ones, like these? I was thinking he meant the white and black. Oh, if you Shift Double-Click these? Right. That, like I said before, it's the same thing, currently, any automated function inside of Lightroom, if you save it to a preset, with the exception of, like, auto white balance, because there's actually a specific auto setting there, that will save to your Presets. But everything else that's an automated adjustment, like, for example, the crop, this auto, it makes an automated assessment based on that specific image. If you copy that to a preset, it's not gonna translate. It'll take the number. So whatever we clicked, so that auto adjustment that we clicked on, like shadows, whites, it'll take that number and apply it across, but it won't do-- and that's not necessarily a way that I'd advise working inside of Lightroom anyway, because it's very time consuming if you're sitting there double clicking and allowing this-- because you could just click, you could double-click on each one of these by holding down shift, it's the same thing if you press Auto on the, like if you let it adjust all of your tonality. I want to get them away from that entirely so that it's just a preset that's based on the way that they shoot, you're done.

Class Description

The idea of learning how to use and develop presets for Lightroom can be intimidating for many photographers. Join Pye Jirsa of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge as he shows you how to incorporate presets into your Lightroom workflow.


You’ll learn:

  • How presets work and how to use them in your post-processing 
  • How to shoot for presets and customize them for your work 
  • How to create your own custom presets 
Creating and using presets are an integral part of customizing an efficient Lightroom workflow. This class will help you enhance and create striking images for your clients.


Be sure to check out SLR Lounge Lightroom Presets!


Software Used: Adobe Lightroom CC 2015.2 - 2015.3