LIGHTROOM - apply presets to allready adjusted images

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  • Updated 5 years ago
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Is there way of applying a preset to an already adjusted image that it does not remove the already made adjustments.

For example I work on 10 images so they all balance. Then i want to apply B&W or Split tone to them all but with the adjusts i have made still applied.
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matt revell

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Posted 5 years ago

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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Any adjustment settings in the preset will always override the corresponding settings in the photo. For example, if your photo has Exposure = +0.25 and you apply a preset that contains Exposure = +0.75, the preset will override the photo's exposure.

This seems straightforward, but the hard part is knowing which settings a preset actually contains. E.g. a preset may or may not contain a setting for Exposure. You can apply a preset to a photo and see which settings change, but that's not fool proof. For example, a preset may contain Exposure = 0.0, and if the test photo already has Exposure = 0.0, you won't see the Exposure slider change. Unfortunately, many presets built by others appear to have these gratuitous default settings in them.

The only sure way of knowing what's in a preset is to edit it in a text editor. You can do Preferences > Presets > Show Lightroom Presets Folder, and then navigate to the Develop Presets folder to see all the preset files.

In your situation, if you really want the current settings in a photo to take precedence over those in a preset, I suppose you could do this song-and-dance: Define a temporary preset with all the desired settings from the photo. Next apply the desired B&W or Split Tone preset. Then apply the temporary preset. This will give precedence to your original settings over those in the preset. But depending on what's in the B&W or Split Tone preset, you may not like the results.

Perhaps someone else has a better idea?
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Simon Chen, Principal Computer Scientist

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You can create preset that just applies the B&W conversion (or the Split tone). In the preset creation dialog, you can check off settings that you don't want to be part of the new preset. Once such incremental preset is applied to a photo, only the subset of develop settings in the preset are copied over to the target photos.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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That's a simpler solution when you're confident which settings the preset changes. But many presets change a lot of settings, and it isn't easy to see which settings they change. In that case, it's probably easier to use my solution of defining a preset containing the changes you've made to the photo, rather than trying to guess the settings of the preset.