Lightroom has come a long way since its original beta version. In many ways, the changes have been for the better, bar a few that changed the nature of some of the tools. There are countless tutorials, tips, tricks that will produce “epic spectacular” images. What I will share with you today will not do anything spectacular other than making your workflow more efficient and work in your way rather than what Adobe says you should.
Often, I find myself making the same adjustment to almost all the images I catalog in Lightroom. I bet you have your own set of adjustments you begin with. Wouldn’t that be nice if we could apply these initial adjustments automatically to save time? This is what this post about. There are two ways to go about it:
- Create a preset that has all your adjustments and remember to apply it during the import
- Change your preferences in Lightroom so that the default you will set will apply to a particular camera
Change Settings to Fit Your Vision
I will focus on the second option. First thing first, you need to make a change in your preferences so that defaults will apply to each camera differently. From the top menu, follow Edit/Preferences/Presets and put a checkmark next to the box “Make defaults specific to camera serial number.” See the image on the left, click to enlarge.
Apply Your Typical Adjustments
Now, pick an image that you took with your camera, or one of your cameras. make a virtual copy and click on Reset. This will remove any adjustments you might have made to that image. The virtual copy is to make sure you do not lose the adjustment made to that image.
Starting with a clean slate, pick the standard adjustments you make to all the images. My typical settings are as follows, I am sharing them only as an example, your choices may very well be different.
- Add +5 Clarity and +5 Vibrance
- Change the tone curve to Medium Contrast
- Sharpening amount 30, radius 0.8, masking 15
- Noise reduction Luminance 15, Detail 50
- Lens Corrections, Profile: check Enable Profile Correction, Setup: Auto
- Lens Corrections, Basic, put checkmarks into the first two, Enable Profile Corrections, Remove Chromatic Aberration if not already there
- Camera Calibration Process: 2012 (Current) and Profile: Camera Faithful (your camera profile options may be different depending on your camera)
You are now ready to change your default settings for this camera’s images. Hold the Alt key down and observe the Reset button at the bottom of the develop panels. It will change its label to Set Default … as you see in the image on the left, click to enlarge. You will see a pop-up window like the one below:
Note that your camera model and serial number are shown with a dire-sounding warning “Please note that these changes are not undoable.” I don’t quite understand the reason for this potentially confusing message, especially with a button directly below it that says, “Restore Adobe Default Settings.” Go ahead and click on “Update to Current Settings.”
From now on, two things will be at your disposal. First, which will happen automatically, any image you import coming from the same camera will have these settings applied; you don’t need to do anything. Second, this set of adjustments can be applied to any previously imported image from the same camera by simply clicking on the Reset button.