When building presets that modify behaviour, there is something very crucial to comprehend. I show you exactly how this functions in the brief video. While some presets reset everything, others merely alter a select few sliders and allow for stacking. When you apply a preset, sometimes it seems to replace everything, and other times it seems like some elements of a prior preset “stick”. Why is that so?

Both Adobe Camera RAW and Lightroom are compatible with this instruction. The presets you install in Lightroom or Camera Raw will appear in both programmes because they both use the same preset system. There must be a restart.

Here is an illustration showing how this works, where I have increased the colour temperature. When I roll my cursor over the first preset to add a light leak, the colours remain the same.

I roll over a second light leak preset and the colors still haven’t shifted.

I roll over a third light leak preset and now the colors are shifting. Why is this? What’s different about this preset?

Do you ever consider whether to uncheck the boxes for the changes while creating a preset? (In the develop module, select New Develop Preset by clicking the + button at the top of the presets.)

A “reset preset” is created when all the boxes are checked. This implies that everything that is checked will be adjusted to the preset’s settings when you apply the preset. What if a slider hasn’t been moved? Zero is also a setting! Therefore, if you apply this preset without having altered any sliders, it will reset all of the unchanged sliders to zero.

If you wish to apply an absolute preset and reset the entire image, choose this option. Any previous modifications will therefore be lost.

What if you want to retain any previous adjustments and only change something like a crop, a mask, noise reduction etc?

Then leave the fields unchecked. Any unchecked field will be ignored when you apply the preset and its won’t change. 

What purpose does this serve?

It enables you to stack the and use your presets strategically. For instance, if you have presets that merely alter colour, you can adjust brightness and definition and experiment with other colours without erasing all of your previous work. Another application is when using smart presets or light leaks and applying a sky correction, for example.

If all you want to do is alter the white balance and exposure settings, proceed as shown here. Other values will remain the same as they were prior to applying the preset.

You can see the White balance and Exposure settings change

You would get this result on a neutral image

Other types of special effects, such as a black and white look, you way want a complete takeover, so check all the boxes for a reset preset.

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