Recently I have been fine tuning my Lightroom import process. There are always some default settings that I like to apply to my images before I even get into the development/editing process, things like Lens Corrections and basic colour de-fringing. Applying these are not huge tasks, it’s a simple case of just opening the Lens Correction panel in the Development panel and turning them on. Although, some times I forget to do this.
I know that these fixes only it takes a few seconds on each picture, but over hundreds of images, can grow into minutes or hours. This is time that I will never get back.
As we know Lightroom has the capability of creating a development preset that can be used on import as well as when we are working on images in the Development module. This is in fact how image presets like VSCO and out of the box Lightroom presets work.
The use of a Development preset(s) to just apply certain actions/configurations like lens corrections and colour fringing on a bulk import can save us time for each import and also solve the ‘forgetting to do it’ problem. Let’s explore how this can be done.
Creating the Preset
For this Import Development preset I want to be able to set the following :
- Lens Profile Correction
Adobe takes lenses from the manufacturers and calibrates them for the removal of any inherent issues, i.e. the lens profile will remove any spherical aberration as well as any vignetting caused by the lens. Spherical aberration is an optical effect observed in an optical device (lens, mirror, etc.) that occurs due to the increased refraction of light rays when they strike a lens or a reflection of light rays when they strike a mirror near its edge, in comparison with those that strike nearer the centre. It signifies a deviation of the device from the norm, i.e., it results in an imperfection of the produced image(Wikipedia).
- Remove basic Chromatic Aberration
Chromatic Aberration ‘“colour f ringing” or “purple fringing”, is a common optical problem that occurs when a lens is either unable to bring all wavelengths of colour to the same focal plane, and/or when wavelengths of colour are focused at different positions in the focal plane’ (Wikipedia).
- Keep the original aspect ratio locked
The aspect ratio of an image describes the proportional relationship between its width and its height. It is commonly expressed as two numbers separated by a colon, as in 16:9. For an x:y aspect ratio, no matter how big or small the image is, if the width is divided into x units of equal length and the height is measured using this same length unit, the height will be measured to be y units (Wikipedia).
These options are configurable in the ‘Lens Corrections’ panel within the Development module and when turned on will affect the image.
Before & After
You can see on the left hand side (before) the image out of the camera has some vignetting and on the right hand side the vignetting has disappeared, after using the lens profile correction.
The above panel is located in the following screen shot (marked in Red).
To create a preset that can be used as a generic import development preset, the menu item Develop / New Preset can be selected.
The preset will be very stripped down and will only save the options that have been selected (shown above in red). These are part of the lens corrections pertaining to the profile, chromatic aberration and crop ratio (transform), as well as the process version (process version contains the adjustment properties and algorithms (like highlight/shadow recovery etc).
N.B. Specifying an easy to remember name and east to find location (like User Presets), will make it extremely easy to find in the import operation in the future.
Once complete, the ‘Create’ button will save the preset.
If you forget to save something on the preset, you can add it to the development module and update the preset by using a right click on the preset name and ‘Update with the Current Settings’.
Moving to the Import module.
Once inside the Import module the Default Import Settings configuration can be specified on the ‘Develop Settings’ selector (as shown in red below).
Once the import runs, each image that will be brought in will have these presets applied.