How to Create a Standard Black and White Preset to Create a “Vivid Landscape” Look in Lightroom 4
The following is an excerpt from the SLR Lounge Lightroom Workflow System Workshop on DVD, a system designed to increase your post production speed by 5 to 10 times. Click here to view more details.
In previous tutorials, we created a Standard Color Preset and a Standard Black and White Preset in Lightroom 4 to create a “soft portrait” look for our portrait images. We also created a Standard Color Preset to create a “vivid landscape” look for our landscape images. Now, we are going to create a “Vivid Landscape” Standard Black and White Preset. We will be basing our Standard Black and White Preset off of the “Vivid Landscape” Standard Color Preset, so it is a good idea to refer to that tutorial before going on to this tutorial. In this tutorial, we will also go over how to update your preset with current settings.
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Adjusting the Settings for the “Vivid Landscape” Standard Black and White Preset
As mentioned before, we are going to base the “Vivid Landscape” Standard Black and White Preset off of the “Vivid Landscape” Color Preset. Below is the image we will be using for this tutorial.
Once you have selected your landscape image, select the Standard Color Preset under the “Vivid Landscape” category in the Presets Panel. The Presets Panel is located on the left side of Lightroom. As you can see below, we have selected the Standard Color Preset to be applied to our image.
Next, we need to go into the Basic Panel to fix the exposure of our image because our image is slightly underexposed. The Basic Panel can be collapsed and expanded by hitting “Ctrl + 1” and is found on the right side of Lightroom. We are going to dial in the Exposure to +1 so that we have a proper exposure to base our adjustments off of. We are going to leave the other settings as is from the “Vivid Landscape” Standard Color Preset.
Once we have dialed in the exposure, we are going to convert our image to black and white by hitting “V.” Next, we are going to add a little bit of contrast to our image with the Tone Curve. The Tone Curve Panel is directly below the Basic Panel. To expand and collapse this panel, hit “Ctrl + 2.” With the Tone Curve, we are going to boost the Contrast by pulling down the Blacks a bit. We are also going to pull up the Midtone Shadows and Midtone Highlights. Finally, we are going to pull up the Whites a bit as well. We are basically extending out this S-Curve to create a more vivid look in the black and white version of our image. Your Tone Curve should look similar to the Tone Curve below. The 4 points on the Tone Curve from left to right are: Blacks, Midtone Shadows, Midtone Highlights, and Whites.
Since we already have a contrast setting dialed into the preset, we do not want to lift up Contrast even more. If we apply this preset to an image and we want a quick contrast adjustment, we can still adjust our contrast from the actual slider. If we make all of our adjustments in the slider, we have to go down to the Tone Curve to add additional contrast, which can slow things down. As you can see below, we have left the Contrast at +25.
Next, we are going to go down to the Detail Panel, which can be expanded or collapsed by hitting “Ctrl + 5.” We are going to leave all of the settings as they were from the “Vivid Landscape” Standard Color Preset.
Lastly, we will be in the Lens Corrections Panel, which is located right under the Detail Panel. Hit “Ctrl + 6” to expand or collapse this panel. Once again, we are going to leave all of the settings as is.
Creating the “Vivid Landscape” Black and White Preset
To create the “Vivid Landscape” Black and White Preset, click on the “+” sign in the Presets Panel.
Next, a dialogue box should appear like the one below. We are going to name this preset “22 Standard B&W” and this preset will go into the “00 MY MIXOLOGY” folder. Then, hit “Check All” to select all of the settings, but deselect “Lens Corrections,” “Lens Profile Corrections,” “Transform,” and “Chromatic Aberration.” Then hit “Create.”
Once we have created the preset, “22 Standard B&W” should appear beneath the “Vivid Landscape” category in the Presets Panel.
Updating the “Vivid Landscape” Black and White Preset with Current Settings
When we saved our preset, we did not reset the exposure back to 0. We need to go back into the Basic Panel (“Ctrl + 1”) and set the exposure to 0.
Next, go back to the Presets Panel and right-click on “22 Standard B&W.” Select “Update with Current Settings” from the menu.
A dialogue box will appear like the one below. Double-check and make sure that the correct settings are still selected. Then hit “Update.”
Below is our landscape image with the “Vivid Landscape” Black and White Preset applied.
Conclusion & Learn More!
We now have both the Standard Color Preset and the Standard Black and White Preset set up for our vivid images, as well as the Standard Color Preset and the Standard Black and White Preset for our soft portrait images. We can use these 4 presets for basic developing.
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