Jan 022016
Lightroom-copyright-metadata-presetI recommend adding copyright and contact information to your photos as you import them into Lightroom, so that when you share photos with the outside world, this data automatically tags along with them and people can get in touch with you if they come across your photos and want to use them. For photos already in Lightroom, it’s not too late — you can also add this information in the Library module.

In this video tutorial, I show you how to:

  • Create and update a copyright and contact information “metadata preset”
  • Apply your preset to photos as you import them
  • View copyright and contact information for your photos using the Metadata panel in the Library module
  • Apply your preset to any selected photos in the Library module.

Note that this copyright and contact information tags along with your photos in the file properties data — it is not written across your photos. To write information onto your photos themselves, use the Watermarking functionality in the Export dialog.

(For highest resolution viewing, after hitting Play, click on the sprocket wheel (Youtube Sprocket Wheel) in the bottom right and choose 720/HD.)

For those of you who prefer written instructions rather than watching a video, here’s an article from a couple years ago explaining how to create and apply a copyright metadata preset.

Update: It still isn’t easy for all people who may come across your images to view this extensive copyright information. Anyone who has Lightroom, Bridge, or another program that can read it will be able to view it. In addition, on Mac it can be viewed in Preview (Tools>Show Inspector, “i” tab.) On Windows, in Explorer one can view the copyright field (right-click on the file and choose Properties, then the Detail tab), and one can view the Creator field by adding Creator as a column in Details view, but I haven’t found a way to view the contact information. Nevertheless, there is no cost to including it, and it does show that you made a positive effort to communicate this information. If you want to be sure that everyone will see it, then you should watermark your photos.

Note that at least in the U.S., to have a claim of copyright infringement that will hold up in court, you need to have registered your images with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Related Post: Video Tutorial on Watermarking Photos

Feb 182014
Lightroom HDR effect creating preset withSometimes it’s fun to take photos a little over the edge. In this video tutorial, I show you how to create a bit of a faux-HDR effect in the Develop module in Lightroom, adding a lot of light into the shadows of your photos, and punching up color and edge definition, using Basic panel settings, the Graduated Filter tool, and the HSL panel. Whether you like this effect or you create a different effect, I then show you how to copy your settings to other photos to test out the effect you have created, and finally, how to save your settings as a preset so that you can apply them to other photos at any time.

Jan 172012

To be honest, I don’t download a lot of presets from the internet.   I personally have limited mental bandwidth for add-ons, and there are so many out there that they can be hard to sift through.  However, I agree that done right, they can add great value.  It can be very efficient to use a good creative preset or set of presets, since I can get 90% of the way towards making a photo look great with just one or a handful of clicks in one panel rather than having to sift through all of Lightroom’s Develop sliders, plus I can get cool looks that I never would have thought of creating myself.

X-Equals Black and White PresetsOccasionally I hear about some presets that I just have to check out, including X-Equals XeL Black and White Toolkit of over 300 presets. They are designed to emulate the look of 54 classic black and white films, as well as 4 antiquated processes, and the workflow ingeniously follows the traditional black and white darkroom workflow (as I understand it — truth be told, I only had a couple months of film/darkroom experience):

1. Simulate black and white capture:

  • Choose your film type from 54 choices (with a set of presets for each, covering black and white mix, tone and grain)
  • Choose your color filter or color mix

2. Simulate darkroom work:

  • Choose your paper contrast grade
  • Adjust your contrast (with “curve kicks”)
  • Dodge and burn (with graduated filters)
  • Solarize / special effects
  • Toning  (Sepia, Selenium, and 5 more)

The toolkit  also has a cool set of presets to reproduce four antiquated processes ( Tintypes, Daguerrotypes, Cyanotypes and Ambrotypes).

Continue reading »

Dec 292008

The Post Crop section in the Vignettes panel of the Develop Module of Lightroom 2 (AND THE EFFECTS PANEL OF LIGHTROOM 3) allows you to add creative vignettes. It is called Post Crop, because the vignette will always adjust to any cropping you do, even if you crop after you create the vignette.

Unless you have played with all the sliders, you may not realize what kind of creative effects you can get. For example, you can simulate a film border, as in this image:

Post Crop Vignette

Post Crop Vignette

To get this, I slid all the post-crop sliders to the left:

Black Film Border Settings

Black Film Border Settings

Amount controls the tone of the vignette, from pure black at -100 to pure white at +100. So if you want a white border, slide it all the way to the right.

Roundness controls how thick the border is. Less negative roundness gives you thicker edges. When you go towards zero and into positive territory the shape moves from rectangular to oval and then round. I increased Roundness here from -100 to -80, and changed the Amount to +100 to make the vignette white.

Controlling Border Thickness and Tone

Thicker White Border, Roundness at -80


For comparison, here is Roundness at +20 — now the shape is an oval:

Roundness at +20

Roundness at +20

Feathering softens the border edge. Here I have gone back to my rectangular example, with Roundness at -80, and increase the feather setting from 0 to 50 :

Feather = 50 to Soften Edges (All other settings as above)

Feather = 50 to Soften Edges (All other settings as above)


Here’s how I would create a classic soft black oval vignette:

  • Slide Amount to the left to darken to your taste.
  • Is the border too visible? If so, increase feathering to fade it more. If instead you want more of an obvious edge, slide feathering to the left.
  • Adjust the roundness, to the left to make the vignette more rectangular, to the right to make it rounder.
  • To cover more of the image with the vignette (leaving a smaller center), reduce the midpoint. To cover less, increase the midpoint.
Classic Dark Oval Vignette

Classic Dark Oval Vignette


The same vignette, with Amount = +85 to make it almost white:

White Classic Oval

Almost White Oval Vignette

No doubt you will find settings that you prefer to mine — I hope this post encourages you to experiment. Once you find a vignette that you like, save it as a preset so that you can use it on other images :

In the Preset panel on the left side of the Develop Module, click on the + sign to the right of the word Preset:


Type a descriptive name in the Preset Name box, click “Check None” to clear all the checkmarks, then click in the box next to Post-Crop under Vignette, so that this is the only setting from the image you have been working on that the preset remembers:


Select a new image, then in the Preset Panel under User Presets, click on your vignette preset


and watch Lightroom do its magic.

Sign Up Today!
  • Free Video Tutorial Series: Learn Lightroom CC 2015 and Lightroom 6’s New Features!
  • Laura’s Lightroom Newsletter Updates
  • Access to Laura’s Free Live Webinar Broadcasts
  • New Lightroom Video Tutorials and Articles
  • PDF of Laura’s Favorite Lightroom Shortcuts

Your trusted source for all things Lightroom!
I will not share your email. Unsubscribe anytime.