Locking an Adjustment


Today’s Question: I always want Lens Correction applied to my photos, but sometimes when I edit a photo and don’t like the result, I zero it out using the “Zeroed” preset in Lightroom. This also removes the Lens Correction details. Is there a way to apply Lens Correction at Import and then “lock” it so that it stays on all the photos?

Tim’s Quick Answer: There isn’t a way to “lock” specific adjustments in Lightroom, but you can very easily create a new preset to replace the “Zeroed” preset. By excluding the Lens Corrections set of adjustments from the new preset, you’ll be able to reset everything except Lens Corrections by applying that preset to a photo.

More Detail: To create the new preset, you can use the existing “Zeroed” preset as a starting point. Start by selecting a “test” photo in Lightroom, meaning a photo that you don’t mind resetting back to the basic adjustments for purposes of creating the new preset. Then choose the “Zeroed” preset from the Presets section of the left panel in the Develop module to apply that preset to the photo.

At this point the Develop settings for the photo reflect the “Zeroed” state, including having the Lens Corrections adjustment disabled. However, you can create a new preset that resets the image with the exception of the Lens Corrections (or other) adjustments.

To create the new preset, click the “plus” icon to the right of the Presets heading on the left panel in the Develop module. In the New Develop Preset dialog you can enter a meaningful name for this new preset, such as “Reset Except Lens Corrections”. You can also choose which folder you want to store this preset in (or create a new folder) using the Folder popup.

Next, click the Check All button at the bottom-left of the New Develop Preset dialog to make sure that all adjustments are enabled for the new preset you’re creating. Then turn off the Lens Corrections checkbox, as well as the checkbox for any other adjustments you don’t want to reset when this new preset is employed.

With the settings established for your new preset, click the Create button at the bottom-right of the New Develop Preset dialog to actually create the preset.

In the future, when you want to reset all of the adjustments to their neutral values based on the “Zeroed” preset, but you want to exclude the Lens Corrections adjustment from that reset, simply choose the new preset you created rather than the “Zeroed” preset.

The key concept to understand here is that presets in the Lightroom Develop module can exclude certain adjustments. When you apply such a preset, only the settings included in the saved preset will actually affect the current image when you apply that preset. Any adjustments that were excluded from the preset will be left as they are.

Thus, with this approach, you can apply a preset that includes Lens Corrections during the Import process in Lightroom, and then use the “Reset Except Lens Corrections” preset described above to reset all adjustments except for the Lens Corrections adjustment.