Saved Adjustments for Custom Mask


Today’s Question: I frequently apply a similar set of adjustments to the background of a photo such as reducing the sharpness and color saturation. Is there a way to create a preset in Lightroom Classic that I can apply only to the currently masked area in a photo?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can apply a set of saved adjustments to the current mask by using a preset with the masking feature rather than by creating a Develop preset.

More Detail: When you create a new Develop preset in Lightroom Classic any targeted adjustments you applied to the image used as the basis of the preset can be included. That means the actual mask will be saved as a part of the preset.

If you used one of the fully automatic mask options, such as Sky or Background, then this will work perfectly fine, because when you apply that preset to another image the effect will be adapted to the image. So, if you created a preset that includes a targeted adjustment based on an automatic Sky mask, when you apply that to another image the sky will be detected in that image, rather than using the shape of the mask from the image the preset was based on.

However, in some cases you may want to use a set of adjustments to apply changes to an image based on a custom mask you’ve created yourself. For that you’ll want to use a preset with the masking feature rather than for the overall Develop module.

To get started, you can apply a targeted adjustment to an image using the masking feature, and configuring the adjustments based on how you want to save them for the preset. When you’re finished, go to the top of the adjustments for the masking feature on the right panel and click the Preset popup. Choose “Save Current Settings as New Preset” from that popup and enter a meaningful name in the Preset Name field in the New Preset dialog that appears.

Anytime you’re working on an image and you want to apply the saved preset to a specific area, create a mask for the area, and then choose the preset you created from the Preset popup. The adjustment settings from your saved preset will be applied to the area defined by the current mask.