A quick tip: local adjustment presets

As photographers, we’ve got more than a few pieces of software to turn to when we need to make edits to an image. 

photo of island and thunder
Photo by Johannes Plenio

And there are as many opinions on what is the best option out there as there are photographers. We’re not going to wade into that debate. 

“To each, his own” is a great way to get along.

Yet if you’ll let us go out on a limb a little bit, we’re going to carry water for Adobe’s Lightroom. 


Not only is it an incredibly powerful piece of software, but it also provides us with a kind of platform from which we can all talk to each other. 

That’s because Adobe Lightroom is what most beginners start out using and this familiarity allows us to speak a common language as well as share some deeper knowledge of one of photography’s most popular software tools. 

A popular feature that is often under-utilised is Lightroom presets. 

We know what you’re thinking: Been there, already know about that.

Hear us out.

You’ve probably heard of presets, but you’re thinking about a global solution. We’re not here to talk about that – we’re talking about local presets. 

Have we got your attention now? 

Local adjustment presets are one of the most powerful Adobe Lightroom features that you are probably not using. As the name implies, you actually get what it says.

Local presets give you the option to apply one of your presets in a defined space. 

In other words, it will only apply that preset to designated parts of the image – and nowhere else.

If you’ve never used local adjustment presets before – or even local adjustments – you’re absolutely going to want to read this!

Before we get that, we need to have a quick refresher to make sure we’re all reading from the same page.

If you used the radial filter, graduated filter, and adjustment brush during your editing then you already know just how powerful they are. 

These are the same tools we will use to make local adjustments.

All you need to do is create a local adjustment. Don’t worry – it’s not that hard.

The best part of all this work upfront is that once created, your local adjustment presets are all in the same place no matter whether you’re using the radial filter, graduated filter, or brush tool.

In the Develop module, underneath the Histogram in your right panel is a bar with the following icons: 

To begin, create a radial filter (the fifth option from the left). Then create a filter on your image by clicking it, resizing the radial filter, and adjusting the settings and/or sliders. 

As soon as you’re satisfied with your output, save the radial filter as a preset.

Click on the “Custom” dropdown menu then navigate to the bottom of the list where you will want to click on “Save Current Settings as New Preset.” 

When you do this, a naming box will pop up that allows you to give your preset a descriptive name. Pick one that will allow you to tell the difference between each one at a glance.

Once that is completed you should be able to recall the settings you had previously so that they can now be applied in a local portion of the image later.

Everything from radial filter presets to graduated filter presets and more can all be saved and recalled later when you need them using this method.

There you have it! Just a taste of the kinds of things you will find in Adam Williams' Adobe Lightroom Workflow Course. 

Look, you don’t have to spend hours doing research or learning from YouTube videos. You should save yourself all of that time NOW and download the Adobe Lightroom Workflow Course

Not only will it serve as a reference that you turn to time and again, but also it will help you take your photography workflow to the next level. 

Trust us when we say this: It’s a game-changer for photographers that want the most out of Lightroom. 

So, if you’re tired of wasting hours of your life learning Lightroom’s various features and still not getting the output you want, then you’ll want to check out this special offer from Lightroom master, Adam Williams –  Adobe Lightroom Workflow Course – TODAY.