Snow Lightroom 2 Presets: Extracting the Details

Snow Details in Focus.

Like many of you, I’ve been rather busy this month wrapping things up in preparation for Christmas and the end of the year.

Something I haven’t done in a few years is to produce a photo calendar for family and friends. As usual, I forget how much work is involved in selecting just the right shots (36 this year) and the careful editing and cropping of the photos to get them just right. I was pressed to find a quality set of shots for the month of December, so I did what every other photographer would do – I went out and shot some new ones.

What came out of that shoot were two new Lightroom presets that will really bring out the fine details in your snow close ups. Last time, I presented some winterscape presets, so – this time it’s about the details. I’ve included a number of sample shots so you’ll have a good idea of what the presets will do for you.


Samples Showing the Presets

The two new snow presets are designed for close ups of snow. If you try them out on a snow scene they will definitely render the scene too contrasty. For a good winterscape preset, try out the Snowscape Snap preset from last week.

Small Original Photo Same photo with Snow Details Preset
Original Photo (RAW) with Snow Details preset
(this is a new Focus Beauty preset)
Small Original Photo Same photo with Snow Details Preset
Original Photo (RAW) with Snow Details preset
(this is a new Focus Beauty preset)

About the Presets

There’s actually a lot more to these presets that you might imagine. No, I didn’t just crank down the contrast and make the photo darker. The recovery slider was bumped up, fill and black levels were adjusted and clarity, vibrance and saturation were also fine tuned. Additionally, the tone curve was optimized for the snow and some specialized sharpening applied. To round things out, I added a bit of noise reduction.

Small Original Photo Small Photo with Snowscape Snap Preset Photo showing sharply detailed snow (Snow Details preset).
Original Photo (RAW) with Snowscape Snap preset
(this is from my last article)
with Snow Details preset
(this is a new Focus Beauty preset)

Since there will probably be situations where a moderate, and other times an extreme amount of detail is required, I’ve opted to produce two presets – Snow Detail and Snow Detail XL+. I haven’t embedded exposure adjustments in the preset because everyone has their own preference for that. Therefore, adjust your exposure levels before applying the snow preset. Once the chosen preset is applied, you’ll probably have to adjust your exposure (+0.40) and perhaps add some warming (Temp +350) to get the best effect for YOUR photo.

Installing the Presets

  • Installing Presets in Lightroom 2 – this video is for those people that haven’t done this before. It also gives you some tips for preset folder management and backing up your presets.

Download Here


Download the Snow Detail Presets

Collection:  Snow Detail Presets
Version:  1.0
Updated:  18. December 2008
Size:  1.39 KB
Downloaded:  22,650 times.

What’s up Next

Footprints on snow leading into a dramatic sky.

If time permits, I’ve got two more presets I’d like to share with you before the year is out. They are a set of advanced presets, and not for the inexperienced.

I’m in the process of producing a small video to show you how to get the most out of them. I’ll be taking you right from the original photo, applying the preset and then show you how to fine tune it to match your photo. Additionally, all those who’ve already downloaded the Focus Beauty collection will see first hand what can actually be accomplished with this system. Here’s a sneak preview (right) of a photo with another new Focus Beauty preset.

I’m also upgrading to Windows Vista on my main system so I can see how Lightroom 2.2 behaves in a 64-bit environment. There’s still a lot to do before the end of the year, but in the mean time, enjoy the new presets and let me know if they work out for you.

Until next time,
Cheers, Markus

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