About Thomas Fitzgerald

Thomas is a professional fine art photographer and writer specialising in photography related instructional books as well as travel writing and street photography. 

Lightroom Preset Gradient Bug

Lightroom Preset Gradient Bug

When Adobe upgraded the preset system in Lightroom 7.3, they introduced a bug into the way the software handles gradient selective adjustments in presets. Previously, if you used a grad as part of a preset, it would maintain the correct position regardless of the image orientation. However, after 7.3, grads now rotate if you apply a preset containing a grad depending on whether the image is portrait or landscape.

In other words, say you create a preset with a graduated neutral density filter on the top portion of the image. If you created this on a horizontal or landscape image and saved this as a preset, then apply it to a portrait or vertical image, then the grad would be to one side, rather than at the top. Previously, this would not have been the case. This appears to be a bug, and from what I can tell, Adobe is aware of it. I had initially thought that this was limited to older presets that got updated, but it applies to now presets too.

 Apply a gradient to an image and then save this as part of a preset...

Apply a gradient to an image and then save this as part of a preset...

 Prior to Lightroom 7.3, this would be the behaviour if you applied that preset to a vertical image

Prior to Lightroom 7.3, this would be the behaviour if you applied that preset to a vertical image

 This is the behaviour after Lightroom 7.3

This is the behaviour after Lightroom 7.3

Unfortunately, many of you may have made presets containing grads, and many commercial presets also include grads. For now, there isn’t really a solution. It’s a bug that needs to be fixed, but there is a workaround, if somewhat clunky. This rotating grad problem doesn’t happen if you copy and paste. So if you have a preset that you really want to use on a vertical image, that was initially created for a landscape image, then the solution is to apply it to a landscape image first, and then either copy and paste everything onto the portrait image, or use the previous button. Of course, you could manually rotate the grad, but if the preset contains multiple grads, this could be a pain.

I made a short video to demonstrate this issue and show you the workaround. Obviously, this is far from ideal, and they need to fix this asap. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t hold my breath. The company was made aware of it shortly after 7.3 was released, and they didn’t fix it in 7.4, so that doesn’t bode well. That’s partly the reason I’m trying to raise awareness of this, although I doubt anyone from Adobe will read this.


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Video: Using Luminar as a preset in Aurora HDR

Video: Using Luminar as a preset in Aurora HDR

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