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I stumbled upon a really interesting plug-in for Lightroom this morning. It's called "Excessor" and it's made by Capture Monkey, the same folks who brought us The Fader, Preset Ripper, Focus Mask, and Leak Light.

Here's how they describe it:

Excessor is a Lightroom plugin that allows you to apply a preset folder on a single image, generating ridiculous amount of virtual copies with applied presets. You can then further edit the virtual copies as you wish.  It allows you to quickly create several variations of a photo, which is especially useful when working with advanced black and white presets.

Okay, I'm game. It sounds like fun to me...let's give it a spin!

Download v0.3.579 (the latest release as of this article) and install the Plug-In using the Lightroom Plug-In Manager. (File > Plug-In Manager then click the "Add" button and Browse to where you have saved the unzipped download.) 

Using Excessor is pretty straightforward.

  1. Select an image (or multiple images) you want to see variations of and then go to File > Plug-In Extras > Excessor to start the process. 
  2. Select the Preset folder from which to create your virtual copies. Excessor will generate a virual copy for each preset in the folder you choose. In the example here, I have chosen a folder full of Instagram styled presets.
  3. You may optionally choose to have Excessor add the preset name to the virtual copy. This is helpful in identifying which particular preset generated each image.

    instagram presets

  4. Hit the OK button and then sit back and wait while Lightroom does all the hard work. Try not to click anything while it is running. :)
  5. When Excessor finishes, you will see all of your virtual copies and Lightroom will then quickly generate new thumbnail previews for each copy.

Here's a set of virtual copies I generated using Excessor. I can quickly find one I like from the contact sheet without having to try out each one individually in develop. And by looking at the name of the virtual copy, I can tell which preset was used to generate it. 


The advantage this plug-in has over the technique of hovering on a preset and previewing it in the Navigator pane is that you can compare all the different preset looks side by side to see which you like instead of seeing them one at a time.

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