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Excessor Plug-In — Apply Preset Folders to Single Images

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.

Lightroom 4 Now Part of Creative Cloud!


Good news for anybody with an Creative Cloud subscription. Adobe has just added Lightroom 4 to the Creative Cloud so it is now available for you to download and use. If you are an active subscriber you should have already recieved an email notification. 

I'll be most curious to see how well the Creative Cloud service sells for Adobe. How many will adopt the rental modal over the ownership model. From the math I have done, it looks like a good value if you normally upgrade every year. But if you upgrade every other year or in a longer span, it makes more economic sense to buy than to rent.

Are you using Adobe's Creative Cloud service? I'd love to hear what your impressions are so far.

Backup Cleaner Plug-In

One of my biggest complaints about Lightroom's catalog backup feature is that they offer you no functionality to prune your old backups after a certain date or number of existing backup sets. Lightroom will happily keep backing up your catalog until your hard drive is full.

I've long maintained that it shouldn't be that hard for Adobe to add some sort of feature that would only keep "x" number of backups or would delete backups of a certain age. I'm not sure why they haven't added the feature in LR3 or LR4.

Fortunately, a third party solution has emerged to fill in this gap. 

The folks at Lightroom Plugins have developed one called Backup Cleaner that does just what the name suggests.

Here's the official description from their website:

This plugin doesn't interfere with the standard Lightroom backup process at all. Instead, it runs when Lightroom starts and identifies backups which are too old, and then deletes them. You specify how old is too old, and you can also say the smallest number of backups you want to keep.

Once it's set up, you just forget about it - just like the backups.

This is, of course, exactly what I've been asking for from Adobe. And for £5.00 ($7.75 U.S.), this seems like a pretty good deal.

Free Color Sampler Presets from XeL

X Equals (X=) makes some really great Develop Presets for Lightroom and right now they are giving away a free sampler from their latest release XeL: Color. Head over to XeL for more details and a download link.

xel color sampler 540x195

Import From More Than One Card at a Time!

So, I've just learned a great new trick for downloading images from multiple cards simultaneously. This is great when you come back after a day of shooting and have a bunch of cards to dump. In the past, I would do them one by one, but now that I know this trick, I can import as many cards as I have card reader slots.

The crux of the trick is that if you have multiple cards plugged into multiple card readers (or slots in a single reader) you need to choose each card from the Files pane and not the Devices pane. This way, you can select more than one folder source. (You can't select more than one device, that's why we have to do this via the Files area.)

Once you've Cmd-Clicked or Ctrl-Clicked to select folders from each card, you can hit the import button and go have a glass of wine while all of your pictures download from each of the cards.

You can see the entire procedure in the video below.

How To Download Multiple Memory Cards Simultaneously Into Adobe Lightroom from Dan Carr on Vimeo.

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