Tuesday, June 18

CoffeeShop Matte Color Lightroom Tutorial and free Presets!

From the results of my poll the other day, I see that about 20-25% of you use Lightroom and want to see more presets/tutorials posted here on CoffeeShop.  I am a huge fan of LR and wouldn't edit without it, so I am hoping that more LR posts will convince more of you to check out Lightroom and consider adding it to your editing toolbox.

Today I wanted to show you one way you can get the Matte color effect in LR.  I also threw in some Matte Color Presets for fun, you can download them on the bottom of the post. If you are a Photoshop/PSE user, check out my Matte Color, Matte Vintage Color, and Matte B&W actions.

Open up your image and look at the Tone Curve settings.  I clicked on the bottom right hand curve button to show this version of Tone Curve (like the Photoshop CS version).  I have full instructions how to find this Tone Curve version on this post.  As you can see, the curve is a straight line.

To get a nice color pop and slight Matte effect, I added an S-curve adjustment (as seen on this post) and then brought the far left point (shadows) straight up until my blacks started looking flat.  This really saturated the colors without blowing them out.

To get a more extreme Matte effect, simply pull up the left shadow point to where I have it in the curve image above.  If you drag it straight up it should fall into a flat curve.  Now the blacks are very low contrast and flat looking and the colors look every deep and saturated.  This type of edit works on all types of images.

Remember, if you want to remove points off the curve line, just grab them and drag them off.

I hope you enjoyed this short LR tutorial today.  This is not the only way to get a Matte effect, but this method works nicely on many images.  My next Lightroom post will be a vintage color preset/tutorial.  I want to get you as excited about LR as I am!  And please check out Pretty Presets, they are simply amazing and the only set of presets I own other than my  own.

Download the CoffeeShop LR Matte Color Preset Set (works in LR4 and up)!  You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.


  1. I recently bought lightroom 4 and have used it a bit. I have to say, I still prefer elements over lightroom because I love, love, love all my actions. I have tried a few free lightroom presets and bought a couple of the pretty preset sets, but it seems like 95% of the time the presets are too strong for the photo and they are not adjustable like actions in photoshop. (Am I right about this or is there something I am missing?) I bought a brush set too, but I haven't had time to learn how to use those yet.

  2. I love this result! Now I need it in photoshop. Off to see if I can duplicate and make it into an action. If not, maybe you can?

    Thanks for everything!

  3. I love your tutorial here. Can you teach how to photograph the super moon if you have time, it's coming on the 23rd!

  4. Thank you! I have been a LR user for 5 years and never knew how to create this effect. Thank you so much!

  5. Thank you so much! I used to use offset in photoshop one image at a time to help create this effect. HUGE time saver!


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