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How to Add LUT Profiles to Lightroom Classic for Instant Picture Effects

LUTs and Photography

What a look or filter is to still photos, Look Up Tables (LUTs) are to video footage: a one-click tool that can make adjustments quickly and repeatedly. They let you apply a consistent look across a project in a measured, efficient way.

So LUTs are the quickest way to apply custom colour treatments to video footage. Using a LUT profile is a great foundation to begin your colour grade, and can serve as a foundation to define an aesthetic that's unique to you and your work. Some cameras even let you load up LUTs, so you can preview the colours on-screen as your record.

Unfortunately we can't just use a LUT Profile in Lightroom Classic (if only it were that easy...), but fear not! In this tutorial I'm going to walk you through a few simple steps so that you can apply the exact same LUT profile treatment to a still photo, and then save it as a Preset in Lightroom Classic.

Load the LUT to Adobe Camera Raw

1. Open a RAW Photo in Adobe Photoshop or Camera Raw

We'll need to access the Camera Raw workspace in Photoshop to begin this process. Opening a RAW photo in Photoshop will automatically prompt open Camera Raw. You can also open the photo in Camera Raw directly, if you prefer.

2. Create A New Camera Raw Preset

To get to the Camera Raw Presets menu, click on the button with the overlapping white and black circles.

Now, we need to create a new Preset. Click on the button showing a piece of paper with a folded corner.

Let's uncheck all of the auto-selected boxes, and then check the Colour Lookup Table - so only the Colour Lookup Table is included. When you click on Colour Lookup Table, Photoshop will automatically prompt you to locate a LUT. Let's choose the LUT you wish to convert to a Preset now. 

I've chosen a favourite LUT of mine called Minimalist Clean from a pack available on Envato Elements created by user allanthedp.

Be sure to name your new Profile in accordance to the LUT. Leave the Colour Lookup Table menu options in their default settings, and click OK.

For more on working with LUTs in Camera Raw, including details on how to install, configure, and use them, see our tutorial, How to Use Look-Up Tables (LUTs) for Instant Photo Effects in Adobe Camera Raw.

Bring the Profile to Lightroom

3. Open Your RAW Photo in Lightroom Classic

Open up Lightroom Classic and click over to the Develop module.

4. Select the Profile Browser and Apply Your New Camera Raw Profile

Now we'll need to select the Profile Browser. You'll find this at the top of the Basic menu, and looks like four little rectangles.

In the Profile Browser, under User Profiles, find the Profile that you just created with your LUT in Camera Raw.

Select your Profile, and Lightroom will apply the colour treatment to your photo.

5. Save as a New Preset

The last step is to save a Preset in Lightroom Classic. Click the + on the Presets menu and select Create Preset.

Since all of the adjustments we've made are built in to the Profile we've created, we need only to select the Treatment & Profile box in the creation of our Preset. Name the Preset in relation to the original LUT. I named mine Minimalist Clean 1. Click Create, and voila! Your LUT is now a Lightroom Preset!

With the creation of this Preset, you'll now be able to match your colour treatments seamlessly across video and photo work. Simply click on your new Preset to apply to it any and all of your photos in Lightroom Classic, and rejoice in the continuity in your developing aesthetic! 

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