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The Eyes Have It.. LR4 Brush presets

One of the things I have noticed since using the Lightroom 4 is that my adjustment brushes that I created for LR3 just don’t give the same results as they used to. The reason for this is that the adjustment sliders have changed since Lightroom 3. The clarity brush is a perfect example for this, as the clarity slider is now twice as strong as it was in Lightroom 3.

I have created a new set of adjustment brush presets especially for the new Lightroom 4 and as it was my 40th birthday this weekend, I would like to make them freely available to you.


Before and After

There are four brushes in the download at the end of this post. Three of the brushes are for retouching the eyes and eyebrows and the final brush, I use for skin softening without losing detail and texture.

close up on eye

close up on eye

As you can see in the before and after image above, the effect of the brushes is quite subtle as I wish to enhance rather than overkill the image. There is nothing quite so distracting than eye whites that have the Tipp-ex look, with the whites popping off the page.

The first brush is the SB Eyes preset and is used to add a touch of colour, brightness and clarity to the iris. Paint on the colour part of the eye using the SB Eyes brush, using the erase brush to remove the adjustment from other areas of the eye.

Painting the iris

Painting the iris

With all of these brushes they are are good starting point for editing the eyes.. individual images may need more or less adjustment depending on the lighting conditions of your shot.

Next I use the SB Clarity brush to add depth and clarity to eyelashes and eyebrows..

SB Clarity Brush

SB Clarity Brush

The Clarity brush is also great for adding a little oomph to hair, so have a play and see where else you can use it.

The third brush is for brightening the whites of the eyes. I make very delicate changes to exposure and remove any colour cast showing in the whites. Again, with this brush I apply the preset to the whites and then carefully remove the excess using the erase brush.

Whitening the eyes

Whitening the eyes

The last brush in this set is for skin softening. Too much skin softening can lead to a plastic skin tone that looks very unrealistic. We want to soften the skin while maintaining the underlying textures.

Skin Softening

Skin Softening

The result of these brushes can be seen below

Brushes applied

Brushes applied


To install these brush presets, download and then unzip the link below

LR4 Skin & Eye Brushes

and save the 4 presets into the Lightroom Settings \ Local Adjustment Presets folder as shown below..

Presets Folder

Presets Folder

If you struggle to find the folder to put the presets in, search for the folder named ‘Local Adjustment Presets’ and that should be the one


I hope that you find these brushes helpful and I’d love to hear your feedback below

About Scot Baston (31 Articles)
Scot Baston is a Commercial & Wedding Photographer that lives on the south coast of Devon, that inspires much of his work. Whether it the technical or emotive sides, Photography is a passion that continues to challenge and inspire.

20 Comments on The Eyes Have It.. LR4 Brush presets

  1. Carrie // 21/03/2012 at 11:55 am //

    Thank you so much for the brushes and the tips!

  2. Sunny // 21/03/2012 at 1:35 pm //

    Thanks for the new brushes. I’ll replace my old with your new. Thanks again.

  3. Gracias! Lo enlazo en twetter

  4. Great stuff Scot, once I un Beta my LR4 I’ll give them a try. Thanks for taking the time to create these brush presets & for sharing.


  5. My pleasure Jonathan.. let me know how you get on with them once you give them a whirl

  6. StewS2 // 22/03/2012 at 12:01 pm //

    Wow, that took way too long to find the right folder in Windows! I hope it helps someone else out to know that mine was under:

    C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Local Adjustment Presets

    Thanks for these nice presets.

  7. Scott // 06/04/2012 at 2:08 pm //

    Hi Scot, I have downloaded the brushes to the right folder but can’t get them into lightroom so that they show up in the brushes panel. How do you get them in there?

  8. Windows 7 – Like Scott, I cannot get the brushes installed into LR4.1RC

  9. Well, they’re installed – not sure how.

  10. Thanks for these! I have the files downloaded but can’t seem to find that Lightroom Presets folder. Using a mac os x lion. Any tips?

  11. Joe McDonald - San Diego, CA // 24/07/2012 at 7:44 pm //

    Thank you Scot. I will download now and try them out. Your examples look great. Keep up the good work.

  12. My pleasure Joe, Please feel free to share any examples you create


  13. cassandra // 03/12/2012 at 7:25 pm //

    Hey! i just got introduced to lightroom and ive watched Youtube videos, ive noticed they used more Presets, and more Brush presets, but i have no idea where to find them or get them.

    ive try this and i have no files :S i got the brushes folder but i dont know how to put into Lightroom in windows! HELP!

  14. Thanks for the brushes!!! Love that someone finally made one that doesn’t make skin look plastic and eyes overdone. Hate that look. I like to enhance but don’t want my photos to look like a sad Barbie.

    Thanks again!!

  15. David Scott // 28/02/2013 at 10:59 pm //

    I’m a Mac Mountain Lion person, as well. Can’t locate a “Local Adjustment Presets” folder, either. Anyone know the appropriate Mac place to install these?

  16. David Scott // 28/02/2013 at 11:05 pm //

    Answering my own question, I found this here http://www.lightroompresets.com/pages/how-to-install-brushes

    1. Go into Lightroom and click on Edit at the top (next to File).

    2. Go down to Preferences and click on it.

    3. There will be a new screen that pulls up. There will be six tabs at the top, click on Presets (second tab).

    4. Click on the box titled, Show Lightroom Presets Folder.

    5. Double click on Lightroom.

    6. Next double click on Local Adjustment Presets Folder.

    7. Copy the contents of the Pretty Presets Folder, found in your download, into the “Local Adjustment Presets” folder.

    8. You are done! If Lightroom was open when you copied the Pretty Presets, you will have to close it and restart it.

  17. Elizabeth // 19/04/2013 at 2:51 pm //

    Thank you so much for the excellent brush effects!! They are great – very subtle and have a beautiful effect. Thanks again!!

  18. Mark Nolte // 08/08/2013 at 4:23 am //

    Enjoying the brushes saving me a lot of time

  19. Peter Murphy // 05/11/2013 at 1:48 pm //

    Hi Scot will these brushes work in lightroom 5.2 I think they are fabulous

  20. Rashid // 13/08/2014 at 1:13 pm //

    They worked fine with Lightroom 5.6. Thanks Scot these are awesome!

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