Here at “Maximum Workflow,” we often deal with the larger
companies who make software and hardware add-ons for
Lightroom. This time around, we’re looking at the work of a
solo developer, Capture Monkey by Jarno Heikkinen. From
his website, he provides a set of useful free and commercial
add-ons to Lightroom. In this article, we’ll walk through a
number of them.


Before You Begin
One thing I recommend for all Lightroom plug-ins that use
the Plug-in Manager is that you create a folder in which to
keep all of your downloaded plug-ins. This prevents you
from losing access because you cleared your downloads
folder to make space. Personally, I have a folder called
“LR Plugins” that I keep in my Documents folder. As I automatically
back up this folder, it means that I can get them
back quickly should anything happen.


The Fader
Lightroom presets are great, but sometimes the effect can
be a bit strong, and there’s no way to reduce this directly in
Lightroom. You could note the settings before applying a
preset and change each setting individual, but this can be
tedious and you may not get an exact reduction.
Roll on The Fader. This plug-in takes the preset and
allows you to fade the effect evenly across all of the settings
within the preset.


Step One: In Lightroom, open the Plug-In Manager from
the File menu.

Step Two: Click the Add button at the bottom
left. Navigate to where you downloaded
The Fader plug-in file, select it, and click
Add Plug-in.
Step Three: Make sure the plug-in is
enabled, and click Done.
Step Four: From the File>Plug-In Extras
menu, choose The Fader.

Step Five: In The Fader dialog that appears,
select the preset Folder and the Preset you
wish to fade. Use the Opacity slider to apply
the settings. At 0%, you’ll have the current
look with no settings applied; at 100%, the
preset is fully applied; while 150% pushes
the settings half again from the full preset.
Take note of any caveats on the Capture
Monkey download page, as well.


Red/Blue Swap
A key tool in the creation of false-color infrared
photographs is the Channel Mixer adjustment
layer in Photoshop. First, let’s take a
quick look at how this is done in Photoshop:
Step One: With your infrared file open in
Photoshop, apply a Channel Mixer adjustment
layer from the Create New Adjustment
Layer icon (half-black, half-white circle) at the
bottom of the Layers panel.


Step Two: In the Properties panel, select
Red from the Output Channel drop-down
menu. Set the Red slider from 100% to
0%, and then set the Blue slider from 0%
to 100%.
Step Three: Now select the Blue Channel
from the Output Channel menu. Set Blue
from 100% to 0%, and Red from 0%
to 100%. That’s it.


This gives the sky a blue color and gives a
typical false-color look. There’s no equivalent
in Lightroom, but Jarno has a way
around that. He’s created a Camera Profile
for a huge range of cameras that does this
swap automatically. Appropriately titled
RedBlueSwap, this profile will get that
false-color look quickly in Lightroom.
Step One: Download the plug-in file, quit
out of Lightroom, and copy the profiles in
the following place:
Mac: Click on the Go menu in the Finder,
hold the Option key to reveal the
Library option in the menu, and then
select Library. Now navigate to /Library/
Application Support/Adobe/CameraRaw/
PC: C:/Users/[username]/App Data/Roam-
Step Two: Restart Lightroom.


Step Three: With your photo selected, go
the Camera Calibration panel in the Develop


Step Four: From the Profile drop-down
menu, select RedBlueSwap. Done!
Now, you can edit away; just remember that
red and blue are indeed swapped! Obviously,
the effect isn’t identical, but it gives
you a better start than Lightroom can give
without the profile.

Instagram is probably the biggest mobile
platform out there right now, and that’s part
of the downside, too. There are no desktop
apps, or even a way to upload to Instagram
from your desktop browser. LR/Instagram
is there to solve that problem for you.
Step One: Using the Plug-in Manager as
per The Fader above, add the LR/Instagram
Step Two: In the Library module, go to the
Publish Services panel and click Set Up to
the right of LR/Instagram.


Step Three: Enter your login details and
click Login. The plugin will authenticate
with Instagram.
Step Four: Under Preferences, set your
Upload Limit to prevent uploading too many
photos. To keep files on Instagram, leave
the When Removing Photos, Do Not Delete
from Instagram option on. If you want to
pad out a border, choose Force Padding
to Square. From the Padding Border Color
drop-down menu, choose Black or White.
Choose the type of caption you want from
the next menu. These options will use existing
metadata, or a custom metadata panel,
which we’ll see soon. Set the remaining
settings such as Output Sharpening and
Watermarking to taste, and click Save.


Your first account is now set up and ready
to go. You can Right-Click on the plug-in in
Publish Services and choose Create Another
Publish Service via “LR/Instagram” to add
another account. Let’s get a photo up online.
Step One: In the right-side panels in the
Library module, choose Metadata. From the
panel header drop-down menu, choose LR/
Instagram at the bottom of the menu.
Step Two: In the Plug-in Manager, we went
with the Caption #Hashtag option, so enter
the caption and hashtags here. For the GPS
data, I dropped the photo on the hotel in
the Map module. You can also use template
tags to draw from existing metadata. Available
tags are listed here. Add curly brackets
{ } around them.


Step Three: Drag the photo to the LR/Instagram
account in the Publish Services panel.
Step Four: While there is a postprocess
action to force a crop, it will also crop watermarks,
so I recommend cropping in Lightroom
instead. Use a virtual copy if you don’t
want to crop the original.


Step Five: Select the Instagram Photos collection
nested below LR/Instagram in the
Publish Services panel, and click Publish.

Step Six: To see the photo on Instagram,
Right-click on the thumbnail and choose
Show in Instagram.
Comments and Likes don’t appear to be
downloaded into Lightroom. Changing a
shot will mark the photo to republish, but
you can’t replace the photo on Instagram.
Republishing will allow you to change the
caption, though.


Focus Mask
Do you ever wish that you could tell at a
glance what’s in focus on a photo without
having to zoom in to check? Well, Focus
Mask aims to help with that. This plug-in
shows a red mask over the in-focus areas
of the photo. Now it’s not an indicator of
sharpness, just the areas that are in focus.
Step One: Install the plug-in as we did with
the others.
Step Two: Select the photos to check. From
the File>Plug-In Extras, or Library>Plug-In
Extras menu, choose Focus Mask.
Step Three: A window will open showing
previews of the photos with a red mask over
them to indicate focus. You can also change
the flag on an image under its thumbnail.
Step Four: Focus Mask uses Lightroom’s
internal previews, so you must have at
least Standard size previews generated in
advance. The masks are stored in their own
folder and can be purged (Clear Focus Mask
Cache) from the Preferences settings in the
Plug-in Manager.


Leak Lite
Leak Lite is a fun Develop plug-in that
creates the effect of having light leak into
a camera. Generally, this results in overexposed
areas and whacky colors.
Step One: Install the plug-in.
Step Two: In the Develop module, go to
the File>Plug-In Extras menu, and choose
Leak Lite.
Step Three: To get an idea of the different
effects available, click Shuffle.
Step Four: Experiment with turning on and
off options from Exposure, Saturation, Clarity,
Sharpness, Color, and Curves.
The Others
That’s just a basic look at some of the available
plug-ins from Capture Monkey. There
are plenty more; for example, Gradient
Map allows you to edit the Tone Curve in
Lightroom in a different way, making for
a powerful color-grading tool. There’s also
the Preset Ripper that can read embedded
metadata from another file and turn it into
a preset to reuse.
Each plug-in is $10, but $25 will pay for a
license for all of them, which is a bargain. n



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