Fading Your Presets' Opacity in Lightroom

Fading Your Presets' Opacity in Lightroom

I’m sure many of you have wished at times that you could decrease your presets' opacity in Lightroom. There isn’t any real option existing, or so I thought until I stumbled upon The Fader by Capture Monkey. It's a simple plugin which allows you to increase or reduce your presets' strength.

Its installation is extremely easy. Download the plugin from the Capture Monkey website, place the .lrplugin file in the folder of your choice, open Lightroom, and finally go to File and Lightroom Plug-In Manager. Click Add, find your plugin file and press Add Plug-In. The Fader is now installed and ready to work.

To use it, you’ll have to open the picture you want to edit in the develop mode, go to File > Plug-In Extras, and select The Fader. A new window will open and it’s quite self-explanatory.

If you chose a black and white preset, don’t worry, The Fader won’t fade it to create a lightly saturated image. It will only decrease the values of the preset making it a more subtle adjustment.


The Fader is available for $10. You can use it without registering and paying for a license, but then you’ll be limited to Lightroom’s standard presets and your photos will be tagged with "LR_TheFader." Essentially, without buying a license, you’ll be in a demo mode to see if it can suit your workflow or not.

What I Liked

  • Easy to use.
  • Quite useful. In fact, I wonder why it’s not a default Lightroom feature.
  • Cheap.

What Could Be Improved

  • It would be great to be able to assign the plugin a keyboard shortcut to avoid having to go into Lightroom menus each time. It’s just not practical when having a large batch to edit

All in all, it’s a great plugin that does just what it promises to do. I just don’t understand why such a plugin has to exist in the first place, as there should be a similar feature in apps such as Lightroom or Capture One without having to use tricks. It would be so much more practical, and I’m sure many photographers and editors would rely on it for fast editing.

What do you guys think about the plugin? Is it something you would see fit in your workflow? Would you also like to see Adobe and Phase One implement it in their software?

Quentin Decaillet's picture

Quentin Décaillet is a photographer and retoucher based in Switzerland specializing in portrait and wedding photography.

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Thank you! I never liked VSco 100%. I would make two copies and make the adjustment in PS. #lifesaver

Me too..

Adobe would rather keep the dinosaur Photoshop going forever rather than introduce obvious improvements to Lightroom.

amen to that comment. Ive actually re imported my edited raw photos into ligthroom as tiffs and done some interesting things without having to bugger around with layer masks etc . Also photoshop is a pain for editing lots of photos.

you CAN assign a keyboard shortcut to the plugin, I've been using CMD+CTRL+F for a year.

Once the opacity is applied to one image then can it be synced onto others?

Yes, because the slider just fade the settings. Meaning if you contrast was pushed to +50 by the presets, if you use 50% opacity, you'll end up with a contrast at +25 ;)

The presets I use operate on the Custom Calibration Profile level of the image, using DNG Editors - not just the LR sliders. The most popular I use being VSCO. So now I wonder if the fading of opacity would even work on those presets?

Does this plugin only fade (decrease) settings? I'm looking for something that can increase exposure by say +0.3 across all images after I have already made exposure adjustments.

Yes, it only fades, it reduces (or adds) to the strength of a chosen Preset.
What you want to do you can do it in the Organize panel, select all the images you want to edit and just "up" the exposure.

After choosing the opacity amount for a photo and clicking 'OK' it seems to me I can't go back and tweak that setting (which would be nice) – I rather have to find the specific preset again and start from 100% opacity.

Or am I missing something?