Speed Up Your Lightroom Classic Workflow with the Excessor Plugin

Speed Up Your Lightroom Classic Workflow With the Excessor Plugin


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One of the downsides of using Develop Presets in Lightroom Classic is that it takes time to go through your presets and see which ones work best with your image.

That’s where the Excessor Lightroom Classic plugin, created by CaptureMonkey, comes in. The plugin automatically creates a sequence of Virtual Copies and applies a Develop Preset to each one. It speeds up the Lightroom Classic workflow, saving you a ton of time and helping you find the best presets for your photo much more quickly.

How to install the Excessor Lightroom Classic plugin

Follow these instructions to install the plug-in.

1. Go to the CaptureMonkey website and download the Excessor plugin file. Double click the file to unzip it.

2. In Lightroom, go to File > Plugin Manager. Click the Add button, navigate to the folder where you saved the plugin file, select the Excessor.lrplugin file and click the Add Plugin button.

Lightroom plug-in manager

The plugin is distributed using a shareware model – you can download and use it, and if you find it useful, you are encouraged to pay a one time registration fee of $10.

How to use the Excessor Lightroom Classic plugin

Once installed, this is how the plugin works.

1. In the Library module, create a new Collection to contain the Virtual Copies. Add the photo you want to apply the Develop Presets to. It must be an original photo file, not a Virtual Copy.

Lightroom Grid View showing a Collection

2. Go to File > Plugin Extras > Excessor.

3. Select the folder containing the Develop Presets you want to apply to the photo.

4. Select Preset name under Set Virtual Copy Name as. Lightroom will add the name of the preset to the file name so you can see which preset has been applied to the Virtual Copy.

Excessor Lightroom plug-in settings

5. Let Excessor do its work, and within a few seconds it will have created a new Virtual Copy for every preset in the selected folder. In this case it created 30 Virtual Copies (one for each of the Cinematic presets).

Lightroom Grid View showing Virtual Copies with Develop Presets applied by Excessor plug-in

6. The advantage of using Excessor is that it lets you make side by side comparisons of the presets. Press ‘F’ on your keyboard to go to full screen mode. Look at the images one by one and press ‘P’ to flag the versions you like. This assumes the original image wasn’t flagged in the first place. If it was, go to Edit > Select All and press ‘U’ to unflag all the images in the Collection.

7. Go to the Filter Bar (press the ‘\’ keyboard shortcut if you don’t see it) and select Flagged from the menu on the right. Lightroom displays the Flagged images only in Grid View.

The Flagged setting in the Filter Bar in Lightroom's Grid View

8. Now you can go through the images again and pick one or more favorites. In this case my favorite is the image below, created with the Cinematic 12 preset. You can mark this by giving it a 5 star rating or a Color label.

Natural light portrait processed in Lightroom

9. Now you know which Develop Preset you prefer, you can apply it to other images from the same shoot. You can also move over to the Develop module and use the right-hand panels to tweak the settings. In this case I went to the Effects panel and removed the grain the preset had added, as this is something that I don’t like, and added Noise Reduction, which the preset had set to zero.

Here’s a comparison between the original image and the version after the preset had been applied and tweaked.

Comparison between two natural light photos processed in Lightroom using Develop Presets

Now it’s time to really speed up your workflow. Get the most out of Excessor by creating Preset folders containing your favorite Develop Presets.

You can create different folders for different subjects: e.g., a folder for portraits, another for landscapes, another for black and white, another for vintage presets, and so on.

Then you can use the Excessor plugin as a shortcut to applying your favorite presets. It’s much quicker than going through your Develop Preset folders one by one to find the perfect preset!

Further reading

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About Andrew S. Gibson

Andrew S. Gibson is a writer, publisher, traveler, workshop leader and photographer based in the UK. He started writing about photography while traveling in Bolivia, and has been published in many prestigious photography magazines including EOS magazine, where he worked as a Writer and Technical Editor for two years. He is inspired by meeting new people, seeing new places and having new experiences. Check out his photography ebooks here.

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