If I do something repeatedly on a computer, I always try to automate it. That is what computers are for. Lightroom is great for retouching and there are ways to automate repetitive tasks. If you often apply the same settings to a photo, you can create a preset with those settings. For me, presets are not the end of the processing but it's a start and you can refine the image afterward.

It is really easy to make a preset in Adobe Lightroom. First, you open an image in the Develop module and adjust the settings you want to put in the preset. You click on the + besides Presets on the left panel. After that, you select what you want to include in the preset. In my example, I selected Clarity, Sharpness and Tone Curve. You enter a name for your preset and click Create.

You will find your preset under User Presets if you did not change the location by default. You can now apply it to one or many photos at the same time. 

Other kinds of presets

You can make brush presets too. Once again, it can save a lot of time if you often use the same settings. Start by adjusting your brush tool then click on Custom (just to the right of Effect). At the bottom of the list, you will see the option Save Current Settings as New Preset...

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You can also make presets for the Tone Curve. You won't see the save option until you actually modify the curve points.

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