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Color profile in Adobe Lightroom

Adrian Rus , Apr 16, 2008; 10:26 a.m.


I have a strange color cast in Adobe Lightroom. The same picture (Nikon D80 NEF) opened in Adobe PhotoShop CS looks identical to what I saw when I took the picture (colorwise) while in Lightroom it's desaturated and has a green color cast in the shadow area. I calibrated my screen with Spider2 Pro and I installed the color profiles from my local Costco. The only technical difference is that I installed Lightroom after Photoshop but I did recalibrated the screen after that. In PhotoShop my working profile is the monitor profile, comming from Spider2 calibration. When I procees my picture in LR to bring it back to "reality", what I save as jpeg (and what I see in Windows picture and fax viewer) is what I saw in Lightroom space - same green color cast in the shadows. If I open the picture in LR and edit it in PhotoShop (with LR adjustments) is comming with a very strong green/yellow color cast overall if I discard the embedded profile (don't color manage - in PhotoShop-N.B.). If I choose "convert document to the color space" or "use the embedded profile" it looks like in the saved jpeg from LR (with my adjustments and the green color cast in the shadows). Anyways, still a great difference compared with what I get in PhotoShop. When I open my NEFs with Nikon Picture Project and save it as a jpeg (any size or compression) looks identical to the NEF and to what I get in PhotoShop (and different from what I get in LightRoom). I'm pretty much sure it's related to the color profiling but there is something wrong. What do you think?

Regards, Adrian.

Attachment: DSC_2256.jpg


Mark Sirota , Apr 16, 2008; 10:43 a.m.

Do the colors outside the image area look correct (neutral) in Lightroom? For example, if you convert to grayscale, does the histogram look gray, or does it have a color cast?

If so, you've got a corrupt monitor profile. Lightroom apparently exposes these more readily than Photoshop for some reason.

If not, I have no other guess at the moment.

Ellis Vener , Apr 16, 2008; 11:37 a.m.

Lightroom's only color space is a 16 bit per channel variant of Pro Photo. When you export you can choose another -- Prof Photo, Adobe RGB(1998), or sRGB.

To be honest I never liked or trusuted the Spyder 2 calibration and profiling. The i1 Display 2, Spyder 3, or the i1 Pro and software packages are better.

jacopo brembati , Apr 16, 2008; 03:09 p.m.

"In PhotoShop my working profile is the monitor profile".

Do you convert the image color space to monitor color space? Not good.


Adrian Rus , Apr 16, 2008; 04:50 p.m.

Thank you so much for taking the time. Mark, it doesn't look to have a color cast in LR Grayscale. Another detail I noticed is, when I import my files (.NEF), for the first few seonds after being in LR they look ok. And then they change to the desaturate / grayish cast one by one. You actually can see the transformation. If I delete them (from LR) and reimport them again, they do the same thing(meaning they don't save the "LR adjustments").

Ellis, I understand that. But my problem is that I don't see them well in LR (which can influence my adjustmens)

Jacopo. I agree with you. What actually happends is, the default profile is the monitor one (which is ok with me, if I want to make the pictures for web). And when I want to print the picture I change manually the color profile (my default Custom Profile is the printer one). So, I don't convert the color space; I only see it differently. Color space is the camera's default one (mode Ia (sRGB)) and I never change it. Thank you again.

Mark Sirota , Apr 16, 2008; 09:47 p.m.

Okay, I suspect what you're describing as a "color cast" isn't what Ellis, jacobo, and I were thinking of.

That change you're seeing is this -- initially, LR displays the JPEG that is embedded in the raw file. That JPEG is generated by the camera, using the camera's built-in raw converter and tuned by the camera's settings.

Then, LR builds its own JPEG preview using its own raw converter, and tuned by its own defaults (or whatever preset you chose on import).

There should be no difference in overall color (that is, no color cast) between the two, because they are using the same white balance. But there may be significant differences in tone, saturation, sharpness, and the like.

The expectation is that you'll take your images into Lightroom's Develop module and make them look the way you want them to look. You can then build a preset from that, and use that as a starting point for future files by applying that preset on import, or setting them as Lightroom's new defaults.

Sebastian Free , Apr 21, 2008; 05:34 a.m.

Ok, Welcome to our club. I found the same problem some time ago. I would add something, not only the colours are different, sometimes is like if you looked to the pic through a glass. An effect like the produced by the slide recovery in LR. If anyone finds a solution to that I would be very grateful but i think there's no solution so far. On the other hand depoending on the conditions of light the pics look quite well.

Ciaran O'Brien , May 26, 2009; 07:23 p.m.

This query is exactly why I joined up. Mark, your answer is spot on and makes a lot of sense. Is there a straightforward way to set up the preset to be applied in lightroom - ie what appears for me to be simply a bump in saturation.

Can I ask a related question : with Nikon cameras, one can set RAW image sharpness between 1-9. Does that camera processing stay with the RAW file also, or only manifest in the embedded JPEG.

Its quite noticeable as images with absolutely no adjustment seem quite soft. I was surprised given the camera (D3) and Lens (85mm 1.8)

Thanks for the clarification.

Roger Smith , May 26, 2009; 09:46 p.m.

I don't think sharpening is applied in-camera to raw files.

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