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///Why do I see my images change after they are imported into Lightroom?

Why do I see my images change after they are imported into Lightroom?

This is one of the most common questions asked by Lightroom users.  You import your images, see the thumbnails appear, but if you wait a few seconds you notice that the thumbnails change.  The changes can be to tone, contrast, or color.  What gives?

When we photograph with a digital camera, even if we shoot raw files, our camera creates a small JPEG file — this is what we see on the camera LCD screen.  Unlike a raw file, this file is interpreted — it has our camera manufacturer’s interpretation of color applied, as well as any JPEG settings set on your camera — color space, contrast, saturation, noise reduction, sharpening, etc.  None of these settings are applied to your raw files, but they are to the preview JPEGs.

Because we prefer instant gratification, when Lightroom is importing images it first shows us these JPEG thumbnails that our cameras generated.  Then it goes on to render its own JPEG thumbnails, based on the raw file, with Adobe’s interpretation of color, and minus all the settings mentioned above.

To most people I advise:  just don’t look until it is done!  Then you won’t worry about the difference.  I don’t — I accept the Adobe rendering of the raw file as I see it and work from there to make the image look great.

To those that really like the look of their camera’s JPEGs and want to replicate the look with their raw files, or work their raw files in a camera manufacturer proprietary raw converter because of this issue, Adobe has provided camera-specific profiles that attempt to match what your various camera settings produce.  In the Develop module, under the Camera Calibration panel in the bottom right, click on the drop-down next to Profile, and choose one of the Camera profiles.  If there is one you want to apply often, consider creating a preset.  Or, if there is one you always want applied to your  images, set it as the new default — change the profile (and nothing else!), then go to Develop> Set Default Settings.  (Note:  In the camera calibration tab you will only see camera profiles for raw files.  JPEGs will only list one “embedded” profile — JPEGss have already been “cooked”, so it is too late to change your mind on color rendering.)

2017-07-09T14:35:12+00:00January 4th, 2010|103 Comments


  1. suzywalker January 5, 2010 at 6:50 am - Reply

    Interesting… What about the diff between the JPGs exported from Lightroom & the JPGs exported by Bridge/PS3? I have this weird issue that is sort of stopping me want to transfer over to LR. In theory they should be the same, Raw+XMP in ACR in PS or LR right? But when LR renders & exports the JPG it seems dull and lacklustre compared with the same Raw+XMP opened in PS3. Is this a colour space issue?

    • Laura Shoe January 5, 2010 at 5:38 pm - Reply

      Suzy, this is indeed a color space mismatch issue. If you take a photo from LR to PS, the color space is determined by your LR External Editing preferences under Edit>Preferences (Lightroom>Pref on a Mac). and then what your color settings are set to in Photoshop — it will either use the embedded profile you specified in LR, or convert to the working color space set in Edit>Color Settings (LR>Color Settings), depending on what you have checked in that dialog for profile mismatches.

      Bottom line, set your Photoshop working color space to be the same as the one you specify in LR preferences, so you won’t have mismatches (most people use Adobe RGB or ProPhoto). Then if you are trying to export jpegs in sRGB for web, email or most printing services: you should get the same result using the Export function in LR specifying sRGB under color space, or doing Edit>Convert to Profile>SRGB…. in Photoshop (or saying Convert to sRGB in the Bridge Image Processor.)

  2. murat January 5, 2010 at 10:00 am - Reply

    this is helpful advice, thank you so much!
    i tried that for my d700; however in my lr2.6 copy, the drop-down menu only reads ’embedded’, and no other options are in there. what am i missing, you think?

    • Laura Shoe January 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm - Reply

      Hi murat, good question — you will only see profile options for raw files — jpegs have already been “cooked”, so it is too late — the embedded profile is your only option.

  3. suzywalker January 6, 2010 at 2:32 am - Reply

    Thanks v much Laura 🙂 I’ve fixed the prefs now so hopefully I wont have any more of these issues.

  4. murat January 6, 2010 at 5:20 am - Reply

    ah, that’s what i missed! it does work on the raw files indeed.thank you very much 🙂

  5. Laura Shoe January 7, 2010 at 12:43 am - Reply

    Btw, beautiful underwater work, Suzie — Shrimp on a Sea Cucumber and Nudibranch particularly caught my eye!

  6. Jane July 27, 2011 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Hi Laura,

    I have been trying to follow your instructions about applying the jpeg development setting in LR3 to newly imported raw files. When I pull down the profile menu, I do not see an option for jpeg, just Adobe, standard, camera faithful, camera landscape, camera standard, camera portrait. What am I doing wrong? (Or is one of these settings equivalent to a jpeg?)

    Many thanks.


    PS I shoot with a Canon Rebel T1i, in case that is useful information.

    • Laura Shoe July 27, 2011 at 11:42 am - Reply

      Jane, these settings mimic the jpeg settings of your camera (for example, the Landscape setting on your camera probably adds contrast and pumps up the saturation).

      • Jane July 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm - Reply

        Laura, I am still a little confused. I use AV mode when I am shooting jpegs, not the modes for portraits, landscapes etc. So which of the settings I mentioned, if any, would be equivalent to a jpeg that is produced in AV mode? Or is there another way to get at what I am looking for?



        • Derek February 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm - Reply

          Jane, you are using AV mode on the dial, but on your camera (while on AV mode) click on the menu button. Here you are able to specify “picture style” which could be faithful, standard, portrait, etc. In this case we are not referring to portrait, sports, landscape on the mode dial.

  7. Lee-Anne September 29, 2011 at 2:55 am - Reply

    Hi Laura,

    I’m trying to import already edited image to Lightroom so that I can export them a different folder with my watermark. I have colour versions, b&w versions and sepia versions of the images. Lightroom is automatically changing the colour images to sepia on import but is making no change to the b&w and sepia versions. I have checked the default import settings and they are all set to ‘None’ under ‘Apply During Import’.


    • Laura Shoe September 29, 2011 at 11:45 am - Reply

      The only thing scenario that I can think of Lee-Anne, is if you have changed your defaults in the Develop Module, and that the color ones are raw files, and the b&w and sepia versions are not raw files. If this is the case, you can restore Adobe’s defaults by going to Develop>Set Default Settings>Restore Adobe Defaults.
      If this is not the case, I would suggest posting your question on

      • Jim July 27, 2016 at 3:32 pm - Reply

        For some reason my images are downloading in Lightroom in black and white and they are color images how can I stop this

        • Laura Shoe August 1, 2016 at 11:07 am - Reply

          You are most likely applying a black and white preset in the Import dialog, Jim. In the Apply During Import section, change Develop Settings back to None.

          • Michael T January 18, 2017 at 2:06 pm

            My setup created B&W images from colour too and in the current revision of Lightroom CC it was a simple setting change that reinstated colour:

            In the Library Module
            Select Quick Develop
            In Saved Preset pull down and select Default

            Magic. Colour returned for 1000s of images.

            Basically the setting was not on Import but in Library – Quick Develop

            Hope this helps all those LR users who were stuck with B&W JPEGs

  8. Adam October 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm - Reply


    I understand what Lightroom is doing to my raw files, but is there any way to change that so the imported RAW image turn out the way I shot it in my camera. I might shoot 300 images on four different in camera settings it would be a pain to go through every image and try to figure out the setting I used for that image. Why does it change it when you have in camera settings to get the image you want with out editing? Does that make since?

    • Laura Shoe October 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      Hi Adam, as you know, camera settings are only for jpegs. The information is not directly applicable to the raw files, and Lightroom can’t read from the jpegs what settings you used. What I’d suggest (with the limited information I have on why you are applying settings), is to not worry about the settings in camera, and just have 4 different Lightroom presets that apply the right Camera Profile, contrast, saturation, etc. for the look you are after. You can select all the images you want to apply one to and use Auto Sync to apply preset to all at once.

      I know there are some good reasons to shoot jpegs, but frankly my struggles over trying to make the raw files look liked the jpegs evaporated as soon as I stopped shooting the jpegs.

  9. Paul October 15, 2011 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Hi Laura

    I am not completely sure if this is in the same realm as what’s being discussed here, but because I still have no idea about what this problem I have is, I’m hoping it is related. I export my photos from LR3 and then upload them to the web. Every time, without fail, I end up with a huge loss of saturation compared to what I started with in LR3, most noticeably in the greens. Does this have anything to do with Lightroom? I’m shooting in sRGB, I’m working in sRGB and I’m exporting to sRGB. I preview the photos outside of LR3 in my Mac’s Preview application and they look just fine, but once they are uploaded to any number of sites including flickr, facebook, wordpress and they are slightly darker and desaturated.

    • Laura Shoe October 15, 2011 at 12:33 pm - Reply

      Hi Paul, it is not the same issue. First, if you are shooting in Raw, you are not shooting in sRGB, regardless of what your camera is set to. Second, Lightroom works in ProPhoto (or close to it), not sRGB. So you are seeing more saturated colors than sRGB can represent, and therefore when you export to sRGB they can change.

      Unfortunately Lightroom doesn’t have soft-proofing at this point, which would allow you to see what would happen before you do the actual export.

    • amanda July 18, 2015 at 2:38 pm - Reply

      hey did you ever figure this out? having the same issue right now and its making me crazy. makes me not wnt to shoot in raw

      • Laura Shoe July 29, 2015 at 12:28 pm - Reply

        It is the issue I mention, Amanda – Lightroom works in a color space (ProPhoto) that allows for very saturated colors. When you export to sRGB, which is the color space that is appropriate for the web and consumer printing, you are exporting to a smaller color space that does not allow representation of very saturated colors – therefore they get desaturated some. Lightroom 4 and newer has soft proofing in the Develop module, which allows you to preview this so you can be aware of it before export.

        • Crystal January 6, 2016 at 10:58 am - Reply

          Okay, so how do you fix this problem then? I’m new to LR and my photos look great through out the entire editing process. I then go to open them after converting to jpg and now they look desaturated. However, if I don’t edit in LR and I edit in PS, I don’t have this problem at all. I have now wasted a ton of time editing photos that I now have to go back in and edit an other way. Is there an easy fix to this? I checked the box for soft proofing and the only thing that changes is the background behind the photo changes from grey to white. What am I missing?

          • Laura Shoe January 6, 2016 at 12:03 pm

            When you export to the sRGB color space, which is necessary for online sharing, email, and consumer printing services, you will see this, and there isn’t really anything you can do about it. sRGB is a smaller color space than ProPhoto, that Lightroom works in, and can’t represent really richly saturated colors. The best you can do is preview this effect using soft proofing, choosing sRGB under profile, and optimize your images under this condition.

          • Jennifer Johnson January 6, 2016 at 2:00 pm

            I have the same problem. They look good in Lightroom 6 and then transfer to Photoshop CS 5 and yes they look desaturated. As I have a Canon 7D mk11 and CS5 I can’t open my images in PS anymore. I have to open them else where and then transfer them to PS which is very annoying. Not happy with Adobe at all. Not everyone has the funds to keep up with the modern technology.

          • Laura Shoe January 6, 2016 at 2:23 pm

            Jennifer, the issue with your photos changing as you go to CS5 is that you do not have your Color Settings in PS set to open files in the ProPhoto color space. You are opening them into a smaller color space that can’t represent the richly saturated colors that you see in Lightroom.

            I don’t see why you would need to open your 7D raw files directly in PS. Open them from Lightroom, and choose Render Using Lightroom when you get the ACR mismatch dialog, and they will open fine. If you did need to open them into PS directly, you could convert them to DNG using Adobe’s free DNG converter, and then they should open into CS5. I certainly wouldn’t hold it against Adobe that they are not diverting resources to updating a six year old program to support new cameras.

          • Jennifer Johnson January 6, 2016 at 8:28 pm

            Hi Laura
            I did forget to mention that I do have Lightroom 6 and Photoshop CS5 set to Prophoto. Thanks for the info about the Lightroom forum.

          • Crystal January 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm

            I’m unhappy as well. What is the point in upgrading if I can do the same exact thing with the photoshop version I already have and it doesn’t desaturate my photos. Maybe that’s why they lock you into a contract that you can’t cancel. Won’t do that again

          • Laura Shoe January 6, 2016 at 2:39 pm

            Crystal and Jennifer, unfortunately this isn’t a great place to have the back and forth needed to clear up this issue. I would recommend that you post it on, which has very knowledgeable moderators. I believe you will come to find that the conclusions you are drawing are not warranted.

          • Louis Gonzales January 6, 2016 at 8:48 pm

            Go to to your export settings and switch the Color Space to SRGB..

  10. PJ October 9, 2012 at 4:50 am - Reply

    Hi, Laura,

    I understand what you are saying. But since I often rely on the in-camera JPG preview pictures to evaluate the quality of a shot, it is quite disturbing that I can’t create the same effect after importing the photos into Lightroom. It is like you took a picture, saw the preview, thought it reflected what you wanted to capture and had to recreate the picture in Lightroom b/c the picture now looks nowhere close to what you thought you shot. Even with the built-in Adobe profiles, the colors look very off. It is so frustrating because I put so much effort into trying to compose the perfect shot only to find out that I had to rely on post-processing to recreate it, which really defeats the purpose of trying to take the perfect picture in the first place.

    • Laura Shoe October 9, 2012 at 9:50 am - Reply

      Hi PJ, thanks for your comment and perspective. Since you are not satisfied with the colors, I would suggest creating your own profile, using X-Rite’s Passport.

    • Laura Shoe October 9, 2012 at 9:56 am - Reply

      PJ, another thought — keep in mind that your camera settings for saturation, contrast, sharpening and white balance are baked in to the jpeg. If in-camera you turn off any saturation and contrast boost, and sharpening, and you shoot with daylight white balance (i.e. no adjustment), and the colors still don’t match, then creating your own camera profile should help.

      • PJ October 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm - Reply

        Thank you, Laura, for all the advice. When I used to shoot with standard build-in profiles, the pictures looked quite consistent in camera and in Lightroom. But when I need to switch to Landscape or customized Mono, they look really off. I guess like you said, the settings are baked into JPG, but can’t be transported into Lightroom. If this is how it is, I guess I will have to live with it. It just surprising to me that advanced software such as Lightroom can’t address such a common need. After all, I prefer to focus my creativity on site as opposed in front of my computer. I guess I will try Canon’s software to see if this can be addressed by the camera manufacturer.

  11. Dan November 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    I can understand this, but why does it convert b&w and sepia toned to colour? Turn an image back to b&w is one button click, while going back to sepia takes longer and would be un-necessary if lightroom didn’t adjust these things on it’s own.

    • Laura Shoe November 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      Hi Dan, your camera never converts your raw file to b&w or sepia — it only does that to the JPEG preview (and the JPEG if you capture JPEG or Raw+JPEG). I would agree that it would be great if LR could somehow read the instructions though.

      • Laura Shoe November 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm - Reply

        In the meantime, you could create a Sepia preset, so that you can get to it with one click.

  12. Andy December 11, 2012 at 8:31 am - Reply

    Well , thumbnails .. How could you explain when you editing in DPP (orig canon soft) Picture is exactly same as jpeg thumbnail and also all raw properties are without any changes (all sliders in the middle) ???????? Why default DPP preview always looks better then LR ? DPP is free and LR4 cost 100 Euro … Im not happy that 100 euro soft doenst know basic thing like PREVIEW …

    and sry for my english

    • Laura Shoe December 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      Hi Andy, that is because DPP is from your camera manufacturer — so they use the same color interpretation in the in-camera JPEG you see on the LCD as they do in their proprietary software.

  13. DisBeDaPlace February 28, 2013 at 12:42 am - Reply

    I have just tried to import files in to lightroom. It says “import in place” What I am wondering/worrying about is that there is some kind of stupid automatic setting that is changing the original raw file when it “imports in place”, and adding automatic saturation, sharpening etc, that can not be removed because it changed the file “in place”

    I dont want to point lightroom at any other folders until I know how this functions.

    Can you please verify whether raw files in their original storage location are altered automatically upon import in to lightroom?


    • Laura Shoe March 1, 2013 at 2:37 pm - Reply

      Hi Dis, Lightroom never touches your raw files, so no need to worry. You will see that by default they get 25 of sharpening and some color noise reduction, but you can change that — Lightroom works non-destructively — your changes are stored in its catalog, but never baked into your originals. Only when you export a copy of your developed photos do your changes get baked in — and that is just to the copies you create, not the originals.

  14. Danial March 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Laura, I have been having this problem since last week (I never have this before). The thumbnails on my import catalogue are not showing the picture of my RAW file. It says that it’s processing but it seems nothing happens. what’s wrong?

    • Laura Shoe March 6, 2013 at 1:28 pm - Reply

      I’m not sure on that one, Danial. Do you have a new camera?

  15. Isabeau April 2, 2013 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Hi Laura! Thanks for the tips. I already knew these RAW things but still it was very very helpful (i discovered this post through the RAW+jpeg post and i’d like to thank you tons for that, you totally saved my life!)

    Wish you the best dear,

    • Laura Shoe April 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Isabeau!

  16. Geoff Akerlund April 7, 2013 at 1:02 am - Reply

    Laura, do you know if Lightroom can apply film simulation modes to X100S raw files?

    • Laura Shoe April 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm - Reply

      Hi Geoff, there are presets available (for example, from x-equals), that simulate the look of various films. Is this what you mean?

  17. Gino Williams June 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Hi, Laura,

    This information is indeed helpful. My caveat is the colours change during import when I import RAW from my Nikon 1 J1 mirrorless camera. After import, the colours have a “dirty” cast to them. When importing RAW from my Nikon D90, Canon Rebel XT, Canon Rebel XS (have since traded), Canon Rebel T4i, and Canon 5D Mark III, the colours remain intact. And if I shoot with a custom white balance on the D90 and Canon cameras, all the better. I am using Lightroom 3. Could there be something else at play that accommodates RAW from the Nikon 1 J1 differently from the other cameras I use? I’ve been using the mirrorless camera for point-and-shoot in the meantime, while reverting back to the other cameras for better colour rendition in Lightroom and output for the time being.

    • Laura Shoe June 23, 2013 at 10:11 am - Reply

      Hi Gino, I don’t know the answer to this one. I would suggest posting on, or on the Adobe Lightroom forum.

  18. Morris Cottingham July 5, 2013 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    Well, I broke down and bought Lightroom 5, and now I ask… WHY does Lightroom place a sick green gel over a number of my PSE 11 photos? They look great in PSE 11, then import into Lightroom, and they display with a sick green gel that I cannot get rid of. Any suggestion?
    Thank you,
    Morris Cottingham

  19. David September 13, 2013 at 6:47 am - Reply

    Hi Laura,

    first off all – thanks a lot for putting so much time and effort into this. I suppose I almost understand the process and the fact that the preview in Lightroom renders the RAW images differently than what I see on my camera display. How come that when I import the original files and then open them in Preview on my Mac, they look the way I’d like them to be. The colours change in Lightroom and I am probably not skilled enough to identify what exactly the changes are to correct it (for example, I know the colours seem a bit cooler, but changing temperature doesn’t actually fix the problem) – does that mean there is not a way for me to get the shot I got in the first place? The way I think about it is that Preview shows me the real RAW image, whereas Lightroom shows me a preview of it (with a different profile) and then actually exports that different profile applied to the original image.

    • Laura Shoe September 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm - Reply

      If you capture in JPEG, David, you will get what you see, but that has its costs. Otherwise, I would use a Camera profile as explained in this article, or — as I have chosen to do — you could stop comparing and trying to get exactly what you saw on your camera LCD screen, and choose to accept Lightroom’s starting point and develop it from that point to taste.

  20. […] thanks to Lara Shoe for this […]

  21. Linda Green August 1, 2014 at 11:55 am - Reply

    Laura….YOU are AWESOME….you just answered a ? why I couldn’t change my profile from embedded to say standard!!!!….cause I’m shooting jpeg instead of raw for the moment……..thanx again!

  22. Christian August 8, 2014 at 11:43 am - Reply


    First off, sorry if this is a duplicate post. I had a connection problem so I’m not sure if it posted the first time. Doesn’t look like it did. Anyway, heres my issue. Everything is fine when I’m working with a color photo from Lightroom to Photoshop, I have both color profiles set to ProPhoto RGB. However, when I’m working with a photo with a black and white preset it changes dramatically when I export it to photoshop. Have you encountered this before?

    • Laura Shoe September 5, 2014 at 4:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Christian, sorry for the long delay. I’m not sure on this one – try changing the grayscale setting in Photoshop (under Color Settings) to gamma 2.2. Otherwise, post on for a solution.

  23. Rob August 27, 2014 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Hi Laura. Slightly different issue from what you’ve described here but related to Ligtroom and color so thought I’d see if you can help. When I ‘edit in’ from LR to PS and then view the edited images back in LR, LR displays the edited images brighter than in PS. Both are set to ProPhoto colorspace and are being viewed on same monitor. All steps are being done within the LR/PS loop. This seems to have started after my last calibration so wonderin if that might have something to do with it. However, seems strange that it would impact how one application displays an image vs another. Thoughts?

    • Laura Shoe September 5, 2014 at 4:34 pm - Reply

      I’m not sure on this one, Rob – it could be a corrupted profile, but I’d post on

      • Rob September 5, 2014 at 4:57 pm - Reply

        Laura – I called NEC support and they confirmed it was in fact a corrupt profile. All good now. Cheers

  24. Cheryl September 17, 2014 at 1:34 am - Reply

    I recently upgraded seamlessly to LR5 with the help of your great video! Thank you!
    I am used to (and like) the development settings that were automatically applied to my RAW photos in LR3 so they would approximate a jpeg (Blacks 5, Brightness 50+, Contrast 25+). These settings do not seem to be set in LR5 when I now import (all the above settings are on 0). My questions are as follows:
    a) is there any reason why I shouldn’t have these automatic settings?
    b) should I wish to activate them, where would I do this?
    Many thanks.

    • Laura Shoe September 23, 2014 at 5:07 pm - Reply

      Hi Cheryl,

      The sliders have all been recalibrated, so the old Blacks=5 is essentially now Blacks=0, etcetera.

  25. Aimee Giese | Greeblehaus February 7, 2015 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Thank you SO much for this post. I thought I was going crazy. I have always edited in Photoshop, but just started using Lightroom for organization. The camera default advice was just what I was looking for.

  26. Chad Olmillo February 13, 2015 at 12:36 am - Reply

    Fantastic! Problem Solved..No more headaches in LR..Atchup Boulevard!

  27. Tom Sproul February 16, 2015 at 1:50 am - Reply

    Hello Laura,

    Thank you very much for the useful information. I’ve been tearing my hair out over this for two days, spent about 12 hours going through various forums looking for solutions. The problem for me was I work in 3D and I edited a lower res image (4k) in lightroom as a TIFF file and then when the client was happy with the outcome I tried editing a high res image (7k) which was an .EXR file in lightroom. First I had to convert to TIFF in photoshop, but when imported to lightroom all the colours were different. This was because photoshop was automatically assigning a colour profile.

    I also had to convert from 32 bit to 16 bit. I did this by creating a new document of the same size, then copying the image across ‘Ctrl A, Ctrl C’ and then ‘Ctrl V’ in the new document. For some reason by clicking on mode and changing to 16 bit didn’t work, this was my work around. Then I tried removing the colour profile by saving out by unchecking the check box on the colour profile. However the colours were still weird when imported to lightroom.

    I did eventually find a simple solution which works for me. This was to go to ‘Edit’, ‘Assign Profile’, ‘Don’t Color Manage This Document’, and then saving out. For some reason when I then import to lightroom it looks exactly the same as on my screen in photo viewer.

    I know it works for me, I do not know if this method of removing the colour profile and importing will work for others, but I think it might.

    Again, thank you for your help on this subject.

    Best, Tom

  28. Melu February 17, 2015 at 6:05 am - Reply

    I always thought that the problem was with my camera :(… This is the best article I have read in months!

  29. Dave Meachum March 30, 2015 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Hi Laura,
    My friend is shooting with a Canon 40D and she has selected “raw” for files but when she downloads them into CS6 (Bridge) they come as jpeg files…what gives?

    • Laura Shoe April 15, 2015 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      Sorry, Dave, I haven’t used Bridge in years now.

  30. aditya June 26, 2015 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Hai laura,

    I wan to ask, whenever I view edited image from lightroom in mobile, the color and contrast is very different from what I see in the PC (especialy the contrast, its too much contrast on mobile phone). Even when I upload it in FB. Is there anything that can fix this?

    • Laura Shoe July 17, 2015 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      Hi Aditya,

      Your mobile devices are not color managed, so in a nutshell, there is nothing you can do. This is why many people don’t do “serious” editing work in Lightroom mobile. For accurate viewing and results, use your desktop monitor and calibrate it so that it shows you accurate color and contrast.

  31. Inge July 1, 2015 at 2:01 am - Reply

    Hi Laura,

    Thanks for explaining this so thoroughly. However, it seems a little silly, but I shoot in JPEG and import the photos in JPEG, and then still the appearance of the photo changes! I can not change any of the camera profile settings, because it is JPEG, but I would like my photos to go back to the way I shot them 🙁

    I have the latest version of Lightroom (2015), and shoot with a Nikon D5100.

    I hope you can help me out! Thanks in advance. 🙂


    • Inge July 1, 2015 at 2:14 am - Reply

      Ah, I have found the solution! If anyone is having this problem with JPEGS – it has to do with the latest update in Adobe. Go to Preferences > Performance > and uncheck the box with “Use Graphics Processor” – that should fix it. 🙂

  32. Fred Fedak September 2, 2015 at 11:05 am - Reply

    I Have been a LR user for several years, and have recently begun shooting RAW.
    I have read, and heard from many sources about images supposedly changing when being imported into LR. I say supposedly because I have never witnessed it. When my images appear on the screen, they do not go through any type of change, they just appear and I take it from there. I’ve read articles, and a friend also once cautioned me about shooting in RAW saying I my be very disappointed with the “flat, dull, lifeless” look of my images. Though they certainly do need to be edited before they suit me, I would not describe them as being dull, flat, and lifeless, and they have never changed in appearance when being imported into LR. I was wondering if anyone can explain why not?

    • Laura Shoe September 3, 2015 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      Congrats on switching over to shoot raw files, Fred! This is a wise decision. Your question is an excellent one. I also do not see my images change when I import them. It could be a couple things. First, your computer could be so fast that it happens before you can see it. More likely though it is that there really is no discernible change. This would be because of two factors: (1) that Adobe’s interpretation of color is the same as or close to your camera manufacturer’s, and (2) you don’t use in-camera settings that boost JPEG saturation and contrast (either direct settings of saturation and contrast, or picture styles, such as “landscape”, “portrait”, etc.) and you have set your camera to a large color space, such as ProPhoto or Adobe RGB. In this case, your camera’s JPEGs you see on the back of the camera and that very briefly is shown in Lightroom upon import, are essentially the same as the raw file you finally see. (The above settings only are applied to JPEGs.)

      I also don’t experience my raw files as flat, dull and lifeless. This is because I don’t use any in-camera settings that alter the apperance of the JPEG, and because I don’t shoot raw+JPEG, so I have no comparison to be disappointed with. I simply develop my raw file to be as colorful and lively as I like.

      • Fred Fedak October 1, 2015 at 12:08 pm - Reply

        Thank you Laura
        I wanted to mention that I have since switched to LRCC. My CC runs slower than my LR5 did and now I am able to see the thumbnails “change” as the raw files are being imported. I believe I first see the actual raw file and within a second or so the images change to reflect the default Camera Calibration settings selected in the Develop Module.?

        • Laura Shoe October 1, 2015 at 8:01 pm - Reply

          I’m sorry to hear that, Fred! You are first seeing the JPEG that your camera created, with all your camera settings applied (it’s what you see on your camera LCD screen), and then you’re seeing the raw file with the Adobe camera profile.

          • Fred Fedak December 29, 2015 at 7:11 pm

            After several months of shooting only RAW, (I will never waste time and space shooting both Jpeg & Raw again) I do still find that LRCC runs much slower that LR5 did. Matter of fact, whenever I am in an editing session, there are many times that I must close, then reopen LRCC because it gets so bogged down the brush moves in a herky jerky manner rather than smooth, and a click, for instance, of the spot removal tool, may take several seconds to take effect.

  33. Andrew October 4, 2015 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    HI Gtreat advice thanks however it is not the thumbnail that changes. When I open the image up to full screen it displays a nice vivid shot and even when I change to the desired preset the image still is not as grand as the original import. Can you please help. I had this problem once before and couldn’t remember how I fixed it. I take pictures in normal RGB. Should I change to Adobe RGB?

  34. Jennifer Johnson November 22, 2015 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Laura – My problem is when exporting from LR6 into PS CS5. I have a new camera Canon 7D MK11 which CS 5 doesn’t support. My images look great in LR then when exported they look terrible. I have ProPhoto selected in both LR and CS 5. Its driving me crazy, I hope you can help me. I photograph in Raw.

    • Laura Shoe December 10, 2015 at 7:19 pm - Reply

      Export directly from Lightroom to Photoshop, Jennifer, and choose Render Using Lightroom when you get the ACR mismatch dialog.

      • Jennifer Johnson December 10, 2015 at 8:52 pm - Reply

        Thank you. I do that and it makes no difference. I have changed both LR and PS to sRBG and still the same.

  35. Mat December 2, 2015 at 5:19 am - Reply

    Hi Laura,

    I have LR CC on mt iMac and MBP, my issue is that when importing on my MBP the import progress bar at the top left corner won’t show up but it will work on exporting.
    So I don’t know when my import is complete and presets have been applied, but on my iMac it shows up fine.
    any ideas?

    • Laura Shoe December 10, 2015 at 7:08 pm - Reply

      I don’t know, Mat – I’d suggest posting on

  36. Monroe Elkin December 30, 2015 at 4:27 am - Reply

    When shooting in movie mode, (Nikon D5100) what is the best setting to prevent constant refocusing?

  37. Kathy Torpie January 13, 2016 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    How do I know what the different camera profiles mean? Like D2X Mode 1 (or 2 or 3) ACR 4.4, or ACR3.7

    What do these mean?

    • Laura Shoe January 16, 2016 at 10:36 am - Reply

      Check your camera manual for what mode 1, 2, 3 are, Kathy. ACR 4.4 nd ACR 3.7 are old Adobe profiles. Use either Adobe Standard, or one of the D2X profiles. (In the end what matters in making the choice is which one makes your photo look best.)

  38. Tom Sieswerda January 22, 2016 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Hi Laura
    When I connect my camera or put the card into the PC the photos go directly into LR. I don’t want that. I have lots of pics on the card where I was playing around with aperture, speed, ISO or white balance. Things I have no intention of keeping. Just to mass delete. How can I download to a file on my desktop then send to LR what I want?

    • Laura Shoe January 26, 2016 at 10:27 am - Reply

      Use Windows Explorer or Mac Finder to move your image folder from the memory card to the desktop, Tom, and then in Lightroom’s import dialog select that folder in the left-hand Source panel, and choose “Add” in the top center.

      On the other hand, it’s easy to do mass deletes from within Lightroom.

  39. hanif February 16, 2016 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Hi laura i want to ask why after i edit in lightroom and then i transfer to my phone the image colour changed ?? its not like what i see from lightroom..i hope u can help me

    • Laura Shoe February 23, 2016 at 8:19 pm - Reply


      Are you using Lightroom mobile or exporting from Lightroom desktop? How has the color changed?

  40. Regan August 12, 2016 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Hi Laura,

    This has been so frustrating for me to figure out. I have been looking at many websites and forums and I’ve even talked to Adobe Support! I shoot RAW, Manual, & Flat. I upload a raw filed and it says “Loading” and is flat and then out of no where BAM its super bright and in high contrast. It happens to every photo. I have tried changing all the settings. I really don’t know what to do….

    I have no presets selected and I am under Adobes Default Settings

    /Users/reganstelling/Desktop/Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 3.04.24 PM.png


    /Users/reganstelling/Desktop/Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 3.04.27 PM.png

  41. larry selig December 20, 2016 at 10:10 am - Reply

    i am trying to down load jpeg on my cumputer on my desktop but how you do that please

    • Laura Shoe December 24, 2016 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      That is done by exporting, Larry. There’s an Export button in the bottom left in the Library module.

  42. Natasha January 11, 2017 at 9:33 am - Reply

    I have a canon 5D Mark IV, I have CC lightroom and Photoshop. I also have a canon Mark III. I always shoot in RAW. When I load the raw files from my Mark IV, Colors are so wonky.. They all look yellow/green and muted with no saturation etc.. I usually load to camera raw and then edit in PS.. I dont use LR a lot.. but is there a quick fix for this issue? My final Jpgs to give to clients are looking muted and dull with a slight yellow/green hue..:/ very disappointing..

    • Laura Shoe January 15, 2017 at 6:59 pm - Reply

      Hi Natasha, try using a camera profile, as mentioned in this article – the profiles are specific to your camera.

    • Tom Sproule January 17, 2017 at 3:09 pm - Reply

      Hi, what works for me is to open the image in photoshop, then go to ‘Edit’, ‘Assign Profile’, ‘Don’t Color Manage This Document’, and then save out. For some reason when I then import to lightroom the colours look the same and are not messed up.

      • Laura Shoe February 1, 2017 at 11:08 am - Reply

        I’m glad that works for you, Tom, but you’re losing the benefit of having a raw file (if you are capturing raw files, anyway) by saving to TIFF or PSD, as this requires.

  43. Will B January 28, 2017 at 5:51 am - Reply

    Thank you for this little write up. I have OCD and I couldn’t stand what it was doing on import because that’s not what I was seeing on my screen.

  44. Mike February 7, 2017 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Fantastic article. Thanks for the explanation. I shoot in RAW and adjust everything manually before export. This gets me exactly what I want but is fairly time consuming. Occasionally, I’ll have a batch of simple snap shots I want exported quickly. I’d like them to look as close as possible to the JPEG preview but direct export from LR isn’t anywhere close.

    I went to Camera Calibration / Profile hoping to find a Profile I could use but there’s nothing listed except ‘Adobe Standard’. I’ve googled around but can’t seem to find anywhere to download Profiles for my camera, a Panasonic GX8.

    So my questions:
    1. Why are there no Profiles showing?
    2. Is it possible and common practice to download Profiles?
    3. Is it possible to simply export the embedded JPEG preview from the RAW? My embedded jpeg’s are 1920×1440 and look good enough for these batches, anyway to simply Export those?


    • Laura Shoe February 13, 2017 at 10:59 am - Reply

      You’re welcome, Mike. Profiles are only available for raw files, not JPEGs. You can’t export the embedded JPEG previews – shoot raw + JPEG in this case.

      • Mike February 13, 2017 at 2:39 pm - Reply

        I only have raw files (not JPEG) which is why I don’t understand why there are no Profiles. In any case, since I didn’t shoot raw + JPEG, I did at least find a way to export the jpeg previews outside of Lightroom using exiftool:

        exiftool -b -jpgfromraw -ext rw2 -w JPGOUT\%d%f.jpg .

        • Laura Shoe February 20, 2017 at 12:43 pm - Reply

          Sorry I didn’t mention the EXIF tool, Mike – I didn’t think you’d need it because I thought you had JPEGs. I don’t know why there aren’t any profiles, but you can make your own – one option is to use an X-Rite Passport.

  45. liz January 21, 2018 at 9:08 am - Reply

    I show in jpg and my images are exporting way less saturated than they look in lightroom. why is that?! trying to read all the posts but it looks like a lot of people shoot in raw so IDK why mine is doing this..

    • Laura Shoe January 27, 2018 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      Make sure you are choosing the sRGB color space when you export JPEGs, Liz. Once you do this, if it still occurs it’s generally because the sRGB color space, which is suitable for web, consumer-level printing, and general sharing is smaller than Lightroom’s ProPhoto color space – it doesn’t contain some really richly saturated colors, so if your image has these, they are desaturated to fit.

      You can preview this effect before exporting using the soft proofing functionality in the Develop module. (I don’t believe I have an article on this, but it is covered in both my Lightroom CC/6 and 5: The Fundamentals & Beyond and Lightroom CC/6 and 5: Producing Great Output video series.

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