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Start Your Lightroom Photo Editing with Powerful New Color and B/W Profiles

Adobe today introduced powerful new profiles to all applications in the Lightroom ecosystem – Lightroom Classic, the cloud-based Lightroom CC desktop application, Lightroom CC for iOS and Android, Lightroom CC Web, as well as to Adobe Camera Raw. These profiles provide a starting point for your images in terms of color and tonality.

Few users are aware that camera profiles have been available for application to raw photos for years, way down in the Camera Calibration panel in the bottom right of Lightroom Classic’s Develop module. In addition to the Adobe Standard default profile, there have been profiles to choose from that mimic your camera’s picture modes.

Adobe has greatly expanded the set of available profiles specifically for raw files, introduced creative profiles for all file types, and moved profile selection to the top of the Basic panel to increase awareness of it and to encourage application towards the beginning of one’s workflow.

Examples of Lightroom Profiles

Photo © Tony Staples

For a complete lesson on using the new profiles in Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC Desktop and Lightroom CC mobile, watch my video tutorial below, or read on.

Video Tutorial: Using the New Profiles in Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC Desktop and Mobile

For best quality, after hitting Play click on the sprocket wheel in the bottom right and choose 1080/HD.

More Details about Profiles

For those who prefer reading over watching a video, in this section I describe the available profiles and then in subsequent sections I discuss how to access and work with them in Lightroom Classic, Lightroom CC Desktop, and Lightroom CC mobile iOS and Android. There is nothing discussed below that isn’t in the video above.

Profiles for Raw Photos Only

Adobe Color has replaced Adobe Standard for as the default profile all raw images imported from now on. (JPEG color interpretation from the raw data is done in-camera.) Just as with Adobe Standard, the intent is to give images from all cameras a standard look and feel that is generally pleasing, but Adobe Color has been modernized with a bit more contrast and saturation, and more pop to warm colors specifically.

Adobe Portrait is optimized for pleasing skin tones of all shades. Contrast is also lower compared to Adobe Color.

Adobe Neutral reduces contrast and color boosts to give you as much editing headroom as possible. This one is not designed to make your image look great without further editing.

Adobe Landscape is more saturated than Adobe Color, particularly in the blues and greens. The tonal range is compressed so you have more headroom for expansion.

Adobe Vivid is designed to produce a vibrant image that looks great right away. It has higher contrast and saturation than Adobe Color.

Adobe Standard, the old default, remains as an option.

Adobe Monochrome will be applied by default when you convert your image to black and white, and the B&W sliders in the Color/B&W panel will be zeroed out. This new profile produces a better spread of tones than the old default conversion of applying Adobe Standard and an auto-mix B&W slider solution.  Additional B&W profiles are available, some of which replicate colored filters.

Camera Matching Profiles continue to be available, matching in-camera picture styles. Choose one of these if you liked how your image looked on the back of the camera.

Creative Profiles for Any File Type (raw, JPEG, TIFF, PSD, PNG)

These creative profiles are designed to create a certain style or look. Some of them use 3D lookup tables (LUTs) to map one color space into another, which allows them to create looks that would not be possible using the sliders available in the Develop module. One advantage of using a creative profile over a preset is that a profile does not change Develop slider values – so they don’t wipe out prior slider values, and slider editing can be performed on top of them.

Once you apply a creative profile, you’ll see an Amount slider with which you can adjust the profile intensity.

Here are the category descriptions from Adobe:

Modern: designed to create unique effects that fit in with current photography styles.

Vintage: replicate the effects of analog imagery

Artistic: more edgy, with stronger color shifts

B&W: designed to optimize tonality shifts needed for high impact black and white work.

Look for Third Party Profiles!

Adobe has made it easy for others to make profiles. Several companies are expected to launch profile offerings today.  Here are some: ProLost , Brian Matiash, ContrastlyDVLOPJared PlattKeven KubotaMatt KloskowskiNicolesy, and RNI Films.  Note that user profiles do not sync to LR CC mobile/web yet.

Accessing Profiles in Lightroom Classic

  • In the Basic panel in the Develop module, click on the dropdown next to “Profile:” to choose Adobe Color (default color), Adobe Monochrome (default black and white), or a profile from your Favorites.
  • Click on the four-square icon in the profile section to open the Profile Browser to see the full collection of profiles.
  • The Amount slider to adjust profile intensity will be available for creative profiles only (Modern, Vintage, Artistic, B/W; not Adobe Raw or Camera Matching).
Lightroom Classic Profile Selection

Profile Browser details:

  • Click on the Grid/Large/List dropdown to choose a display mode.
  • Hover over a profile to see a full-size preview in Lightroom’s main image window.
  • Click on a profile to apply it. (Note that this puts a step in History.)
  • To add a profile to the Favorites section, click on the star in its thumbnail or next to it (in list view). Click again to remove it.
  • To close the Profile Browser, click on the Close button, or Hit Enter/Return or Esc.
Lightroom Classic Profile Browser

Accessing Profiles in Lightroom CC Desktop

  • To choose Adobe Color, Adobe Monochrome or a profile in your Favorites, at the top of the Edit stack, click on the dropdown next to the current profile (under PROFILE).
  • Click on the four-square icon in the profile section to open the Profile Browser to see the full collection of profiles.
  • The Amount slider to adjust profile intensity will be available for creative profiles only (Modern, Vintage, Artistic, B/W; not Adobe Raw or Camera Matching).
How to Access Profiles in Lightroom CC

Profile Browser details:

  • Click on the three dots to change views or to filter available profiles to color or monochrome.
  • Click on the star to add a profile to your Favorites or to remove it from Favorites. Favorites can be selected with the Profile Browser closed: click on the dropdown next to “Profile: (current profile)”.
Change preview style of profiles in Lightroom CC
How to Add Lightroom Profiles to Favorites

Accessing Profiles in Lightroom CC iOS and Android

There may be small differences among iPads, iPhones, Android tablets and Android phones, but here are instructions using an iPhone:

  • Choose on Profiles in the Edit window.

Accessing Profiles in Lightroom CC iOS and Android

  • Choose from Favorites, or tap on the word “Favorites” to collapse Favorites and reveal other categories. (Color, aka Adobe Color is the default.)
  • Tap on the star of any profile to add it to or remove it from Favorites.

Use Profiles in Lightroom CC mobile for iOS and Android

  • Full list of categories below. Note that the chosen profile is shown above the image.

Using New Profiles in Lightroom CC mobile iOS and Android

  • An Amount slider is available to control profile intensity when choosing B&W, Artistic, Modern and Vintage creative profiles:

2018-04-03T07:36:19+00:00 April 3rd, 2018|18 Comments


  1. Bill Diedrich April 3, 2018 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Laura, I very much appreciate the way you explain things, your tutorials have been very useful. Somewhere I missed your 80 min. video on “cleaning things up.” I could really use that.

  2. Deborah April 3, 2018 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Hello Laura,
    Thank you for your great information. I recently (less than a month ago) purchased LR classic (big upgrade for me from LR 3). I want the new updates you have described, but when I click on Help in LR, “updates” is greyed out. Similarly, at the bottom of my imac I see the red Creative Cloud icon but it says I am up to date! Is it possible they aren’t out for customers yet? Can you tell me what else I need to do to get them? (I’ve never “updated” in the past).
    Thank you! Your messages have been very helpful. I hope I am posting in the right place, too.

    • Laura Shoe April 4, 2018 at 9:54 am - Reply

      Hi Deborah, in the Creative Cloud application, click on Update next to “Lightroom Classic CC” (NOT Lightroom CC or Lightroom CC 2015). If the update is not listed in the CC app, click on the three dots in the top right and choose Check for App Updates. If it’s still not there then try signing out and signing in again.

      • Deborah April 4, 2018 at 2:47 pm - Reply

        Hi Laura,
        The update next to “Lightroom Classic CC” says I am already updated. Similarly, the App Updates say the same thing. So I clicked sign out and got this message: “Signing out will deactivate Creative Cloud applications you’ve installed, stop active file syncing, and remove fonts synced from Typekit.” So I decided not to sign out until checking with you.

        (I don’t know if this has anything to do with it, but I haven’t yet added Lightroom CC or Photoshop).

  3. Chris Smith April 3, 2018 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    Thanks for update on Classic Laura
    Unfortunately since the upgrade my computer has crashed twice while using the Adobe Standard
    Also there is time issue when using a JPEG and Adobe Standard, it takes too long!
    Have you experienced this issue?
    kind regards

  4. Chris Smith April 3, 2018 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    Hi again,
    Is there a way to revert back to the older version as LR keeps crashing after update this morning

    • Laura Shoe April 4, 2018 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Yes, Chris. In the CC app to the right of Lightroom Classic (on the Apps tab), click on the downward triangle to the right of the Update button, choose Other Versions, and then 7.2.

  5. Elna April 4, 2018 at 2:46 am - Reply

    Hi Laura

    Something is not right with my LR. I am using Adobe CC for both PS and LR.(Annual Licence) In PS I have all the latest changes that was made with the release of 2018 version but in LR nothing seems to have changed.
    I have just watch your video on “Using the New Profiles in Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC Desktop and Mobile” and my screen is still as if no update was done.
    Any idea what can be the problem?

    • Laura Shoe April 4, 2018 at 9:35 am - Reply

      I suspect that you haven’t actually updated, Elna. Click on the three dots in the top right of the CC app and choose Check Updates. Then on the Apps tab look for Lightroom Classic and click on Update next to it. You can verify your version: in Lightroom go to Help>System Info. The latest is Classic 7.3.

      • E P G E R I N G E R April 5, 2018 at 7:37 am - Reply

        Thanks. Problem sorted out

  6. John Woodman April 4, 2018 at 3:48 am - Reply

    Thanks, Laura. Very nicely done, as always, and things here that I have not seen in other coverage of the Profiles feature.

    • Laura Shoe April 4, 2018 at 9:34 am - Reply

      You’re welcome, John!

  7. Wes Neuenschwander April 5, 2018 at 9:41 am - Reply


    Excellent overview of the new (enhanced) Profiles features in LR 7.3. I was among those (the few I suspect) that had been using camera profiles for years, including a number of custom profiles. Is there a way under LR 7.3 for a user to create custom profiles?

    • Laura Shoe April 5, 2018 at 3:30 pm - Reply

      There is, Wes. Download the instructions here.

  8. vince solomito April 5, 2018 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    very well done. thank you

    • Laura Shoe April 5, 2018 at 3:26 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome, Vince!

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