Lightroom CC offers a range of Presets and you can create or save your own. But Presets use a combination of editing tools and effects, while there is another, more basic adjustment you can make to the look of your photos with Profiles.
Profiles have been around in Lightroom for some time, but it’s only recently that they’ve gained proper prominence. Profiles are like a pre-processing stage, where the image’s color and tonal values are ‘remapped’ to give a particular look ahead of any image adjustments. Lightroom offers a range of different Profiles. The default is Adobe Color, but there are many more Adobe Profiles to choose from – and it can also mimic the in-camera color controls or picture styles of different camera makers.
So here’s a closer look at Lightroom CC’s Profiles, how they work and what you can do with them.
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Choosing a Profile
- EDIT BUTTON Click this to open the Edit tools sidebar
- PROFILE MENU Quick access to standard and Favorite profiles
- BROWSE ALL PROFILES Displays a thumbnail gallery of profiles and how the photo will look when they are applied
- STANDARD ADOBE PROFILES Generic color ‘looks’, not camera-specific
- CAMERA SPECIFIC PROFILE Lightroom also has profiles to match the camera’s own color modes, added to the menu here as a ‘Favorite’
- MODERN PROFILES Another Favorite added from Adobe’s collection of ‘Modern’ profiles
- MONOCHROME PROFILES These are separated out at the bottom of the menu
Browse all Profiles
In this view you see all the available Profiles organised into categories. You click the category to see thumbnail previews of the Profiles in that category. At the top are your Favorites, then the generic Adobe Raw Profiles followed by any Camera Matching profiles (the camera model is picked up from the image’s EXIF data). The Artistic, B&W, Modern and Vintage categories are additional Adobe Profiles, while the bottom section shows imported Profiles. When you ‘star’ a Profile, it will appear in the Profile menu at the top of the Edit tools panel.
The Imported Profiles here are from Lutify.me and have been imported into Lightroom CC. They are essentially LUTs (lookup tables) which can be used directly by some programs but must be converted into Profiles for use in Lightroom CC.
You display this by clicking/tapping the ‘three-dots’ button in the top right corner of the Browse all Profiles panel. You can change the way the Profiles and their effects are displayed and the Type of Profiles displayed (Color, B&W or ALL). This is where you can Import and Manage Profiles from third party companies.
Lightroom CC Profile tips
- Profiles are applied before any image adjustments. They are not the same as Presets.
- When you ‘Browse all Profiles’ and select one, press ‘Back’ at the top of the panel to return to normal editing.
- LUTs (lookup tables) and Profiles are related. Some programs can use LUTs directly; in Lightroom the vendor must make them into Profiles first.
- Profiles imported into Lightroom CC (desktop) will be synchronised with Lightroom Mobile.