Tip: Consistent Color With Lightroom and Photoshop

Time for a quick tip. If you’re going to be going back and forth between Lightroom 2 and Photoshop, you’ll probably want consistency in your color between the two programs. That’s why you might want to change your color space in Photoshop to match Lightroom’s default color space of ProPhoto RGB (no you can’t change this in LR). You do this under Photoshop’s Edit menu: Choose Edit > Color Settings, then under Working Spaces, for RGB, choose ProPhoto RGB. If you prefer to work in the Adobe RGB (1998) color space in Photoshop (I recommend ProPhoto RGB), then just make sure you send your photo over to Photoshop in that color space: go to Lightroom’s Preferences dialog, click on the External Editing tab up top, then in the Edit in CS3/CS4 section, for Color Space, choose AdobeRGB (1998).

I hope you and your families have a safe and fun holiday weekend. I know I’m taking some time off to just hang out. See you next week.

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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41 Comments

  1. Matt – just wondering why ProPhoto RGB? I have been working in Adobe RGB for a while now and it was recommended by Scott Kelby in his CS3 book – where can I best find information on why the change? Is it mainstream enough yet? I noticed (now that I have gone back and looked) in his lightroom 2 book too (maybe I should make this question on his site :)

    Thanks,
    Mark

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  2. Hi Mark,
    As always, there’s lots of different opinions. The Adobe RGB workflow isn’t a bad one at all. ProPhoto RGB is the one I use though. Its the biggest color space of the 3. Your inkjets can definitely take advantage of it (not to its fullest extent but a little) and I figure start with the biggest – I can always change to Adobe RGB or sRGB later if I need to.

    Thanks,
    Matt

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  3. Unfortunately, or fortunately, many ways to skin a cat on this stuff and most of my album and print places that ask for images, ask for them in the sRGB and while I understand the limitations of it, I might suggest that the post be modified to comment that no matter what your color space, its best to make sure they are equal between the two applications…

    Thanks for the post !

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  4. Hey Matt,
    Funny you post about it today, I was just complaining about it yesterday.
    I calibrated my screen for the first time yesterday and fireup LR to check. Now, I’m confused, how is the colorspace affected by the profile of my monitor?
    I guess I owe to read a bit. In any cases, thanks, I always choosed sRGB in CS, I guess the differences are coming from that fact, I’ll try proPhoto and see if colors are matching.
    Keep up the good work. First post here but I’ve been long time reader.

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  5. Steph – I’m not really talking about the monitor profile. Monitors don’t display much more then sRGB (unless you buy a really expensive one). So ProPhoto RGB and sRGB look virtually identical on my screen. Talking more about color workflow and getting the best print. While your screen won’t display more than sRGB, your printer may. That’s why we stick with the profile with the largest gamut.

    So don’t change thinking you’ll see the difference on screen. You probably won’t see anything change.

    Thanks,
    Matt

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  6. On the topic of matching colors, I recently ran across an inconsistency in LR output. If I use the Export function to create an sRGB jpeg, the color comes out fine. However, if I use the Print module to create a simlarly sized jpeg, and specify sRGB for the color handling, it comes out with a distinctly red color cast. (My page setup is for an Epson 2400 with color management turned off.) To work around the red color cast, I find I have to specify a printer paper profile (such as Epson Premium Luster) rather than sRGB for the output, and then open the resulting jpeg in Photoshop to convert to sRGB. Then it ends up very close to the exported version (but not exactly the same).

    Am I doing something wrong in the Print module setup?

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  7. Matt,

    So if my only outputs are screen/web and MPix for example, should I remain in sRGB in CS4? Based on what you’re saying there shouldn’t be any difference on the screen between LR (ProPhoto) and CS4 with sRGB, correct?

    By the way, I can wait with your answer until you come back from the long weekend. Take it easy!

    Thanks,

    Shaq

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  8. I work in Lightroom and Photoshop Elements 7.0. As near as I can tell PSE is using AdobeRGB (optimize for printing). Is this Adobe 1998 or ProPhoto RGB in PSE? What should I do in PSE 7 to match Lightroom’s ProPhoto
    RGB?

    Thanks….

    Geoff

    Post a Reply
  9. I work in Lightroom and Photoshop Elements 7.0. As near as I can tell PSE is using AdobeRGB (optimize for printing). Is this Adobe 1998 or ProPhoto RGB in PSE? What should I do in PSE 7 to match Lightroom’s ProPhoto
    RGB?

    Thanks….

    Geoff

    Post a Reply
  10. I work in Lightroom and Photoshop Elements 7.0. As near as I can tell PSE is using AdobeRGB (optimize for printing). Is this Adobe 1998 or ProPhoto RGB in PSE? What should I do in PSE 7 to match Lightroom’s ProPhoto
    RGB?

    Thanks….

    Geoff

    Post a Reply
  11. Hi, Matt.

    I have a question and a comment that are unrelated to this post, but I couldn’t figure out any other way on the website to submit some general Lightroom questions.
    ——————-

    1. Question: Recently I was trying to crop a horizontal photo (i.e., landscape) into a vertical one (i.e., portrait) and Lightroom 2.4 wouldn’t let me unless I unlocked the aspect ratio. (Since my wife is a scrapbooker, I end up trying to do rather radical crops from time to time in order to work with a particular layout.) So, for example, I had a standard 3:2 aspect ratio horizontal print, and she needed a 2.5″ wide by 3.5″ tall print, so I can enter this exact ratio, but Lightroom assumes I want it horizontal, not vertical. Am I missing something? (I can, of course, unlock the aspect ratio, but then it’s hard to hit the desired aspect ratio exactly.)

    2. Comment: Since I often want a myriad of exact (and often oddball) sizes for my wife’s scrapbook layouts, I really miss not being able to resize (without resampling) images like I can in Elements. It would be nice to be able to do this, then mix various sizes on a page layout. The grid layouts are very inflexible in this regard.

    What I really wish I could do in Lightroom is crop a (virtual copy of a) photo to an exact physical dimension and have it print it that dimension without having to crop it to an aspect ratio and then remember an hour later what that was to painstakingly print it that exact size.

    — Jim

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  12. Craig: Your question about Export vs. Print to file is question I’ve searched an answer for – even on this blog. It would be nice if Matt could do a post about that mystery. I have the same problem as you.

    Matt: Why does Photoshop change the color space when the file is opened via LR? Is there no co-operation between LR and Photoshop? The option is called “Edit in Photoshop” – not “Change the color space”.

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  13. Hi Matt,

    I totally agree with Craig and Thomas, I’m suffering from the same issue. Creating (and printing as well) from the print module on my Epson R1800 gives a huge magenta color cast on the pictures. I’m at a point where I don’t even try anymore. Too bad, because I like to create image packages and that’s a lot easier in LR than in Photoshop…

    One thing about the color management issue… I have one of those monitors that can display a larger gammut than RGB… interesting to see is that LR uses different color spaces in the Library and Develop module… Red tones look a lot different in these modules. Bad thing… I hope that the LR developers will allow the users in a next release to define the color space to be used by LR in the different modules.

    Matt, keep up the good work and enjoy the last bit of your weekend!
    Greetings from Holland! Judith

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  14. A great series of comments!

    A quick point – the “native” white point of Adobe 98 is 6500k, and the white point of ProPhoto is 5500 – ie, daylight balanced. Along with the breadth of that color gamut, makes life easier for the photographer in color management, editing, and printing. ProPhoto is the way to go.

    Best regards, and have a great holiday.

    David Saffir

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  15. I absolutely hate it when people tell only part of the story. I work at one of the largest photolabs in the nation and I can tell you that I hate it when customers send in work that is in the ProPhoto RGB colorspace. My lab uses sRGB and if you use ProPhoto (or Adobe RGB for that matter) the skintones will have a funky cyan greenish dead cast to them. You should always check with your lab (if you use one) to see which colorspace they prefer. The only way for us to know is to catch that funky skin color and then change the colorspace in house. The problem is: color is very subjective. Some customers prefer a lean to the yellow while others prefer a lean towards pink or blue or green or light or dark or contrasty or muddy… (you get the idea).

    While it is perfectly acceptable to use ProPhoto to sync your software (I use the sRGB colorspace for all of mine since that is the supported standard on the internet), sRGB is the best option for printing on traditional photo paper (silver halide based), which is what your photolab is probably using. If you are printing on an inkjet at home then AdobeRGB might work better for you. Whatever space you choose, please for heavens sake don’t forget to convert your files back to your lab’s working color space before you send the files in to print.

    T

    Post a Reply
  16. Matt –

    I am a NAPP, Kelby Training member and am an avid photographer (recently purchased the D700…awesome)!. I was watching one of your printing modules and have a question in regard to Epson paper Profiles. I have recently purchased the 2880 and downloaded the profiles as you suggested. However, in Lightroom I get many choices and was wondering if you could tell me the difference between such profiles as PrmGlsy Photo and PrmSldy SprPhto.icc. Thanks for the help, I am a big fan and look forward to attending one of your photo trips in the future.

    Eric

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  17. re: original post
    In my view the recommendation is neither helpful nor harmful for more people. Lightroom always embeds a profile for the chosen color space for exported TIFF/JPEG/PSD, and by default Photoshop honors embedded profiles. So if you render the image to Adobe RGB (1998) in Lightroom, Adobe RGB (1998) is embedded in the exported file sent to Photoshop, which then honors that profile instead of the Working Spaces>RGB color space. Likewise if you render an image to ProPhoto RGB, it will open in Photoshop as a ProPhoto RGB image.

    The key setting in Photoshop that causes this behavior is the Color Management Policy, which by default is set to Preserve Embedded Profiles.

    A possible positive effect of changing the Working Spaces>RGB setting in Photoshop to something other than the sRGB default color space setting, is if you tend to frequently create new documents. A new document inherits the color space of the Working Spaces setting at the time the new document is created. So if Working Spaces>RGB is set to sRGB and you create a new document, it will be an sRGB document. If it’s set to ProPhoto RGB and you create a new document, it will be a ProPhoto RGB document. So it’s a shortcut to ensuring your new documents start out with your preferred compositing space for whatever work you’re doing. The New Document dialog, at the bottom, has an advanced section where you can choose a color space other than the Working Space, if you prefer.

    A possible negative side effect of changing Working Spaces>RGB to something other than sRGB, is that this setting is the default source profile for untagged images. So if you tend to open many untagged images, for example images prepared for the internet, the source profile that will be used is whatever you currently have set for Working Spaces>RGB and ProPhoto RGB is the worst possible option in this scenario, as ProPhoto RGB images are not naturally occurring (i.e. they are created in very specific workflows and always contain ProPhoto RGB as an embedded profile).

    re: outofnapkins post
    The minimum proper handling when receiving Adobe RGB (1998) or ProPhoto RGB images is to convert them to sRGB before output. Obviously if you send the raw RGB values through a workflow expecting (assuming) sRGB there will be substantial color problems, because the data is completely incorrect for the output process. If there is no conversion occurring, color output will be wrong. This is normal and expected.

    A more advanced and quality conscious workflow would recognize that photo output can do better than sRGB, depending on the process used. The situation with minilabs is pretty astoundingly hideous, in that the minilab manufacturers have almost all made their devices assume sRGB for input. This is fine for JPEGs off consumer cameras, but it’s totally inappropriate for professional work. The minilab manufacturers definitely need to do a better job of giving us access to raw, uncorrected (but calibrated) behavior, so we can make custom profiles for the actual behavior of the device which is certainly nothing like sRGB. And then we can convert from sRGB, Adobe RGB (1998), or ProPhoto RGB, or even any flavor of CMYK if we like, to the minilab color space. And we would get consistent and superior output to what the minilab manufacturers have shoved down our throats.

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  18. *MOST* people, not more people. jeez one day I will learn to proofread.

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  19. I chuckle when discussions about color spaces takes on an almost relegious tone. I’ve heard lecturers insist that we should all use ProPhoto RGB, and I also heard “experts” insist that we’re all fools if we don’t use sRGB in our entire workflow.

    I tell my students that all color spaces are good and useful. Which color space you choose isn’t nearly as important as understanding why you chose the one you’re using. If you’ve made a concious decision which one to use, and understand when it might be appropriate to use others, then you’re probably way ahead of the game.

    Personally, I use ProPhoto in Lightroom (as we all do) and in Photoshop for landscape photography. I convert to Adobe RGB for portraits and ink jet output, and I convert to sRGB for web and lab-printed output. If you’re working in Photoshop, you can also soft-proof the conversion and take control how out of gamut colors are rendered.

    But, that’s just me. A year from now, I may be doing something different. There’s no best color space, just like there’s no best lens. They are just tools, and you need to choose the best tool for you considering the job at hand.

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  20. Thankyou Chrismurphy and Craig for the posts. Those were what I was hoping the original entry would include. By the way, it’s not just mini-labs. Large professional labs encounter the same problems because the software/hardware combinations limit their options just the same. I worked 18 months in a minilab and over 10 yrs in a professional lab and both have profile issues: sometimes. In a pro environment where there are multiple printing departments, you will find older software in the more established (and usually declining) departments (such as those that scan film then print digitally). Those are the areas where automatic conversion of colorspaces doesn’t happen. And don’t bother asking your lab which departments can or can’t: customer service doesn’t have a clue about the technical details involved in color or color spaces let alone which department has which issues. I think Craig was dead on with his workflow. I agree that sRGB is an inferior color space however I also spend enough time in front of my computer that I don’t want to waste additional time converting back and forth. Since I print all of my images through a lab or post to the internet (I don’t print anything myself). sRGB simplifies my workflow.

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  21. @Napkin-dude – it almost seems like you’re trying to stir something up with Matt. First you say you “absolutely hate it when people tell only part of the story”. Then you add another jab in there with your last post by saying that’s what you wished the original post said. Perhaps you should start writing a blog instead. I mean, Matt just wrote a simple tip about getting consistent color between PS and LR. I thought the tip told me how to do just that. It wasn’t called “How to get consistent color between LR and PS and, by the way, how and in what color space to send photos to your lab”. That sounds like a whole other topic to me.

    Anyway, good tip Matt and some good comments too. I learned a lot just seeing the discussion that came from this (yes, even from the napkin dude who seems a little too picky). Hope you can write a follow up on some of the questions. Or maybe you can let napkins write it instead :)

    Thanks,
    Sean

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  22. By minilab, I meant something like a Noritsu or Kodak minilab. Large photographic printers that image directly onto photographic paper. For as much money as they cost, it should be embarrassing how little control we have over them, let alone the almost total lack of explicit ICC support.

    Professionals use professional tools, and understand them. There is no excuse for customer service not having technical people on staff to support their department, and work with customers when needed, other than simply not caring.

    Color space conversions are rather easily automated without depending on expensive hardware that doesn’t work correctly, or isn’t properly designed. Photshop can automate these conversions with javascript and hotfolders. Automator on OS X can do this as well. And there are more robust solutions for higher volume workflows.

    If a photo lab accepts, and does not reject images that are not sRGB, then they are implicitly taking responsibility for the proper output of the file, which absolutely requires a conversion, at a minimum to sRGB, preferably to a custom printer space. The act of accepting ProPhoto, or Adobe RGB (1998) images, which have this color space meta data embedded in them rather plainly and unambiguously, and then outputting them through an assumed sRGB workflow is essentially an act of sabotaging customer’s files. I would not consider this a professional workflow.

    Customers need to be given an incentive to submit files correctly. If they’re correctly submitted, give them a 5% or 10% discount. If not, the price allows for the 2 minutes it will take for an operator to convert the image (either manually, or to fund an automated solution).

    As for my original post #15, I’d like to re-iterate that the original advice does not aid in getting more consistent color between Photoshop and Lightroom, over Photoshop’s default color settings. The key to the already present consistency between the two applications when sharing files, is that Lightroom always embeds the proper ICC profile into the image, and Photoshop by default honors that embedded profile due to the RGB Color Management Policy.

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  23. sean, you’re right. I didn’t mean to start a fire. I do write a blog and yes it includes topics like colorspaces. My intention wasn’t to step on toes. I’m probably sticking my foot in my mouth again. I’ll simply say that there is a way that things are and a way they should be. I see a lot (and I mean a lot) of customers who read exactly something like this and don’t understand why their pictures come back looking odd. Sean is right that the post is simply a tip. My problem is that without the extra info that tip becomes a bigger problem than the original situation (for some people). Once again, I’m sorry for offending anyone. I just wanted to throw out my two cents to help anyone learning about color spaces to know of a potential pitfall – that’s all.

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  24. I’m having a red cast problem, but I think it may be opposite to what was described above. If I export (in develop mode) an image using sRGB – after exported, the image on my display looks just like it did while in Lightroom, but if I load this image to the web, it looks very red. However, if I use the Print model to print to jpg file (again sRBG) – the image looks dull in my display (not at all what I see while in develop in LR), but when loaded to the web looks exactly like I saw it in develop mode.

    I have all my exported images (using develop mode) looking very very red when uploaded to galleries for my clients to see.

    Oh – and to add in some more wrenches – it seems that when I take the exported image (from develop mode) and resize down the resolution in PS and resave it – that when loaded the web – it looks fine. I saved as sRGB in PS.

    Can anyone help me?

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  25. Hi Matt,
    I read your article and the reactions with great interest. One question keeps bugging me: given that colour-space is so important, how come you cannot set it in LR?

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  26. Hi Matt,
    OK, I tried playing around with your settings, but they still didn’t help the problem I’m seeing between Photoshop and Lightroom.
    Here’s the deal: In Lightroom 2, where I start I do all my basic editing. But I do my artistic treatments in Photoshop. I still find Lightroom still way to limiting for for really playing with the artistic side of my finishes. The problem is, when I send over my Lightroom Files as PSD files (Adobe ’98) into PSCS4, they open up looking relatively flatter, and less saturated. I am using A MacBook Pro 2.2 intel, with a 24″ Cinema Display attached. The Image goes form LR to PSCS4 on the same 24″HDCD. So the monitor is the same. They’re both Adobe apps, same color engine, seems to me there should be no difference in the color of the two apps at all. Any ideas on what gives here?
    FYI, I’m set up in ‘North American Prepress 2′ (Adobe 98) in PSCS4.

    Much appreciate yours, or anyone else’s help here.
    I’ll try the Adobe forums as well.

    Thanks in advance.

    -Sol

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  27. I’ve just upgraded to Lightroom 2.5/Camera Raw 5.5 in CS4 and Snow Leopard on my MacBook Pro. I was going to work on an image today and I noticed that when I opened it in Photoshop the colors were less saturated as well. I had a picture of a car which displayed as a deep red but when I told Lightroom to open the file in Photoshop the file looked flat and the red color was less saturated and a slightly different hue. Same thing with another photo which was a deep blue in Lightroom, but a paler blue in Photoshop. Both of these images had been imported and converted to DNG in the 2.4 version of Lightroom. Also, neither image had any editing in Lightroom. My default profile in CS4 is ProPhoto RGB.

    Here’s another odd thing, when I opened the directory containing the image in Bridge, the thumbnail was originally the saturated color, but then readjusted to the paler version.

    I’d really be interested in figuring out what is going on since I had not noticed this behavior before upgrading.

    Thanks for any advice you might have.

    Jim

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  28. I am confused. I set my external edit settings in Lightroom to ProPhoto and set PSCS4 to ProPhoto, as recommended. Made no difference in Lightroom, my photos look great, and exporting them to Photoshop, all photos are OK whatever color setting I seem to use in Photoshop. However, when I open a photo in PS(not from Lightroom) using the ProPhoto color setting the photo is very, very wrong very bluish. So I stopped using ProPhoto in PS. Setting PSCS4 to AdobeRGB(1998) is much better, but to get the same look as what I get with Lightroom, which looks right to me, I find that Photoshop gives the best representation of my color if I use the same profile as my monitor which is Monitor RGB – sRGBIEC61966-2.1. When I edit in photoshop from lightroom I get the “Embedded Profile Mismatch message” and am told that PS will discard the AdobeRGB (1998). I click OK but not too sure if I am doing the right thing.

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  29. Sorry, what I just said is not all correct. Getting myself a bit mixed up. ProPhoto settings as recommended did make things much better when working between lightroom and photoshop. But when opening a photo directly in PS I found the monitor settings(only for the WEB I now realise) and AdobeRGB (1998) best. So I guess that ProPhoto is best when working with Lightroom and printing on my inkjet printer, but AdobeRGB (1998) is best if opening directly in Photoshop and sending to a professional printer.
    By the way, my canon inkjet printer prints most accurately if I set to Printer manages color, not photoshop, is that normal?

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  30. My problem is similar to #6. I loaded a jpg from my Sony H50 into LR 2.5. (I haven’t changed any defaults in LR). Made the changes I wanted, selected the printer, and the photo came out with the color pretty far off from what I see on the screen. Just for fun, I sent the photo from LR to PS CS4, told it to go over with LR adjustments. I did NOTHING else to the photo, I just printed it selecting the SAME options I chose in LR. This time the photo came out very close to what I had on the screen. HOWEVER, if I print from LR to a jpg, it prints as expected.

    So what’s going on? Does it have to do with what everyone’s talking about here? Thanks tons!!!

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  31. Rich, if you are getting a muddy reddish hue on your photos when you print from Lightroom, expand the options under “Print Job” and make sure that you don’t accidentally have the “Draft Mode Printing” ticked.

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  32. Thersa, thanks for the tip. I looked at it and do not have “Draft Mode Printing” ticked. It’s actually more on the blue & green side. The photo is of a pumpkin field and most of the orange/red is washed out to yellow/green. The green’s are greener and blues bluer.

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  33. The main problems I seem to be having with the correct colors printing seem to be connected to the color managment selected. In lightroom under color management, I have the default managed by printer selected. However, in Photoshop I have the print settings set to allow Photoshop to manage the color. This is currently working for me but I think there is a lot more to it than that.It may depend on the paper I have chosen.Don’t know. Unfortunately, I don’t really know what I am talking about, but as we haven’t had a specific solution yet I would suggest that you have a bit of a play with the color profiles in each program and how the different settings affect the result. Oh, and please keep a record of all your fiddling so if you do solve the problem you remember how. Good luck. I am going to have a bit of a fiddle myself.

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  34. Wondering if this explains why I get better consistency when I save jpegs out of LR as ProPhoto RGB, open them in Photoshop, then convert them to sRGB (e.g., for the web) within PS? If I save jpegs out of LR as sRGB, the colors are screwed up (dark and desaturated) in PS, even when I make sure the soft proofing is updated to use the embedded sRGB (I assume LR embeds it in the jpeg) profile?

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  35. I have an issue that i cant seem to resolve. these posts and others touch on the edge but i cant seem to find a comlete answer. my issue is this:

    i process my photos in Lightroom2 using AdobeRGB, i have my CS4 software synced to the same. After processing the photos look great in both Lightroom and Photoshop. However, when i export the photos, for jpeg, to an sRGB color space to send to my printing lab they have a strong red tint to them. if i export them as AdobeRGB i don’t get this tint. now i have been sending out photos for some time now to different print houses and when i get the photos back they look just like the images on my screen. the only reason i noticed this red tint this time is because i was using ROES from MPIX to send out a large order. so i stated playing with the output from Lightroom and found this issue. Now, to make matters even more confusing, i went back to some of the earlier images i had sent to MPIX and looked at those in the ROES software. they have the same red tint! but when i got the prints they looked great. i sent the picture in with no color correction requested, so i’m confused. if i look at the photos in other photo editing software and on other computers, they look fine. But now i am concerned that the photo labs have adjusting for this issue without my knowledge. and i am about to send out a 600 picture order from a photo shoot i just did. so i don’t want to get back the photos and they have a red tint to them. i have sent some test images to MPIX to see how they come out. but i just don’t understand why this is happening. i know that the two color spaces offer a different gamut but i am shocked that it makes this much difference. Should i be processing all photos in sRGB and forget about AdobeRGB? Have i been doing it wrong all this time. Please advise…

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    • Hi Kevin, there are different reasons for different setups, and in my view, the Adobe 98 one makes the most sense for anyone shotting in RAW with Adobe 98 camera capability. So unless you’re using a point-and-shoot taking snaps in sRGB (which I’m guessing you’re not) I don’t think you’ve been doing it wrong at all. I’ve been doing the same thing for years with great results, but now I’ve added Lightroom to my workflow I’m getting exactly the same problem as you describe and more (see my post re inconsistent colour between LR files and those edited in PS then brought back to LR).

      HOW did you set LR to work in Adobe 98? Unless I’m wrong (and I’d LOVE to be wrong here!!) it can’t be done, LR works in ProPhoto only. I had also made the assumption that LR was using Adobe 98 because I have that set on the print dialogues, but it seems I was wrong.

      I recently looked with horror at a 500-image project I’d uploaded, and all were way too pink. I then re-exported them from Bridge, and they were fine, but this is a palaver as an ongoing workflow because the files must first be exported to PS (because Bridge won’t read and display the LR edits) – an unnecessary duplication and a real disk eater.

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  36. Interesting discussion folks, thank you all.

    I use Adobe98 for my entire colour management workflow from camera to Photoshop. Having invested in a fancy-pants screen that displays 99% of Adobe98, and as part of a pretty anal colour management setup, this enables me to get such accurate screen-to-output colour matching on my Epson 3800 that I soft proof (PS CS3) and don’t need printed proofs any more. (Yeah, get me…smug isn’t the word)

    Enter Lightroom 2. I now do 90% of my imaging editing in LR, sending just a few files into PS (LR set to export in Adobe 98 & to automatically re-import PS files back to LR when saved). So far so good, but I’ve been working on landscapes for months. Two days ago I started editing a wedding; crazy mixed light, mixed skintones, lots of PS needed to have people looking their best. Suddenly I notice the files – which look the same going from LR to PS – look COMPLETELY DIFFERENT when they come back from PS to LR. Seriously, not just a bit different, but so different that even your granny would see it.

    Problem: of course I need colour consistency between the two packages. and I need all the PS edited files back in LR so I don’t have a nightmare with keeping track of location, batch renaming, metadata and exporting them in the 3 formats my client has requested. And I don’t want to have to change my entire colour management setup to ProPhoto achieve this. Why not?

    (1) the screen can’t show that big a colour space – and what I can’t see, I can’t control.
    (2) No printer can print it, so not a whole lot of point in using it – especially since images have to be reduced to sRGB for lab printing and web use).
    (3) It’s already a big leap from Adobe 98 down to sRGB; why would I want to make this conversion even more drastic (and gamble on the colours I can’t see…)?
    (4) I just know that at some point I’ll get confused between which images are in which colour space and disaster will ensue…

    So two big questions:
    a) Is changing the PS colour setup to ProPhoto really the ONLY solution? If so, it’s an astonishing oversight on Adobe’s part…

    b) How do we explain that some LR-PS users don’t have the problem – and don’t use ProPhoto?

    I’ve spent hours trawling the web for a solution and discussing this with colleagues who also use LR, but it seems that people are either in the same boat as me, don’t have the problem at all or don’t have it consistently. We’ve compared Colour settings in PS and export / import settings in LR and kind find a difference, so I’m wondering if there’s another little ‘setting’ which could be the magic bullet.

    Any thoughts people?

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  37. UPDATE: Changed everything to ProPhoto, PS & LR. Exported LR file to PS, editing, automatically sent back to LR and guess what? The colours are more consistent between the two programs, BUT THEY ARE STILL NOT THE SAME!!

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  38. I use PSE8 as my external editor. What color space should I be setting the external editor preferences too. Should it also be ProPhoto or should it be sRGB?

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  39. What is the advantage to using lightroom other than organizing photos? I do everything in photoshop prophoto and convert to srgb for printing and never have color isues. I have never used lightroom is there something lightroom does better than photoshop as far as processing photos?

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