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Keeping Your Color Consistent Between Lightroom and Photoshop

Hi Gang: First, sorry for missing yesterday’s post. I was flying back from Amsterdam with an early flight, and I just kinda ran out of time. Plus, with all the weed and stuff over there…(just kidding, just a joke). 😉

Anyway, today we’re looking at going back and forth between Lightroom and Photoshop and, if you do that, I’m sure you want consistency in your color between the two programs, right? Right! That’s why you might want to change your color space in Photoshop to match Lightroom’s default color space of ProPhoto RGB.

Color settings

You do this under Photoshop’s Edit menu: choose Color Settings, then in the Working Spaces section up top, from the RGB pop-up menu, choose ProPhoto RGB (as seen above).

If you prefer to work in the Adobe RGB (1998) color space in Photo­shop, then just make sure you send your photo over to Photoshop in that color space by doing this:

Color settings2

(1) Go to Lightroom’s Preferences dialog, click on the External Editing tab up top
(2) Then under Edit in Photoshop, for Color Space, choose AdobeRGB (1998) (as seen above).

Now your images will appear in Photoshop in the same color space as you’ve set-up in Photoshop.

Hope that helps. 🙂

Have a great Tuesday everybody!

-Scott

P.S. If you’re into Travel Photography, you’re invited to join me, RC and Brad for a free Travel Photography webcast about our trip to Dubai. It’s this Thursday (two days from now) at 7pm New York Time. Here’s the link to register for the free Webcast. See you then!

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39 comments

  1. Stan T 9 May, 2021 at 23:19 Reply

    Colour saturation issue from LightRoom to Photoshop

    This comon issues is not the result of monitor calibration issues.
    Suggested Approach : Assume standard settings in Lightroom and Photoshop ( ProPhoto colour spaces in each)

    1. Update all GPU drivers
    2. Roll back to last version of Photoshop ( colour shifts don’t occur any more)
    3. Create newTest catalogue on Lightroom – import RAW files in which colour shift is seen and then Edit in Photoshop – colour should now be consistent

  2. Stan Traianedes 5 May, 2021 at 01:28 Reply

    The colour shift issues moving images from Lightroom to Photoshop to edit, persists in May 2021. Adobe support offers various but inconsistent responses to the issue. 1. Update graphics drivers . 2 the current minimum GPU requirements for image processing are referred to by the support staff as the “cause” for the colour shift suggesting a later model GPU is required 3 Other immediate point to the Colour Managment in Windows , or the Apple equivalent – notwithstanding any adjustments here the colour shift is not resolved ; 4. monitor calibration is suggested as the issue – not correct as there would be distinct colour shifts in all applications not just moving files between Lightroom and Photoshop ; 5. suggestion of checking desaturate box in colour settings in Photoshop appears to balance colour of the file being edited from Lightroom but only hides the colour shift issue, 6 . updates in operating systems does correct the problem. 7 Last resort measure suggested by Adobe is to roll back to the previous versions of Lightroom and Photoshop.

    • Rob Sylvan 5 May, 2021 at 07:44 Reply

      Actually, there could be a monitor profile issue causing the problem that would be corrected by calibrating your monitor. It isn’t true that you would necessarily see the same problem in all applications (Lightroom is like the canary in a coal mine for monitor profile problems, as it is the first to show symptoms). That would be my next move, as it only has upsides for your workflow in general.

  3. marcus 11 January, 2020 at 19:43 Reply

    hi, i have this setting over many years but sins i have the new nikon Z6 between lightroom and photoshop there is a color different and i don,t know how to fix this. do someone knows what this can be?

    • Gerardo Luna 26 May, 2021 at 09:17 Reply

      Here we are in 2021 with the same issue on Z6 II
      So frustrating, and is not monitor calibration.

  4. Ingrid C. 21 November, 2017 at 08:42 Reply

    Hi, I wonder whether I can revive this thread a couple of years later… I’ve just upgraded from Photoshop CC 2015.5 to 2018 and from Lightroom CC to Lightroom Classic CC. In the past I’ve never had color trouble exporting files from Lightroom to Photoshop, but now my photos appear overly saturated in Photoshop (very yellow with a tinge of green – a bit like Scott would look on his way home from Holland, I guess), and the only solution I’ve found so far is to desaturate by -15. Any ideas what’s happening? I followed the advice in this article (changing Photoshop color setting to ProPhoto RGB), but it didn’t make any difference…

        • Jenna 11 May, 2018 at 10:28 Reply

          I am having the same problem as well, and cannot seem to find a solution anywhere. Never had this issue with LR or PS before 🙁

          • Adrian 2 December, 2018 at 14:12

            Hello! I had this problem after I upgraded from PS CC 2015 to 2018. Even with the color spaces matching, I still have this issue. The only workaround I found for this is exporting the image from Lightroom as an uncompressed 16bit TIFF file and then open it up in PS. Everything looks the way it should. Hope this helps!

      • Ede 18 May, 2018 at 21:52 Reply

        The solution I found is edit in Adobe Bridge (send it to Adobe Bridge from Lightroom) then double click image to open in Photoshop.

        I think the issue is that when editing directly from LR to PS it doesn’t transferes the changes from lightroom. The LR 7.2 version having these problems with some other issues in LR 7.3. Its a mess. I actually downgraded back to 7.2

        hope this helps

    • Steve 25 June, 2018 at 06:11 Reply

      I have exactly the same trouble since upgrading to creative suite. I can export to portrate pro and back to Lr without any shift. I tried setting camera to srgb instead of Adobe RGB. Still have same problem.
      I do hope someone else has a new idea as I have done every surgestion so far.

      • shoey sindel 31 July, 2018 at 22:58 Reply

        Lightroom help! When I export a RAW image directly from LR to photoshop CC through the “edit” function, the photo takes on an overall ORANGE hue and a strong contrast. As a test, when I export the photo as a tiff and then open it in PS, the photo looks just as it does in LR. Has anyone had this problem and any suggestions for fixing this?

    • Brian 29 August, 2018 at 10:20 Reply

      Having the same issue. Opened from LR into PS and the image gets oversaturated. Checked color space to make sure it was the same (it was). Can’t seem to find a solution.

    • Nick 9 April, 2019 at 10:54 Reply

      I just went through the workaround with Lightroom 3 and Photoshop cs6 but maybe what worked for me might help you. My photos kept coming out desaturated and overly green when going from Lightroom to Photoshop and then saving them to my desktop. I discovered that when moving over to Photoshop it helps to work in srgb because it’s a more used color space. You can change what color space Lightroom picks for you when moving into Photoshop via the settings panel in Lightroom. Even doing this didn’t completely solve my problems. In Photoshop I still had to switch from srgb to another color space and then back to srgb to get the correct colors when I exported it. Hope this helps

  5. Robin M. 25 July, 2016 at 18:19 Reply

    I’ve been doing a lot of collages in PS, many of which contain images processed using Photokey (green screen software). The processed images are exported from Photokey as PNGs. Even with my preferences set up as suggested above, I am having color profile issues. I’ve tried both “edit in PS” from LR and pulling the image into PS, using “open.” I’m not sure how to fix the problem…

  6. Nastassia 20 July, 2015 at 13:36 Reply

    I’m having an issue with this actually…before the recent CC update I was able to send a photo from Lightroom to Photoshop and back (using Lightroom’s edit in Photoshop feature) without any differences in color. I honestly didn’t even know about these settings before. But while editing a recent newborn photo shoot everything changed…sending to Photoshop is still easy peasy, and the colors still look fine while editing in Photoshop. But if I try to send it back to Lightroom (either as a TIFF or PDF) or if I try to export directly from photoshop, the colors become much more blue and everything looks saturated and darker…I’ve done a lot of research and learned about the color profiles since, and setup the profiles as recommended in this article, but I’m still having the same issue…what am I doing wrong? Thanks for any advice! – N

  7. Joe B. 16 April, 2015 at 11:39 Reply

    Does the change in Photoshop affect only new files from that point on, or will it convert previously edited files that had another profile assigned?

  8. Scott Martin 2 April, 2015 at 10:16 Reply

    Can you touch on color space in an upcoming Lightroom show??

    I think you want sRGB when exporting for web, correct? Is Prophoto your best option until you’re ready to export? What about printing? Is there a standard color space, or a best to use if you’re unsure or your print shop doesn’t specify?

    Thanks!

  9. Bill 1 April, 2015 at 10:00 Reply

    How can I create a border that emulates that 35mm feel with notches, film name. Like a preset not for printing.

    • lyle 1 April, 2015 at 12:45 Reply

      Create a transparent PNG in Photoshop with the full design of the strip, words, holes etc. Leave the center image space empty. (you can find these on the web). For LR viewing only, you can use it as an overlay image (View | Loupe Overlay | specify this image). You can also use the film image as the bottom cell in a Print | Custom Package, then place the size of cell which accommodates your image over it. (move the film image to the back, or image cell to the top). Print the resulting layout to a JPG file, then reimport it into LR. There are some ratio / framing issues there as the 35 mm strip will be taller than the 2×3 ratio of the image size. But, it’s doable.

      • Paul C 2 April, 2015 at 05:47 Reply

        Scott did a great video on these overlays a while ago when showing how to emulate a magazine cover to test how his pictures would look on the front (fabulous was the answer). I think it was on an old photoshop-user-tv or maybe even a D-Town; but is was one of those hidden gems in LR that most of us would not stumble across. This would make a great tip in the LRKT show.

        • lyle 3 April, 2015 at 10:47 Reply

          Extending the overlay tip – It’s handy in framing – the frame will hide some edge width of the image. Measure the frame cutout, create a PNG that hides the same amount around the periphery for that frame size. Use it as an overlay to see if your crop is going to show what you want once it’s installed in a frame. Saves reprints.

  10. Neil 31 March, 2015 at 06:23 Reply

    Funniest start to a blog post ever…. you should so go back and use periscope to show us what we’re missing!

  11. Paul C 31 March, 2015 at 03:57 Reply

    Really good tip, Scott. However, my DSLR only offers RGB or AdobeRGB – Should I set both LR & PS to AdobeRGB or would I be better expanding into Prophoto when I import into LR to give me sufficient leg-space later on? I tend to convert into DNG on import, if that makes a difference.

    • Keith R. Starkey 31 March, 2015 at 17:51 Reply

      Paul C.,
      If you shoot in RAW, and you’re using a camera that Lightroom supports, Lightroom will automatically work with the file in ProPhotoRGB, regardless of what your DSLR offers; the RAW file consists of enough information for Lightroom to work with it with the ProphotoRGB gamut.

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