Lightroom 7.3 Profiles Explained!

In IP Roundtable Podcast by Jeff Harmon

Jeff walks through a revamp of the profiles feature in the release of Lightroom Classic CC 7.3 and Camera Raw 10.3.  Even though profiles have been around for nearly 20 years, Adobe made a lot of changes to them in this release.  Jeff walks through:

  1. There are now two types of profiles.  Camera-specific and creative. Let’s dig into each type a little more.
  2. Camera-specific:
    1. Adobe will continue to provide camera-specific profiles like they have to this point in the life of the camera raw engine.  Our old friend Adobe Standard is still there, as are the profiles specific to the make and model of your camera – though they are now called “camera matching” profiles.  There are also 6 other raw profiles provided by Adobe called Adobe Color, Adobe Monochrome, Adobe Landscape, Adobe Neutral, Adobe Portrait, and Adobe Vivid. The name gives you a pretty good idea about when Adobe recommends you use each but check the show notes for a link to the Adobe blog post that spells out a little more what each is doing.
    2. Just like they were before this release, Adobe still intends for these profiles to be applied at the very beginning of processing a raw file and these camera-specific profiles can only be applied to raw files, not to JPEG/TIFF/PNG/PSD.
    3. When you apply one of these camera-specific profiles it is an all or none kind of application.  If the profile takes something over the top you can’t dial it back so that it is applied at like 50%.
  3. Creative profiles:
    1. Adobe provides 45 creative profiles with the release of this update to profiles, but even better is that creative profiles can be created by 3rd parties!  Similar to how 3rd parties have for many years been able to provide presets that you could add to Lightroom, 3rd parties can now create profiles. You could create your own profiles.  It isn’t quite as easy to do so as it is to create presets, you have to use a special tool Adobe has provided, so you aren’t likely to create one yourself but there are already a number of profiles available from 3rd parties who worked with Adobe before this release.  You can find links to profiles created by 3rd parties in the Adobe blog post link in the show notes for this episode if you are interested in them.
    2. Unlike the camera-specific profiles, creative profiles can be applied to raw, JPEG, TIFF, PNG, and PSD files.  These profiles aren’t trying to make sense of a raw file here, those will still come from Adobe. Instead, these are much closer to how photographers have used 3rd party presets for many years with the added advantage of not impacting the sliders or adjustments you may have already made and being able to go a little deeper than what the sliders alone can do.
    3. When you apply a creative profile you can also control the amount the profile is applied.  By default the amount is set to 100%, but if you apply the profile it is feels too strong you can reduce the amount through a slider that appears in the profile browser after choosing a creative profile.  You can also ramp up the effect of the profile to over 100%.
    4. Creative profiles aren’t intended to be solely used at the very first of processing a photo.  The intention is that creative profiles will help you to explore more creative ways to process your images.  You can start there and then add more adjustments, or you can end there as kind of a way to top off your adjustments.  There isn’t anything limiting the camera-specific profiles from being used this same way, but their purposes are different enough I recommend using the camera-specific profiles at the beginning of your processing.
  4. As we have already talked about on the Improve Photography podcast, adobe has made it so that you don’t have to see the effect of any kind of profile through a tiny thumbnail or by trial and error of picking a profile.  When you float over a profile a preview of how your photo will work is shown on the large view of the image in the develop module.

This episode was sponsored by WeTransfer.com.

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About the Author

Jeff Harmon

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The hobbyist editor here at improvephotography.com. IT Professional by day, passionate hobbyist photographer ever other second possible. Living in Herriman, Utah. Loves trying to capture the beauty around every day and family portraits occasionally. Be sure to check out my portfolio at http://jsharmonphotos.com.