Lightroom Calibration Panel Tutorial
Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.
Unlock INSANE Colors, Improve Your Skin Tones & Photo Editing Using The Lightroom Calibration Panel.
Understanding the camera calibration panel inside of Lightroom can be a bit challenging. There aren’t many tutorial videos on the topic, and no one seems to really know what the different sliders in the camera calibration panel are doing. That’s why in this Lightroom tutorial we’re going to take a detailed look at the camera calibration panel and show you how to use it to unlock amazing colors in your images.
What does the camera calibration panel do in Lightroom?
The camera calibration panel exists to help you fine tune the color of your photos, and fix undesirable color casts from unflattering lighting conditions. Different light sources create different color curves, which can be corrected by using the hue, saturation and shadow sliders inside of the camera calibration panel.
Watch this camera calibration tutorial video, where you can see it all in action:
How do you use camera calibration?
There are two different ways to use Lightroom’s calibration panel. Let’s take a look at both calibration editing method’s and when to use which.
The first way is to use the Lightroom Calibration Panel is to correct the colors in your photos.
The technically correct way to use the camera calibration tool is very similar to the way you use white balance. Different light sources create different color responses that sometimes need correcting, which is very easy using Lightroom calibration.
For example, a fluorescent light has a very green color cast to it. Using the camera calibration panel, we could correct for this green color by lowering the saturation in the greens, and raising saturation in the blues.
The second way to use the calibration tool is to add creative color to your photos.
If your colors already look good and don’t need correcting, the second way to use the calibration panel is to creatively shift the colors of your image. This is similar to how we use the HSL panel. Taking the hue of the blues towards aqua will create an orange and teal look to your photos. Likewise raising the saturation of the greens while lowering the saturation of the blues and reds will make skin tones brighter and give you deeper, more contrasting greens to make your photos pop.
The best way to use the camera calibration panel depends on what you need it for. You can use it for one or both of these methods, depending on your photos.
How do I access & install camera calibration profiles?
Part of the way the colors and contrast is determined in your photo is based on the camera profile assigned to your edit. This setting used to be in the camera calibration panel at the bottom of lightroom, but in 2019 Lightroom shifted the profile section the TOP of Lightroom’s develop module to make it quicker and easier to access.
By default you’ll have access to Adobe’s standard color profiles, as well as the in-built camera profiles for your specific RAW image. For example, when editing a Canon RAW file, you’ll be able to access the different Canon color profiles to apply to your image.
One of the new and awesome features added to Lightroom in 2019 was the ability to easily add your own custom camera profiles to the mix! While creating custom camera profiles might be a little too technical for most of us, you can now purchase custom profile presets from different photography businesses. For example, all new Signature Edits presets come with custom color profiles for your images. This lets us get even more creative with the way we develop our presets and makes them way easier to work with.
Next time you’re editing in Lightroom, try playing around with the different camera color profile options – You might be surprised at the difference it makes!
You’re well on your way to mastering the Lightroom Calibration Panel.
Remember practice makes perfect. The more you experiment and edit yourself, the more you’ll understand exactly how the calibration panel works and what the different calibration panel sliders are for. Continue practicing and learning how to improve your photography, and you’ll make progress!
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