Lightroom calibration panel

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Lightroom Calibration Panel Tutorial

Lightroom Calibration Panel 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!

If this tutorial was helpful please do us a favor and rate this post 5 stars. Leave your comments and questions below!


Now go create something awesome 🙂



Here’s how to use the calibration tool in Lightroom

What’s your preferred method for editing colors in Lightroom? Do you use the Calibration panel sitting at the bottom of the Develop module? I usually play around with HSL sliders, and I don’t think I’ve ever used Calibration. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to watch this video. Mango Street’s Daniel Inskeep tells you about this powerful tool and gives you some examples of just how much you can achieve with it.

Calibration allows you to change the tint of your shadows, adding more green or magenta to them. You can then adjust the hue and saturation of the three primary colors: Red, Green, and Blue. So, why Calibration and not HSL? As Daniel explains, Calibration sliders adjust the values of every pixel, whereas the HSL only adjusts values of set hue ranges per slider.

“Think of calibration as developing the color profile of your image,” Daniel explains. You can play around with the sliders and crank them all the way to the left and right to see where it takes you. It’s great for determining the starting point of your image and the color palette you’ll use. From there, you can modify the intensity of each slider, and then edit the image as you normally would.

You can use Calibration for some very dramatic adjustments. In his video, Daniel shows two examples and creates and changes his images to a great extent. But of course, this tool is useful for subtler editing as well.

So, as I mentioned, I think I’ve never used the Calibration panel before. I’ve always relied on HSL sliders and Photoshop’s Selective Color for even subtler color tweaks. What about you? Has the Calibration panel been a part of your workflow?

[Master Lightroom’s MOST POWERFUL TOOL | Calibration via FStoppers]

Filed Under: TutorialsTagged With: adobe lightroom, Calibration, lightroom, Lightroom Classic, Lightroom tips, lightroom tools, Mango Street

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Unlocking a Lightroom CC Hidden Feature That Could Change Your Editing for the Better

A few months ago, I wrote an article about using Lightroom calibration to create magic in your images but found out from many readers that this feature sadly didn't exist in Lightroom mobile... or does it?

Technically, Adobe removed "Mobile" or "CC" from the official name of their cloud-based Lightroom software, but to make things less confusing for you and me, instead of calling it by the official title, I will be using Lightroom Mobile. In case you need a refresher or you missed the original article on Lightroom calibration, you can find it here. I will be referencing that technique quite often throughout this article, but really, all you need to know is that magic happens when you increase the blue saturation in the camera calibration panel. One question or comment I received quite often is if this technique worked in Lightroom Mobile, and I couldn't personally answer because I had never used the program before.

Earlier this week, during my live stream, I finally got around to giving it a try and confirming that the calibration panel doesn't exist in Lightroom Mobile, which was somewhat disappointing. As I continued learning the differences between Mobile and Classic, I realized that the photos I had edited within Lightroom Classic still had the calibration settings applied once I synced them into Lightroom Mobile. Yet those settings don't actually exist within the mobile version, so how did they carry over? I was intrigued. 

Setting Up Adobe Sync 

Let's start out by finding an image to sync from Lightroom Classic into Lightroom Mobile. This way, we'll have at least one photo we can apply settings to within Lightroom Classic to create our presets in Lightroom Mobile. 

First, make sure you have sync enabled for your catalog, which you can do under Preferences > Lightroom sync. Once you have that turned on, it's time to decide what to sync to the cloud. The easiest way to do this is to create a collection and tell Lightroom to sync all photos in that collection. Once you have done this, add a photo to the collection.

After adding a photo or making any changes to a photo that is synced, you'll see this icon in the top right corner letting you know that the preview file is syncing to the cloud. Keep in mind that your raw photos are not synced into the cloud, only the smart previews of the photos.

Adding Calibration

Now that you have Sync enabled, you should be able to open Lightroom Mobile on your desktop, iPad, or phone and make sure you see the photo there. Note that there is no Camera Calibration panel within Lightroom Mobile in the edit window.

Go back into Lightroom Classic and set your desired calibration to the synced image. Again, if you didn't read or watch my content on this, it may be a bit confusing why we are doing this or how it works. 

In the above example, I pushed the Green Hue and Green Saturation to 100 so that it's obvious the calibration settings are working in Lightroom Mobile. So, there it is, proof that these settings actually carry over even though they are not actually in the program, at least not the ability to control or manipulate them. I confirmed this further by making sure these settings were also applying on my phone as well and working correctly. 

At first, I thought maybe it was simply syncing the preview file and not actually applying the settings to the image, but we can disprove that as well by making a preset, which also enables us to use this feature in the future.

Save as a Preset

99% of the time I use the Calibration panel in Lightroom Classic, it's to turn the blue saturation slider to 100; thus, that's a setting I would use most often with Lightroom Mobile.

First, go back into Lightroom Classic and reset your image. Doing this will make sure that the preset we create will only contain the calibration setting, essentially allowing us to add this feature into Lightroom Mobile. After resetting the image, adjust the blue saturation in the calibration panel to 100.

Head into Lightroom Mobile and wait for it to sync. Once it has done so, in the bottom left corner, select Presets. When that panel opens up click, on the ellipsis (...) and select Create Preset.

Name your preset; in this case, this will be my Blue Saturation 100 preset, and only check these boxes.

Once you've created your preset test, test it on other photos you have synced within Lightroom mobile. I confirmed this again by using my presets on my phone, and it worked as well! Speaking of which, it's good to remember that any preset you create within Lightroom Mobile on your desktop, tablet, or phone will sync to all programs. 


I'm typically not someone who promotes or even uses presets because I would much rather just teach people how to make their own. I also don't think preset packs work all too well on landscape photography and mostly just give you ideas on stylization for your photos. All of that said, this process is a little different. I don't really consider these presets. They're more like a workaround to enabling certain calibration settings to be used within Lightroom Mobile. You can repeat the steps above to create as many calibration settings as you think you would use in your mobile editing. You can see I've created 12 different settings, but many times, I will only use different levels of blue saturation. If you'd like to save yourself some time or you simply don't want to go through the process of installing Lightroom Classic, I have created this pack of 12 settings so you can download them and import them right into Lightroom Mobile.

I find it fascinating that these settings actually work in Mobile but don't exist in the interface. Even range masks work, but that is a topic for another time. Thanks for reading and watching. I'd love to hear your thoughts down below. If you have any issues or problems replicating what I've done throughout this article, feel free to ask for help as well. 


Camera Calibration on the new Lightroom

"the new Adobe Lightroom."

If you are referring to Lightroom (Cloud based) then the Profile choices are found by clicking the four-squares icon- And you do not get the color sliders to make changes as in Lr-Classic.


The image you have linked is 'old'. It is taken from Lightroom-Classic versions before v7.4.

Lightroom-Classic now has the 'Camera' Profiles at the top of the Basic Panel while the adjustment sliders remain in a 'Calibration' panel.


Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 10.4, Photoshop 22.5, Lightroom 4.4, Windows-10 Nikon DSLR.


Calibration panel lightroom

The Impressively Powerful Tool That Could Change Your Editing Forever: Lightroom Calibration

There's a tool in Lightroom you have likely never touched or maybe just don't understand its purpose. The calibration panel is something I use in nearly every single photo I edit; let me show you why.

Last week I went over Lightroom's new color grading module and the week before that I took an in-depth look at using tone curves for more than just contrast. This time around we are going to be using a panel many of you have likely never touched, "Calibration". If you're like me a few years ago you simply just never touched the setting because of its name. Why would I need to calibrate the image out of my camera? And if I did need to, how do I even do that?

Well, the truth is I’ve never used it to actually calibrate the color coming from my camera using a color chart or anything of that nature but I continually use it to add a bit of magic to my images. It's hard to describe in words what it does to your images so I'm going to use three different examples in this article and even more in the video above to show just how versatile it can be. With that said, let's get started!

The Standard

I'm going to start by using a blank canvas: a photo I have not touched and I will go through how I use this tool 95% of the time. One of the first things ill do when I edit an image is set its white balance and then scroll all the way to the bottom to adjust my calibration.

The majority of the time I simply boost my "Blue Primary" saturation to 100. I do this for basically every photo I publish. Above I've made that change and zoomed in to show exactly why I do this. Notice those golden highlights in the grass but also pay attention to the shadow areas in the bottom left of the frame, see how it almost brings that area to life in such a subtle yet beautiful way? This is without any other edits.

You might be asking why I'm using the blue saturation slider rather than the green or red. In the image above you'll see on the left the image with blue saturation set to 100 and on the right, you see the red saturation set to 100. Notice how crunchy and just a tad overdone the red handles the sun's colors. Green acts in the same way but is slightly less intense. What you can do is only increase your red or green values to a comfortable amount like +40 for this image, however in my experience simply using the blue saturation slider yields the best results for these types of scenes. If it's hard to see in these images you can jump to around 4:50 in the video to see it in more detail.

It gives me the most punch and enhancements to the colors I want while still having a nice roll-off in the majority of the colors in my scene. The one problem you will run into is that it pushes your blues into oversaturated territory. To fix this simply go into your HSL panel and decrease your blue saturation by about 20. This will vary based on how much blue is in your scene and how much editing you push your final image.

Above is a photo with very light editing that wouldn't be possible without using the calibration setting directly in Lightroom. If it didn't exist I would have to go into Photoshop and use masking techniques to get the vibrance and light that it creates in this image. Sometimes that is something I will do but on many photos not only does it save me time, but it also creates great results. It's that simple. As I said before, this is something I use on the majority of the photos I publish and I absolutely love the results. However, we can use this for much more.

The Look

Next up I'm going to start with an image I've already edited. My recommendation when editing is to adjust your calibration settings before you do basically anything else but white balance or basic adjustments. However, for example's sake I wanted to show just how powerful this tool can be and it honestly might enhance images you've already edited as well. Take note in the above image how dull the red hut looks yet the grass in the foreground looks brighter and more saturated which isn't a balanced look.

Sometimes I want the greens in my image to be less yellow and more of a muted green, to do this I'll adjust the calibration hue of green to the right which will remove yellow and add more blue into the image.

Last I want to make the image, especially the hut, pop just a bit more. By simply pushing the green saturation slider up not only do we add a little life into the image, the red in the hut comes alive. Also, interestingly enough, the intensity in the green areas doesn't change all the much if you compare the before and after. I love this tool! Again if it's hard to see the color shifts in the pictures jump to around 8:40 in the video for an even more detailed look.

The Style

Last but not least let's talk about stylizing your image. Long ago I wrote an article about posting to Instagram everyday for a month using a very stylized type of image throughout those posts. While my feelings on Instagram are far different than they were then, I actually used the calibration tool to make the stylization I used for every image. Coincidentally when I opened my catalog to find this next image, I noticed Lightroom's new loading screen is using an image taken with an infrared filter applied, which looks vaguely close to our image. 

A classic look in cinematography is orange and teal. This might not be quite that but it's in the same ballpark and it's really simple to do with calibration. In nearly every photo if you push the blue hue to the left you'll result in that style. Now I'm not saying to rush out and turn all your photos teal and orange, it's definitely very specific and can be quite extreme. It might not even be to your taste but there is no harm in learning just what a tool can do for you, even if you don't plan on using it. As I just learned while writing this article, it could even replicate an infrared look!


I hope after three completely different styles of images you'll go out and try this on some of your photos or future edits. As I said before I typically stick with using this to put a bit of life into my images, but it can also come in quite handy to get creative with your images as well. As I mentioned a few times throughout the article if it's hard to see the color differences through the pictures within this article be sure to check out the video as it should do a better job showing those differences. The calibration on your monitor or phone while looking at the images through a web browser will vary.

As always I would love to hear what you think below, if you've ever used this tool before or if this is your first time even knowing it exists. Thanks for reading and watching!

Alex Armitage has traveled the world to photograph and film some of the most beautiful places it has to offer. No matter the location, perfecting it's presentation to those absent in the moment is always the goal; hopefully to transmute the feeling of being there into a visual medium.

More from Alex Armitage
Master Lightroom's MOST POWERFUL TOOL - Calibration


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