A Simple Lightroom Trick To Restore The Back Of Your Camera Look

Have you ever been shooting away with your camera, and you absolutely love the colors and saturation you see on the back of the screen...only to get your images home and have them look ENTIRELY different once you've loaded them into Lightroom?

Well for those of you who want your images to look like they did on your camera, i'm going to show you how to get that starting point back!

The secret lies in the Camera Calibration Tab in the Develop Module of Lightoom.  

Based on the brand of camera, you may be presented with different options in your dropdown, but most cameras that shoot in RAW formats will give you the same "color" preset options that that you find within your cameras menu! For instance, the Nikon D800 files give me the following options for my Camera Calibration Presets; 

  1. Adobe Standard
  2. Camera Landscape
  3. Camera Neutral
  4. Camera Portrait
  5. Camera Standard
  6. Camera Vivid

Since I have my camera set to the default/standard profile, to have my raw imports in Lightroom to look as they did on the back of my camera, we simply select "Camera Standard." Check out the sample images in the gallery below showing each setting and the "straight out of camera" version from Lightroom as "Adobe Standard".

Using these or any other Calibration Profile of your choice as your starting point, you can then adjust the Shadows and Red/Green/Blue sliders to take your images to the next level. The first slider you encounter is your Shadows which slides from green to magenta from left to right. This is especially handy when you've been shooting in places where bright colors are reflected on your subjects.  For instance, you can push the shadow slider towards the magenta side slightly to help correct the green color cast that reflects from the grass/plants near your subject when shooting outdoors.

The next three sliders are for your Red, Green, and Blue Hues & Saturation. Use the Hue sliders to change colors from Teal to Purple and your Saturation sliders to increase, or decrease the intensity! Let your creativity soar here and adjust as you see fit for your images, (A double click on the slider bar will reset them back to 0).

For more information on how to use the RGB and Shadow sliders to enhance your images, check out Trevor Dayley's article Give Your Colors a Nice Kick With This Lightroom Trick.