Colour Profiles

Originally published 7/9/21 – Disclaimer – I’m sure this post would be no use to an expert in colour profiling. That out of the way here’s my experience which falls into two categories: ICC Profiles for printers & camera profiles for editing software (in my case Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop). A profile for a printer should know the paper type and printer type and adjust the colour to make the perfect match between screen and print. My experience is that this is not always the case, some ICC profiles work better than others, and while I have a profile for each paper type (and I only have one printer), I tend to use the same profile for most prints (meaning the wrong profile for most prints). My lesson here is that the best approach is to do draft prints and choose the profile that best matches your expectations. You can also adjust the colour calibration in the develop module of Lightroom before printing – a common adjustment for me particularly the red primary slider. The camera profiles is a new issue to me, since I have moved to mirrorless. The two cameras I am now using do not have matching colour profiles (I have learned this now because all previous cameras I have used with Lightroom had profiles which are selected automatically). What the profile does is match (as well as it can) the image you see on the camera’s screen (which is a jpeg even if you shoot raw only) with what you see in your editing software. Without a matching profile or using the default Adobe profile, the colour may seem flat/lifeless compared to the image in camera. Of course this can be fixed in the editing software…and it seems third party profiles can be purchased. Frustrating that all the suppliers are not performing as well as previously but also interesting to notethat we rarely get to see a raw image!

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