One of our favorite tools to use when editing RAW files are Camera Profiles. Applied as one of the first steps during post-production, they can substantially simplify your workflow and improve your images. Unfortunately, camera sensors capture colors differently.
When shooting the same scene with the same camera settings:
- Reds captured with a Sony camera will look different to those captured by a Canon
- Greens shot with a Sony A7RIV will look different to those from a Sony A6600
- Even blues in images shot by the same camera can look different under different lighting conditions, for example in daylight compared to fluorescent lighting.
In addition, image editing programs use their own profiles to convert the RAW data into an image. These profiles also present color differently, completely transforming the way images look. For example, compared to the default Adobe Color profile in Lightroom/Camera Raw, the Adobe Landscape profile adds saturation to all colors, slightly increases contrast and renders more vibrant blues and greens within an image.
This combination of color bias from the camera sensor and editing software can result in a base image with colors that are not true to the original scene, providing an inaccurate starting point. This can make it more difficult to adjust and refine the image depending on the look and feel you want to achieve.
What are Camera Profiles?
Camera Profiles can assist in this color dilemma by providing accurate, consistent and true-to-life colors – regardless of the lighting conditions during the shoot, your camera model or the editing software you use.
Our Master Profiles have been created using a standard color reference chart that has been photographed by each camera model under varied lighting conditions with significantly different color temperatures (i.e. in very cool and very warm light). These images have then been calibrated against the color chart and combined to obtain true to life color information. The result is a general-purpose Master Profile for each camera that will produce consistent and accurate color across a wide variety of lighting conditions.
For Adobe users (Lightroom and Camera Raw):
- Place the Master Profile in the location on your computer where Adobe stores DNG profiles for Camera Raw and Lightroom:
– Mac: /Users//Library/Application Support/Adobe/Camera Raw/Camera Profiles/
– PC: [C:]\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles
Note that you must set up your folder options to View Hidden Folders to be able to navigate to these paths.
- Restart your Adobe application to apply the new Master Profile.
- In LIGHTROOM, with an image selected go to the Develop module. In the panel on the right under Basic select the Profile pull-down menu, choose Browse and select the new Master Profile from the list. Note – for quick access in the future, click on the star located on the top right corner of the profile and it will be added to your favorites.
- In CAMERA RAW, open an image and click on the Camera icon to see the Camera Calibration tab and access the Profiles.
For Luminar users :
- Open Luminar.
- Select the RAW file you want to edit.
- Click on the ‘Light’ tab in the Essentials section.
- Under Profile click on the “v” on the right side of “Luminar Default”.
- Click “Load Custom DCP Profile”.
- Select the new Master Profile and click open.
When should I apply the Master Profile to my images?
It is important that Master Profiles are used as one of the first steps in your editing workflow in order to obtain an accurate baseline image. We recommend your workflow starts with the following 2 steps:
- Make sure your White Balance is set correctly.
- Apply the Master Profile.
Then you can continue with your own workflow to adjust and refine the image as you like.
How accurate will the Master Profile be?
Our Master Profiles have been created using light sources that have color temperatures significantly different from each other (at each end of the Kelvin temperature spectrum), so they will perform great in most lighting situations. In order to reproduce colors that are always perfect, a camera profile would need to be created for the specific lighting conditions at the same place and time each image was taken.
Which editing software programs support your Master Profiles?
Currently the Master Profiles can be used in programs that support DNG profiles – Adobe Suite (Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom, Photoshop) and Luminar 4.
Can I use the Master Profiles on all image types?
No – Master Profiles will only work on RAW files (no JPEGs).
Can I share my Master Profile with other individuals?
No. Each Master Profile is provided for use to a single user, and sharing is strictly prohibited. We will consider it software piracy if the file is passed to other individuals.
I can’t see a Master Profile for my specific camera model – can I use one from the same Manufacturer?
Unfortunately not – each Master Profile is calibrated to a specific camera model. We will be adding additional profiles to our site on a regular basis. If you have an urgent request for a specific camera profile, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to accommodate.
What is your Refund Policy on Master Profiles?
As our Master Profiles are digital products that cannot be deactivated, all sales are final – we do not offer refunds, returns or exchanges. If you are unhappy with the product for any reason, we want to know about it so please contact us at email@example.com.
I can’t see the Master Profile in my editing program – what should I do?
Try trouble shooting with the below:
- Ensure you have placed the Master Profile file into the correct folder on your computer or MAC – this will differ according to the software program you are using (refer to Installation Instructions)
- Some software programs will also need to be restarted for them to recognise the Master Profile
- Check that you are working with RAW files – Master Profiles will not work on JPEGs
If you still cannot see your Master Profile, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of the issue.