Make Camera Calibration your first stop in Lightroom editing

With so many options available in Adobe Lightroom it can be difficult to know where to start.  It is all too easy just to follow the built-in work flow of Lightroom: Basic, Tone Curve, and ending with Camera Calibration.  Here I will explain why the 'camera calibration' setting should be your first port of call (after setting your white balance that is!) in order to get a good starting point in your edits.

Depending on your camera, the camera calibration tab will offer you a choice of settings which you can choose from.  You should be able to see in the second image that I have a choice between Adobe Standard, Camera Landscape, Camera Neutral, Camera Portrait, Camera Standard and Camera Vivid, again, you may have different choices depending on your camera and you should try all of these in order to get the histogram you want.

Check the two images below and note the differences between Adobe Standard and my choice of Camera Vivid.  The differences are quite subtle, however, you should be able to notice a stronger blue in the boat and the reflections on sand are more impactful.

Image imported with no edits carried out

Image imported with no edits carried out

The only difference between this and the image above is that I have chosen Camera Vivid as the calibration profile

The only difference between this and the image above is that I have chosen Camera Vivid as the calibration profile

Admittedly this is a subtle change but the point here is to find a better starting point before carrying out any in-depth editing.  You can take this process further by using the saturation sliders in this setting too.  Below you can see the next step where I have slightly tweaked the 'Blue Primary, Saturation' slider.

By increasing the saturation in the Blue Primary sliders you can see a noticeable difference in the boat

By increasing the saturation in the Blue Primary sliders you can see a noticeable difference in the boat

And that;s that.  This is a very simple technique but it really can make a difference to your editting process.  These edits took a total of 10 seconds to carry out so it clear that the often overlooked camera calibration settings can speed-up and improve your editing workflow.  Give it a try and let me know how you get on in the comments.

Got a question about Lightroom?  Leave a comment below and I'll get back to you.