Lightroom has several panels to adjust color in your image, what's great, but I am really interested in what Lightroom does behind it. I am curious if Lightroom has a certain order / priority for approaching / adjusting color?

I did some research and If I am correct, color calibration will change how the HSL panel will work.

I.e. if something is red like lips and I will change that hue more towards orange or red, I need to shift the red hue. But when the primary of red in calibration is shifted all the way to the right more towards orange (as an example), the red hue that I used before calibrating the colors, will no longer work to change the color of the lips in the same regio. You'll need to shift the orange hue now to change that hue.

Do I understand this correctly? And if this is the case, does that also mean that you always have to do calibration before you'll fine-tune the colors in HSL, since the tones you get right before you calibration can be completely different after calibrating the colors?

And does this also apply for white balance? Will white balance come before or after calibration in priority?

  • \$\begingroup\$ IMO we can only speculate about the order, architect(s) of LR in Adobe can answer you. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 6, 2022 at 5:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to add a keyword here: "processing pipeline" could be what you're after. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nomaru
    Jun 7 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


Color calibration is applied first in all cases. Whether it's user-defined or default. Then the controls apply afterward.


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