I'm not sure if it's my camera, or my photoshop cs6, but I shoot manually and use AWB. i've never had an issue until recently. My images look great in my cameras viewfinder, but when I open them up in photoshop, everything is overly saturated and dark. I opened in Lightroom and the images look the same as my camera. When I adjust in lightroom and click 'edit in' photoshop, it reopens in photoshop but is again darker and too saturated. When i'm exposing for the skin, and purposefully overexposing the background, the image looks GREAT in camera, and when I preview it on my mac, but again as soon as I open it in raw- dark...over saturated, and extremely hard to work with because all the skin tones end up being very yellow and just YUCK!

I'm shooting in raw, so i'm not sure what the problem is- It only recently started and I'm not sure how to fix it. I haven't changed any settings on my camera/photoshop. I was told that I should change that my color space on my camera should be in Adobe RGB and not sRGB. I tried that, and I still have the same issue. I'm shooting with a Canon 6D and editing on with mac. If anyone knows anything, please let me know!

  • \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of Why do RAW images look worse than JPEGs in editing programs? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 30, 2013 at 1:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ "I was told that I should change that my color space on my camera should be in Adobe RGB and not sRGB." - NOOO!!!! NO! And at any rate that setting does not affect the RAW image. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 30, 2013 at 1:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ May be relevant also: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/10715/… \$\endgroup\$ Aug 30, 2013 at 10:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ To those voting to close as a duplicate of why an image looks bad in a RAW viewer instead of JPEG, that is not at all related to this question. This is dealing with a processed RAW looking different when brought up in an editor, not the fact that RAW images don't have the same things applied to them as the JPEG preview created by the camera. \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Henderson
    Aug 30, 2013 at 14:18

2 Answers 2


When viewing a RAW image in an image editing program, that program has to go through a number of transformation steps which affect the appearance of the image, in order to display the image.

Different RAW software packages will have differences in the way they apply these steps.

Since LR4 and CS6 are both by Adobe, I would suggest that it's because one of the two is too old to have a profile tailored to your camera.

This affects:

  • Colour space conversion

    Red, green and blue in the Bayer filter are not necessarily the same hue as red, green and blue in the standard sRGB colour space. The camera does colour correction to convert the colours into the desired colour space, which is usually sRGB. If you an equivalent image in a RAW image editor, it will also do colour space conversion, but it may use a different colour matrix for the conversion due to the manufacturer of the RAW editing software not having access to the same colour matrices used in the camera (or the camera having been released later than the RAW editor). If your RAW editing software is correctly configured, this step should not cause any noticeable difference in the resulting picture. Those who know what to look for (for example, Canon or Adobe's signature colour profiles, which try to enhance skin tones and blues) may be able to notice the difference especially when testing.

  • Contrast / Gamma correction

    Gamma correction is applied which converts from the linear values to gamma corrected values as required by digital image files. This correction is not a straight gamma correction; a contrast curve is applied to ensure that highlights and blacks curve off nicely. Some cameras store the camera's contrast setting in the RAW file and some RAW editors can use this; otherwise RAW editors will use an in-built contrast curve. This can create quite a noticeable difference between the in-camera JPEG and an equivalent RAW viewed in an image editor, or between multiple different RAW editors. The contrast curve affects not only the appearance of contrast but also, indirectly, the colour saturation. The great thing about working with a RAW file is that you have full control over the contrast curve applied in software, before lossy operations such as sharpening, noise removal or JPEG compression have to take place.


It sounds like maybe you have some kind of bad color profile applied in Photoshop that could be distorting your image. When you do an "Edit In... Photoshop" a finished image is produced by Lightroom and sent to Photoshop. To see if it might just be an incorrect ICC profile, see what it looks like saving from Photoshop and then opening in Lightroom again.

If the image saved from Photoshop is fine in Lightroom, then it is just the colors displaying incorrectly in Photoshop, if the image is still distorted, then it is possible that something is going wrong with Lightroom's export before it gets to Photoshop.

If Photoshop appears to be the problem, check Color Settings under the Edit menu and make sure they are set back to their default values. It might also be worth checking the preferences of your graphics card if you are using graphics card acceleration. I'd try disabling it first and see if that fixes it, if not, I'd leave it as is. It can be found under Performance in the Preferences. Also, if you are actually bringing the image over in Raw format, then it would be worth checking that Adobe Camera Raw is up to date and that it's settings are defaults. You can find Camera Raw settings under preferences in the File Handling, Compatibility section.

If the problem seems to be Lightroom's export, then I'm less familiar with what could be the source of that particular problem, though someone else may have further insight if the export from Lightroom is the source of the problem.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.