I hope that someone might be able to help me here, I have recently started with DSLR photography and I jumped straight in at the deep-end I think (although i've used compacts and bridge cameras for a few years prior). I am using Lightroom 5 to developer my RAW files, I make them look how I like them in LR however when I export the image changes completely, can anyone advise why this may be and what I can do to change this?

Side by Side compairosn between Lightroom 5 Develop screen and Windows Photo viewer

  • On the subject of colour management, be aware that if your monitor is not calibrated correctly you might be adjusting the brightness and/or colour to suit your eye on your monitor, and it might then look totally different on a properly calibrated monitor.
    – Bobulous
    Apr 3, 2015 at 18:58
  • Thanks for the feedback. Looks like I'm going to be checking calibration etc this weekend
    – Stefan
    Apr 3, 2015 at 19:00
  • Calibration is worth it if you treasure your images. When you've lovingly adjusted hundreds of digital images on an arbitrarily configured monitor, it's painful to realise that on a correctly calibrated monitor they all look too dark/light/red/blue/etc.
    – Bobulous
    Apr 3, 2015 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


Essentially this is a color management issue.

Lightroom uses the ProPhoto RGB color space in the Develop module that you are in. It is likely that you are exporting the image using a different color profile like sRGB. It is also possible that your Color Profile setting for windows is set to sRGB and that is what Windows Photo Viewer is using. Note that in the Library module and most other modules the Adobe RGB color space is used.

We have a great wealth of information on color spaces on this site already, this is just the tip of the iceberg :)

  • Thanks for that, I changed the colour profile to Adobe RGB and instantly saw a difference. Can you change the colourspace used by Lightroom? I would guess the common pc user will likely use sRGB so wondering if its better to post process in that so I can get it looking how I want then?
    – Stefan
    Apr 3, 2015 at 18:15
  • In the link I have above in my answer it notes "In the Develop module, you can also use the Soft Proofing panel to preview how color looks under various color-managed printing conditions.". So yes you can modify your color space in the Develop module if desired. That has implications that are a bit outside of the scope of this question though(or at least that I'm willing to elaborate on to a reasonable extent here).
    – dpollitt
    Apr 3, 2015 at 18:21
  • Thanks for that, apologies I didnt check it out. I will definitely read it now. Thanks again
    – Stefan
    Apr 3, 2015 at 18:22

Working colorspace in Lightroom is set by default to something better like AdobeRGB or even ProPhoto. But when you export to JPG files are automatically converted to sRGB. This is lossy colorspace and some nuances may be lost.

Try to play with your export settings.

  • They don't "automatically" convert to a color space on export, they convert to the color space that you select upon export. Also, different modules of Lightroom can use different color spaces, so its not a blanket statement that LR uses Adobe RGB.
    – dpollitt
    Apr 3, 2015 at 18:09

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