I am trying to setup my workflow with the above four tools and have some doubts at certain points in the workflow (colorspace, files formats to save etc.).

What I want to accomplish at the end of the Workflow:

  1. Export images for the web.
  2. Export images for print.

Here is what I am doing currently:

  1. Import all images from the camera (AdobeRGB color space is set in-camera).
  2. Cull images in Lightroom to sort out the keepers.
  3. Open keepers in Photoshop as smart objects, and then work with Nik filters on them.
  4. Export them.

Here are my doubts with the above steps:

  • After importing as a smart object in Photoshop, I can go back to ACR by double-clicking the thumbnail in the Layers menu. When ACR launches, I see come color profile information below the image that is clickable and can be modified. So before I do anything with NIK on this image, should I change the following:

    • For web images: change the color space to sRGB, depth to 16 bits/channel, and resolution to 72 dpi?

    • For print images: change color space to Adobe RGB or ProPhoto (not sure what to choose here), depth to 16 bits/channel, and resolution say 300 dpi?

    • Or should I just leave it as ProPhoto RGB which is the default, at 16 bits/channel, and 300dpi, when I first click the link?

  • When it comes to export for web should I just select PS → File → Export → Save for Web Legacy and just set the desired height and width and leave everything else as default?

  • For exporting for prints as TIFF, should I leave the Embed color profile check mark unchecked as it's going to embed ProPhoto RGB?

I have looked all over and there are different answers everywhere and that has left me in a super-confused state. I am hoping that people here with their experience can point me in the right direction.


2 Answers 2


For web images you will want sRGB JPEG which is 8 bits/channel - not 16 as you stated.

For printing - do you mean to send to an external printer or print yourself. If printing yourself why export at all - you can print the Photoshop file directly from either Photoshop or Lightroom. I prefer printing from Lightroom as it will rescale to the appropriate dpi etc when printing without having to modify or make a copy of the Photoshop image rescaled to the correct pixel dimensions. In Lightroom you can use virtual copies for different media if you are varying the saturation or colours for them. Indeed Lightoom will automatically create virtual copies for different print profiles if you softproof using them.

If sending to en external printer you will need to ask them what format they want - whether they want it rescaled (and to what dpi) and what Color space. The cheaper more common printers will only take sRGB jpegs and won't even give you a colour profile. The best one I have used in the UK will take 8-bit TIFF files, AdobeRGB and requires them rescaled by you to 300dpi for the particular dimensions you want them printed.

Generally while processing images I would leave them as ProPhoto, 16bits.


A lot of this is a solved problem using Adobe Bridge, it's much better for this kind of task than LightRoom.

My batch workflow is to tag the keepers in bridge, filter on the tag. Colour, Crop, and Curve them in Camera Raw. Any that need more massaging get a separate tag for me to hand-tweak in Photoshop. You'd want to run them all through Nik and that's fine. When you're done there's a handy Photoshop -> Image Processor automates Photoshop to take care of the jpeg export (it can also export tiff and psd) with the options you want.

It can probably print them too (either bridge or by automating image processor with a Photoshop action) but I outsource my printing so I've never looked into it.

Using Bridge also gets you around the ProPhotoRGB issue, since the space really doesn't offer any benefit at all you'll get better results by sticking more closely to the AdobeRGB that was originally captured. Dan Margulis certainly has nothing nice to say about it, and he's a bit of a legend in the world of colour management.


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