Rob Shea Photography

Creating an Infrared Custom Profile for Lightroom and Photoshop

Lightroom’s white balance temperature slider doesn’t offer enough range to effectively set a white balance on raw color infrared images. The same issue exists in Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop, which uses the same raw processing engine. In order to set a good white balance for color infrared images, it’s helpful to create a custom color profile. The guide below will step through the process. This video also covers the process.

Update 2021-April-06: You can also download the Infrared Profile Pack.
Update 2021-July-29: Added Troubleshooting tips.

Lightroom’s white balance temperature slider doesn’t offer enough range to effectively set a white balance on raw color infrared images. The same issue exists in Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop, which uses the same raw processing engine. In order to set a good white balance for color infrared images, it’s helpful to create a custom color profile. The guide below will step through the process. This video also covers the process.

Create DNG Image

You will need a raw file in Adobe’s Digital Negative (DNG) format. If you do not already have a DNG file, you can create one with Lightroom.

Download DNG Profile Editor

The Adobe DNG Profile Editor is a free tool which allows you to create custom profiles. It’s available for Mac and Windows. You can download it here:

If you have trouble running the DNG Profile Editor on a Mac, you may need to follow this workaround.

Create Custom Profile

In earlier versions of Lightroom and Photoshop for Windows, camera profiles were stored in a different location: C:\ProgramData\Adobe\CameraRaw\CameraProfiles

Using the Custom Profile in Lightroom

Note: If you do not see the profile listed that you just created, ensure that the profile was created with an image created by the same camera model as you are currently viewing. Custom profiles are specific to each model of camera. You only need one profile for your camera. If you have multiple infrared cameras, you will need a custom profile for each camera.

Using the Custom Profile in Photoshop

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Troubleshooting

If you are not able to see your profile in Lightroom or Camera Raw, here are some troubleshooting tips.

The profile is not saved in the correct location.

Double check that the profile location matches the locations listed above. You may place profiles in subdirectories within the above location and they should still be found, but this is optional.

The profile doesn’t match the image.

The camera model is stored within every profile and raw image. For a profile to be visible with an image, the camera model in the profile must match the camera model in the image. You cannot use profiles from different cameras, even if they are similar models. They must be the same model. Lightroom and Camera Raw will only display profiles if the camera model exactly matches.

Software wasn’t restarted.

Lightroom and Photoshop Camera Raw only load profiles when they are launched. If you add a profile to the appropriate location with the program open, the program will not see the profile. You must close and restart Lightroom or Photoshop in order the see the profile in that program.

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