Lightroom: Why do my images look lifeless/muddy, mainly in skin tones?

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I shoot in RAW and edit my photos in lightroom. My problem is they always seem to look muddy. Mainly skin tones but generally they look flat.
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Louise Craig

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Posted 3 years ago

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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What camera model are you shooting with? What is your Profile do you have selected under "Camera Calibration" in the Develop module?
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Louise Craig

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I am using a Nikon D610, colour space set to sRGB shooting in RAW. My profile is set to Adobe standard. Thanks for your help
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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If you set the profile to Camera Faithful, Camera Portrait or Camera Standard, does that put you at a better/expected starting point?
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Louise Craig

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No, adobe standard is still better
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Louise Craig

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Some of the skin tones look muddy in lightroom and then the picture seems muddier when I print it.
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Rob Cole

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As Jeffrey was suggesting, unless your Lr is broken, the answer lies in the settings, of which Camera Calibration Profile is primary.

But also you need to have blacks pulled back far enough, and proper white balance, and/or adequate exposure & contrast etc..

One thing: Adobe Standard tends to be kinda "pinky" (for lack of a better way to say it - some have said "magenta-y"), which means you may need to left-shift the tint or tweak the camera-calibration sliders a tad (and roll into a preset, or a custom profile), for it to be more pleasing.

Me? I like Adobe Standard for some Christmas shots because it makes Christmas reds really red (whereas camera emulation profiles tend to have orange-y reds), but for skin tones sometimes not optimal without some tweaking..
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Louise Craig

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Thank you, that explains the pinky tone when I print. Is it just a matter of preference what profile I use?
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Rob Cole

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Yes - strictly a matter of personal preference..

I think Adobe Standard is awesome for some pics, and for others - not so much.

Also, if you're most accustomed to in-camera color, then the camera-emulation profiles tend to be favored.

Maybe consider changing your default..
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Louise Craig

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Thank you, can you suggest any good sites to learn about different editing etc in lightroom? Or just look on the lightroom site? I have only learnt the basic so the profile part is new to me and can make such a difference.
Thanks for your time
Louise
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Rob Cole

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You're welcome Louise.

Lr is popular enough that there are lotsa learning materials available, on the net and in hard-copy.. but I have no real preference to share.

One place you can start with:

lightroomqueen.com

Adobe has theirs too..
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Pete Green, Customer Advocate

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Here are some good resources:
AdobeTV: tv.adobe.com/show/learn-lightroom-5/
FREE 75 page eBook by Victoria Bampton: http://www.lightroomqueen.com/free-do...
LR Tutorials: https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/tut...
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Louise Craig

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Thanks
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Louise Craig

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Thank you, merry christmas