Maintaining Colorspace on Export to 3rd party software


Sep 25, 2010
When I do a panorama or exposure blend, I typically export tifs from Lr in sRGB colorspace, run the pano/blend software with the tifs and then import the panorama output tif into Lr. The pano/blenders that I have don't maintain the EXIF file so I use exiftool.exe to attach an EXIF from one of the component tifs that I exported from Lr. They care nothing about colorspace, they just do their thing with whatever colors they are given. I would prefer to have the imported pano/blend tif be in the same color space that Lr uses with raw files so that I can print from these tifs just like I print from raw, with both starting off in the full Lr colorspace and converting only to the printer profile.

I tried exporting the tifs in ProPhoto colors and running the same procedure. If I reimport these same exported tifs back into Lr, the colors are right in Lr, even though they look awful when I look at the tif in Irfanview. When I import the pano output created from these ProPhoto tifs before attaching the EXIF from one of the exported tifs the colors in Lr are wrong. Even when I attach the EXIF using exiftool the colors are still wrong. Now I am very confused, if the colorspace isn't in the EXIF, where is it?


Mark Sirota

Senior Member
Oct 8, 2007
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Only sRGB and Adobe RGB can be encoded in EXIF. In this case they are tags -- you set particular EXIF tags (ColorSpace and InteroperabilityIndex) to indicate one or the other.

Additionally, an entire colorspace profile can be embedded in the file. If you want to use something other than sRGB or Adobe RGB, this is the way to go.

LR always embeds the colorspace. It never sets the tags. Cameras, on the other hand, always set the tags but never embed the colorspace.

If you're using the exiftool command line, use the -ICC_Profile option to transfer it from one of the sources to the pano/blend file. (Combine with the -b option to extract the profile.)

Graeme Brown

Active Member
May 10, 2009
Lightroom Experience
One of the album design programs I use does this, it uses sRGB but doesn't tag the files. Simplest thing I've found is to create a Photoshop action that properly tags the files and just batch the files through Bridge/PS before re-importing. Annoying, but I only need to do it 1' times a year or less so not worth worrying about really