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Raw to JPEG much darker conversion.


Malbster

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Hey Guys,

I am a freelance Photographer who primarily shoots night events (shows, clubs, etc.) and I am having some issues with my images coming out darker when I save them as JPEGS. I am shooting with a Canon 60D (Adobe RGB) and at the moment editing the photos in the Adobe RAW Editor (Adobe RGB). When I am editing the photos in the RAW Editor they appear to be in 24bit, but when I save them as JPEG (Adobe RGB) they appear to be more like 32bit (much much darker). Any ideas as to why this is happening? I would really just like the finished product to be what I'm seeing in my RAW Editor.

---> Side note, I just realized the images are only darker when viewing them through Windows Photo Viewer and Facebook (where the photos will primarily be housed). Does anyone know why the images are vastly darker when viewed through these applications? This is definitely a viewer problem. So how can I make my images look how they are supposed to while using things like Facebook?

Thanks in advance,
Matt

The first screenshot of the image in the RAW Editor, the second of the JPEG in Widows Photo Viewer.

***UPDATE***

None of my replies appear to be going through so I'll just post them here. Before posting this thread I attempted to save them as sRGB but it still had the same affect. I also just tried Steve's Save for Web method and have the same issue.

I believe I am saving them properly as JPGs (I will supply a screen shot in this post). MrTom, when I say 32bit what I meant was if you are editing an image in Photoshop and you change the color mode from 8bit to 32bit, it looks similar to the drastic darkness as seen with 32bit.

A mini solution I have discovered is to +70 the Black levels, this evens out the photos to roughly what I was going for once they save. I would greatly prefer an actual fix, but this will do if all else fails.

Thanks for all the feedback!
 

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ZipedX

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Have you saved the images as sRGB?
That's the colorspace screens works with and is essential for correct displaying of colors on such devices, for printing RGB will work fine "in most cases".
 

Steve

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This kind of goes to what Zipedx said.
Most browsers and viewers should be able to view Adobe RGB images properly but in my experience they don't.

Try File|Save for Web check the convert to sRGB box when it opens and preview using Internet standard RGB.
With Save for Web you can also strip all metadata, add copyright info and more.
 

Malbster

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(not sure if last reply went through) I tried saving the image as sRGB and it had the same affect. I also just tried the Save for Web method you suggested Steve, but same results. I just did some fooling around and it seems that if all else fails I can just +70 to Blacks and the end result will be roughly what I was aiming for, but I would really prefer to find an actual solution.
 

MrToM

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I noticed something rather odd in your original post...
...when I save them as JPEG (Adobe RGB) they appear to be more like 32bit...
The .jpg format does not support 32bit, only 24bit.
If it definitely IS 32bit then somewhere along the line the file is being saved as one format but gets the .jpg extension applied to it....this is normally the only way a ".jpg" file can be anything other than its native 24bit.

Are you really saving as a jpg, or as another format and adding '.jpg' to the end of the filename?

Other than that I concur with the others...its probably not saved with the sRGB colour profile.

Regards.
MrTom.
 

Tom Mann

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@OP - While the screen shots that you posted provide helpful information, and the images that they show look fine on my system, we also need to be able to inspect some of the actual files that are giving you problems. Specifically, for at least one of the troublesome images, I would like to be able to inspect exact copies of your RAW file, as well as the JPGs that you produced from it (ie, "too dark" and "acceptable" versions). Also, if, in the same directory as the RAW file, you find an xmp file with the same file name, please post that as well.

Please don't post any of these files as you would normally do (ie, as an ordinary image attachment to a forum post). Instead, zip them all up together and post the zip file, or put it in dropbox so that we retrieve it. The reason for doing it this way is because if you post the image files as normal forum posts, they will be recognized by the forum software as image files and it will attempt to compress them and make unpredictable changes to the color space. In contrast, if zipped, the forum software won't know what's inside the zip file and won't do anything to it.

Finally, a couple of minor points:

a) Adobe has at least two "RAW editors", so when you use this term, you could be referring to either ACR ( "Adobe Camera Raw") or Lightroom. It wasn't until I saw your screen shots that I realized that you were talking about ACR.

b) You mentioned that you tried conversion to a "32 bit" version. Don't bother doing this. 32 bit per channel processing is used only as a kind of intermediate file format when working with either HDR files or 3D rendering programs. It has no relevance to the sort of work you are doing, and, in fact, only muddies the waters.

Cheers,

Tom M
 

Tom Mann

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Hi, Matt - I downloaded your files and was able to open them without any problem.

It turns out that the two jpgs that you enclosed were in different color spaces. The file labeled as "...too dark" was in Adobe RGB, whereas the file labeled as "...acceptable" was in sRGB. In fully ICC-compliant, color-managed browsers, there should be virtually no difference between an Adobe RGB image and the same image after being correctly converted to sRGB.

In fact, because you also enclosed your xmp file, I was able to do exactly that: I made ACR also render this image as an sRGB file, and, as expected, it looked essentially identical to your "too dark" Adobe RGB jpg. So, the "too dark" look that you don't like is clearly part and parcel of the image itself and the ACR settings that you used. This means that if you want to lift the shadows like you did, you have to do it by adjusting the RAW image in ACR. Of course, as pointed out earlier in this thread, you should never post any image on the web in anything other than sRGB, but fortunately, that's easy to do, and it looks like you already know how to do this.

The real question is whether or not you really want to lift the shadows by the amount that you did. On my hardware calibrated monitor, I prefer the version you labeled as "too dark" (which is exactly the same as what I got out of ACR). To my eye, the version you labeled as, "acceptable" looks like there is a haze permeating the darker parts of the image. However, the difference is within the bounds of personal preference, so it's a judgement call UNLESS you are not using a hardware calibrated monitor. If your monitor isn't regularly calibrated using a good quality external hardware device, I would suggest that you leave well enough alone and not try to lift the shadows because you simply can't trust any non-calibrated monitor for adjustment decisions like this.

If you want to be able to see detail in the shadows, there are other ways to achieve this without making the shadow areas look hazy, and I've attached a version below (last attachment) where I cranked up this approach to "11", LOL, to make it easily visible. Obviously, one can dial this (local contrast) effect all the way back to just lifting the shadows without introducing the more over-the-top look. See what you think. If you like this look, let me know and I'll write up what I did.

Tom
 

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