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Strange things happening to Sepia images in Lr 4.3

Jan 1, 2013 11:32 AM

I'm at my wits end and hope someone can help me out! I've spent hours and hours with Adobe tech support only to have a hard time understanding the thick accents and none knowledgeable enough to figure out the issue. And my case was dropped due to schedules; I was busy with Thanksgiving which seemed to make no difference to one who doesn't celebrate it! But I digress...


I really don't remember this happening in Lr 3.5, but it is in Lr 4.1-3 and only effects Sepia toned images I edit for the most part. Just finished about 200 images from an event where I will put them on a DVD to music for purchase. They all looked fine when I finished with them. I exported them as JPEGs, long side 1024, quality 74. The rest of the long story short, iMovie made them look awful, opted for iDVD. First time viewing them all was good, but after multiple viewings after rearranging/adding/deleting images from the project, they look like crap. For some very strange reason, many took on a pinkish/reddish coloration and often will introduce artifacts that simply weren't there in Lr. I viewed my edited images on 2 other Mac's and the issue remains, so not my computer.


I have an 27" iMac, OS 10.6.8 (completed up-to-date), 3.3GHz duo core, 12GB RAM, 960GB of free space on a 1TB HDD. Under warranty the display and recalled hard drive have been replaced, so my Lr 4.3 is completely fresh; not from a backup. With the new HDD recent, I haven't calibrated my computer as of yet. My images are on a WD 3TB with 1.25TB of free space (a tad on the low side but shouldn't effect anything). My camera is a Sony A33 and I shoot strictly in RAW set for sRGB; using ProPhoto in Lr and for sometime now only in Manual.


I would be so appreciative if anyone can explain why this is an issue. I need to finish off this DVD for the event and if I cannot figure this out, it's lost time and money! Admittedly I haven't been doing this for very long, so if it's something I'm doing wrong, I'd really like to know what it is...


Here are my examples:


Screen shot of image in Develop Module


Screen shot 2013-01-01 at 10.38.05 AM.jpg


Exported JPEG (coloration/banding is evident in upper right quadrant)



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 1, 2013 11:36 AM   in reply to LadyCharlyTX

    I don't have an answer for you but here's what I'm thinking:


    You say that the probelm occurs with JPGS that were exported from Lr with quality 74 and a pixel dimension of 1024 pixels on the long side.

    And you say that the problem arose "after multiple viewings after rearranging/adding/deleting images from the project".


    Question: Did this "rearranging/adding/deleting images from the project" involve saving these JPGs mutiple times?

    I assume you know that the JPG file-format applies a "lossy" compression. "Lossy" means that image information is discarded and cannot be retrieved. Each time the JPG is re-saved more information is discarded, so that after several savings there is so little information left that the images "look like crap" .

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 1, 2013 11:39 AM   in reply to LadyCharlyTX

    You should use higher quality on the jpeg export. 74 will often show banding. Secondly, iMovie and iDVD are absolutely terrible at slideshows. They really lower the quality terribly. iMovie generates a low resolution jpeg copy from your original, introducing scaling artefacts. It also does a terrible terrible job at gamma correcting the images, introducing horrible posterization. You can mitigate the first problem by exporting higher resolution from Lightroom, but that is not fool-proof. The second problem cannot be fixed. It is just really terrible and you would need to use something different like Final Cut or Adobe's Premiere. There really is no fix in iMovie. iDVD is also terrible but for another reason. standard DVDs can only contain a maximum resolution of 720x480 pixels (on NTSC discs). Needless to say, that is really terrible quality and will not work well for your purpose. Unfortunately, if you want a DVD that will play on set top box DVDs there is nothing you can do about that as it is a limitation of the medium.


    For your purpose, I would recommend you do one of the two following things.


    I. Create the slideshow in Lightroom in the slideshow module. Export to a 1080p (or 720p) H264 mov file (export Video Slideshow in the slideshow menu) while set to music. Simply burn the resulting file on a CD or DVD from the finder. This will play in any current computer. It will also play on many BluRay players with superb quality. The only limitations of this method are that you cannot pan and zoom and that you can only use a single track as background music.


    II. Export the images at fairly high resolution (say 2000-3000 pixels on the long side) with output sharpening. Import the exported images into iPhoto. Create a slideshow, set the aspect ratio to 16:9 (in the settings box) set to music to a track or a playlist, define the pans and zooms, and set the transitions (dissolve is usually the best) and hit export. In the dialog, uncheck "Automatically send slideshow to iTunes". Hit the Custom Export button. As format, select Movie to MPEG4. Hit the "options" button, select "MP4" in file format, in video format, select H264, set the image size to 1920x1080 HD. Set the Data rate to something more reasonable than the very low rate it defaults to such as 4000 kbit/s or so. The higher the better but you don't want to go higher than 10 Mbit/s. You can burn this to disc in the finder just like above. This is an onerous method but gives nice pans and zooms and you can set the slideshow to a playlist of songs.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 1, 2013 6:04 PM   in reply to LadyCharlyTX

    > Are you saying the burn will be superb if I use FC or AP, but not iM or iDVD? Or are you saying I need a special disk when I burn. Sorry, but I'm clueless to doing this.


    There are two issues. First is that iMovie is terrible with still images because of a bug that has been in there for as long as iMovie exists and that they refuse to fix. It appears to do two gamma conversions in a row back and forth that result in posterized dark areas and that is a holdover from the days when Macs used gamma 1.8 on their displays. So don't use iMovie for stills. FC and AP don't have this problem, but they both do not solve the second problem. That is, if you burn a video DVD using ANY software suite, you run into a limitation of video DVDs. You cannot get more than single definition video on video DVDs which have a max of 480 lines of vertical resolution (for NTSC DVDs - the US standard). The DVD burning software converts your video (or your series of stills) to MPEG2 video at those 480 lines and puts that on the DVD. The nice thing about this is that you can play the disc using any DVD set top player connected to any TV. The bad thing is that for still images, the resolution is pitiful and your images will look terribly pixelated. This is true for whatever video editing and DVD authoring software you use. What you really need is HD video. Unfortunately, there are no cheap consumer oriented BluRay authoring software packages and especially not for the Mac, so you cannot generate (easily at least) a BluRay disc on your Mac. What you can do is burn a data CD or DVD with a simple high definition movie file on it. This will play on most computers and will even play on some BluRay set top box players. The latter will look superb on a good high def TV. As I explained above, you can generate such movie files directly from Lightroom or using the iPhoto hack. There are also several low-price software packages that do it but I don't have much experience with them. So there is generally no need for an expensive video editing suite.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 2, 2013 8:12 AM   in reply to LadyCharlyTX

    Your summary is all correct. One small addition that I would make I

    describe in another thread about slideshows skipping on this forum

    yesterday. I run the exported 1080p movie file through a program called

    handbrake that you can find on the web by googling for it. I just use the

    default settings on it and you will get a much smaller and potentially more

    compatible file out of it with basically no loss of quality. I burn that

    file on a USB stick or a CD or DVD. People really seem to like those discs

    as they play in many BluRay players on their high def TVs. Many TVs and

    bluray players now come with USB slots that you can just stick the USB

    stick into and play the H264 movie files from with the caveat that the

    default Lightroom export often seems to be of too high a bitrate making the

    movie skip frames and stutter. The handbrake trick fixes that.


    1. The finder can burn DVDs. Simply insert a blank DVD, choose to let the

    finder handle it, drag the file onto the disc icon or into the finder

    window that will open and hit the burn button on the opened finder window.


    2. Absolutely. You can also use the built in opening and ending screens but

    they are not that flexible. With the outside graphics, the trick is to

    create a collection that you set to user order and insert the slides at the

    beginning and end. Then create a slideshow from that.


    One of the disadvantages of Lightroom is that the slideshow quality is not

    that great even with HD exports. It doesn't seem to sharpen the images at

    the final resolution so they stay slightly soft. There are tricks around

    this but they all involve a lot of work. Basically what you do is crop all

    your images to a landscape 16:9 ratio. Export them to 1920x1080 pixel

    images (i.e. 1080p standard) with output sharpening applied. Import those

    into Lightroom and generate a slideshow from those. That is onerous indeed

    and the reason why I also told you about iPhoto which outputs sharper video

    without tricks. That said, nobody but crazy photographers notices this but

    I do find this a real annoyance with Lightroom as I am a bit of a

    perfectionist when it comes to my images.


    Sent from my iPad

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 2, 2013 8:58 AM   in reply to LadyCharlyTX

    You only need to crop if you set the slideshow to have images scale to fill

    the entire area. The default slideshow layout doesn't do this and you'll

    get bars at the side or at the top if the aspect is not 16:9. The default

    1080p export gives you video at 1920x1080 pixels, which is the standard

    16:9 aspect ratio of hi def TVs and most computer displays nowadays. If you

    have a 4:3 tv it is probably not high definition and normal DVD format of

    480 lines of resolution is probably as good as it gets on that tv and

    you'll probably get the best quality by simply feeding the Lightroom export

    into iDVD. Computers of course generally do fine with whatever you feed

    them as most displays are better than 720p. So if your audience is people

    with high def TVs and bluray players or computers, burn the movie file

    directly on a disc or a USB stick. If your audience is people with non high

    def TVs and simple (non BluRay) DVD players, iDVD will work fine.


    Probably you just need to experiment.


    Sent from my iPad

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 2, 2013 3:31 PM   in reply to Jao vdL

    Jao vdL wrote:



    One of the disadvantages of Lightroom is that the slideshow quality is not

    that great even with HD exports. It doesn't seem to sharpen the images at

    the final resolution so they stay slightly soft. There are tricks around

    this but they all involve a lot of work. Basically what you do is crop all

    your images to a landscape 16:9 ratio. Export them to 1920x1080 pixel

    images (i.e. 1080p standard) with output sharpening applied. Import those

    into Lightroom and generate a slideshow from those.


    This has been issue with the LR Slideshow module as far back as I can remember. On Mac systems the Bicubic algorithm (Good) is used to resize images, but then no sharpening is applied to the images. On Windows systems the Nearest Neighbor algorithm (Ugly) is used to resize images with no sharpening applied. Nearest Neighbor images look sharp, but suffer from "jaggies" in diagonal lines. More details here if you're feeling very bored and have nothing better to do:



    The only way around this is to follows Jao's suggestion or simply use another application to create your slideshow. Fortunately, LR's Export module does a very good job of resizing and sharpening images to your liking, which can then be reimported back into the LR Slideshow module or another application. If you choose Jao's suggestion make sure the image 'Height' is exactly the height inside the Slideshow template's frame.


    Example- The LR 'Widescreen' template fits to the image height, so you would use Export> Width & Height = 1920 x 1080 for making a 1080p video. Other templates that place a border above or below the image will require using a smaller height that matches the actual image size in the template. The Widescreen template with images cropped to the 16:9 aspect ratio provides the largest image size and best overall appearance onscreen.


    And the most important issue with the LR Slideshow module concerns using of the 'Stroke Border:'


    Make sure that 'Stroke Border' is unchecked since even a 1 px border will cause your Slideshow exports to appear soft. See the above link for more details. I have confirmed that LR4.3 still has this issue!

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2013 3:10 PM   in reply to LadyCharlyTX

    This is starting to sound like you have issues with your display icc profile. SInce you haven't claibrated your monitor there has to be some ICC profile assisgned to it by your OS, which apparently is not compatible with LR. The quickest test for this is to assign a standard sRGB.icc profile to your display and see what the images look like both inside and outside of LR. I'm not a Mac user so perhaps somone watching here can tell you how.


    Your best option is to hardware calibrate your monitor, since the lumincance level and color calibration are probably way off the target 100-120cd/M2 and 6500K color temperature. This is why we here things like, "Why are my prints dark," How come my prints have a yellow tint (or whatever color shift)."

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2013 3:16 PM   in reply to trshaner

    It is extremely rare for the system-supplied display profile of a built in screen on a Mac to be bad. I basically have not seen that yet. You're still better of calibrating but the built in profile is usually not terrible. To check it, go into system preferences, hit the displays button and click on the color tab. If you're not calibrated, it will show Color LCD there, which is the Apple-supplied profile.


    The symptoms LadyCharlyTX describes sound different than a bad profile to me, but more like the previews not being up-to-date and some Develop settings not being applied yet. One thing to do before generating the slideshow is to generate 1:1 previews for all the images or to set the standard previews to the largest size and quality and regenerate the standard previews. See if that solves the issue.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2013 4:03 PM   in reply to LadyCharlyTX

    To make 1:1 previews:


    In the Library module grid view select all the images that need previews, then go to toolbar Library> Previews> Render 1:1 Previews.


    What profile is currently assigned to your 27" display?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2013 4:09 PM   in reply to LadyCharlyTX

    1. They are being overly cautious. You can do repair on the profiles but as

    long as your display profile is not the one it flags you should be fine.


    2. No you can create 1:1 previews with one click. Select all your images

    and go to the Library menu -> Previews -> Render 1:1 Previews


    3. In general, for most displays, after calibration your screen will look

    somewhat warmer and more saturated. You usually want to calibrate to D65

    (6500 K) which is the default option in the Spyder software. Note that even

    though the built in profiles on Macs are not bad, they are still not

    anywhere near perfect and the result of the Spyder (if it is not a broken

    one) is the one you should trust.


    4. That is a little worrisome. I don't really understand what you are

    saying here. Are you saying that the same exported images with the same

    develop settings that look wrong on your machine look normal on the MBP you

    tried in the shop? That could be a bad display profile indeed or a problem

    with the videocard. If it tests normally than the card is probably OK and I

    would really urge you to calibrate your display using the Spyder.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2013 4:30 PM   in reply to LadyCharlyTX

    A well-calibrated screen should appear completely neutral in greyscale

    images. Certainly no tint should be visible. If after calibration you get

    that, something is seriously wrong with either the calibrator or your

    display. A Spyder and certainly the Elite should be able to get your

    display completely neutral looking.


    Do you have an Apple Store anywhere in your vicinity? They will generally

    allow you to run other software to test if you ask nicely (they wipe their

    machines completely every day so it's not a big deal to them) and I have

    seen Lightroom on their machines before. You can also take one of your

    trouble images (export to lossy dng!) and put it in a place where we can

    download it to test such as a dropbox public folder.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2013 5:18 PM   in reply to LadyCharlyTX

    Good to hear! In the future you can do the same thing by selecting all of the images for your slideshow (or whatever) and having LR update the 1:1 previews. Don't worry, it will only update those images that have Develop module changes.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2013 5:40 PM   in reply to LadyCharlyTX

    That all doesn't make sense. The images in Slideshow are rendered from the

    exact same previews as are used in Library. They should be identical. Does

    the same issue occur when you create a fresh empty catalog and put the

    images in there?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 7, 2013 6:13 PM   in reply to LadyCharlyTX

    >I thought images should look the same whether in Library, Develop or Slideshow, but that is not the case for me.

    Library and Slideshow should be identical. Develop is a special case where you can sometimes see very subtle differences in tint to Library, but this does not sound subtle to me at all.


    >There's not many images in this catalog and to be honest, not sure a new catalog will bring in the VC that I'm working off of. Can you tell me if it will?


    The trick is to select the images (or their VCs) you are working on and to export a new catalog from this (File -> Export as Catalog). Make sure to deselect "Export negative files" and "Include available previews)". Then load the new catalog (you can simply double click on it. The previews will be recreated in this new catalog.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 8, 2013 8:32 AM   in reply to LadyCharlyTX

    I suggested it because it sounded like something was wrong with the

    previews and this was the quickest way to test that. The previews getting

    out of sorts is uncommon but certainly not unprecedented.


    For your second question I believe smart catalogs cannot have user order

    because they are dynamic (making it possible for images to appear/disappear

    at any time) so it is not unsurprising they did not retain the order you

    put the images in. If you want a certain order you want to create a normal

    collection of the images and drag them around in there,


    You can repair the icc files you listed above but you don't have to bother.

    They are profiles that Lightroom doesn't use for anything. They probably

    came out of a photoshop install and even there are only used for certain

    cheesy special effects, so them having (very minor compliance) problems is

    not a problem at all.

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