Any chance we can see a sample or two of this black veil effect? (To attach an image, click the camera icon above where you would compose or reply to a message.)
That is weird; it almost looks like the exposure and highlights were pulled down quite a bit.
Using Bridge by any chance? I was wondering if you could see if you could clear any settings for any of the RAW/DNG files (using Edit > Develop Settings > Clear Settings in Bridge).
The two JPGs you've included are created from a Nikon Coolscan 5000 (LS-5000) according to the embedded information.
Specifically, Diane and Darwin.jpg comes from scan0352.dng and Marriott Hotel.jpg comes from scan0238.dng.
Any chance we could see the original DNG files? Upload them to www.dropbox.com and post a public download link, here.
I wanted to include the DNG, but it's 104MB -- too large to upload here. I'll see if I can get it onto Dropbox.
Yes, I scanned a lot of negatives on a Coolscan. Saved them in both jpg and dng.
Warunicorn, this darkening happens in Bridge and also when I open files directly from my hard drive. I tried what you suggested and cleared settings in bridge for one of the dng files, but nothing happened.
Here is what the embedded previews look like as viewed in Windows Explorer which is not rendering the raw data, just showing the embedded preview from what ever software created the DNGs.
In Camera Raw, Lightroom and Bridge the DNGs look dark on my system the same as the JPGs included, above, so it's not errant Camera Raw defaults:
If I open one in RawDigger, raw analysis software the image is very dark similar to how it looks in Camera Raw so I think the data is just that dark:
If I open one in Photoshop and adjust the gamma to something around 2, then it looks brighter more like the DNGs embedded preview but lacks contrast:
So my suspicion is that the DNGs have linear gamma or perhaps the wrong DNG profile embedded in them. This would be controlled by the scanner software and cannot be fixed in the raw converter, only Photoshop.
Another approach if your PS is new enough is to open the DNG into PS using the CR defaults, then set the mode to 32-bits and use HDR Toning, which assumes linear gamma and makes it look more natural. I did also ASSIGN a profile of sRGB to the DNG before HDR toning:
And if you use PS-CC there is a Camera Raw layer filter that can be used for toning 32-bit images:
Since I've never used a Nikon Coolscan I can't really say what to do differently but I'd guess there is some setting or some scanning mode that can be change to make things look better.
Definitely leaning towards what ssprengel said.
I take it these images were actually captured from a transparency/film scanner? It almost sounds like the corrected RAW information was baked into the metadata of the images but, for some reason, applications like Camera Raw are taking them at face value (i.e., unprocessed).
(To be honest, when scanning transparencies, I do it straight-up unprocessed and then do the correcting myself post-scan. It ends up being quicker that way.)
Are you seeing the "veiling" in any other raw photos besides from a film scanner? If so can you upload those the same way as you did the two scans?
Thank you both for trying to help me, and you've given me lots to think about. The DNG files that are turning dark are not new. These two files (in fact, the whole folder of about 100 photos) were scanned almost two years ago and I've gone into the folder many times without a problem. I scanned 700 negatives over two years at a friend's scanner -- one at a time, so you can just imagine the time it took. Are the scanned negative files the only ones with this problem? I don't know, but that is certainly possible. I hadn't thought of that. I'm also wondering if a Camera Raw update from Apple could have caused the problem. It is interesting that Internet Explorer shows the photo correctly. Some of the files are still intact and I'm hoping they stay that way.
I have PS CS4 and CS6. Adjustments>HDR is available in CS6, but I will need to learn how to use it. I'm embarrassed to say I haven't learned CS6 and work in CS4. It's probably time I learned CS6. I'm not proficient with any of this software and you two are light years ahead of me.
The files were all showing properly for well over a year. You can just imagine my panic when I watched the thumbnails turning dark right in front of me, one at a time. It was like someone had taken over my computer and was playing a nasty trick on me.
I will not bother you again until I have more information. I'll pay attention to which files become infected and report back. I appreciate your assistance very much.