10 Replies Latest reply on Jul 25, 2016 3:07 PM by rachelk49727360

    Photos pixelated in Lightroom and after exporting

    rachelk49727360

      Hi, I am new to Lightroom and photo editing in general. I also recently got a Macbook Pro Retina. When I zoom into RAW files, before importing to Lightroom, they do not appear pixelated (see the attached photo on the left). Once I import them to Lightroom, they are pixelated when you zoom in. I read somewhere that this is so that you can see how your editing is affecting each pixel. However, once I convert the photo in LR to jpeg and export, they are still very pixelated when you zoom in (see the attached photo on the right, particularly the diagonal line on the left of the photo). My questions are: why are the jpeg images very pixelated when the RAW files are not at all? Is this normal or is there some setting I should have changed? I also understand that jpegs reduce the quality of the photo, but it seems like a significant difference. I have also attached my export settings in Lightroom, although the photo being exported is of the same quality that I can see in LR. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

       

      Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 01.47.57.png

      Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 02.01.16.png

        • 1. Re: Photos pixelated in Lightroom and after exporting
          dj_paige Level 9

          What software are you using to view the photos zoomed before import? What zoom level are you using, 1:1 or 2:1 or something else?

          • 2. Re: Photos pixelated in Lightroom and after exporting
            rachelk49727360 Level 1

            Hi dj_paige, thanks for the reply. I am just zooming in on the photos in the Mac's standard photos folder (not using any software), at around 250% in both the original and jpeg.

            • 3. Re: Photos pixelated in Lightroom and after exporting
              dj_paige Level 9

              There's no 250% zoom in Lightroom. What is the zoom in Lightroom?

               

              Where do these photos come from, your camera or Internet or elsewhere? What is the size of these photos in pixels (width and height) before you import?

              • 4. Re: Photos pixelated in Lightroom and after exporting
                rachelk49727360 Level 1

                Sorry, I was replying to your question about what zoom level I am using before importing to LR. I am zooming at 250% in the Mac's normal photos folder. Neither of the attached photos in the original post are in Lightroom (they are pre and post LR editing), but I have attached below the photo in Lightroom zoomed at 8:1. I understand this is zooming in very far, however, in the original RAW photo in the original post, zoomed into the same area, it is not pixelated. The original photo came from my camera and is 3648 × 5472 pixels.

                 

                Screen Shot 2016-07-25 at 02.52.46.png

                • 5. Re: Photos pixelated in Lightroom and after exporting
                  dj_paige Level 9

                  As far as I know, zooming beyond 100%, as you have done, will cause the image to appear pixelated. This is normal behavior. The fact that the edited and zoomed image is pixelated when zoomed at 250% does not indicate a problem.

                   

                  Your claim that the image, before importing into Lightroom, is not pixelated when zoomed makes no sense to me, that does not match my understanding. So I cannot explain what is happening, maybe someone else has some ideas.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Photos pixelated in Lightroom and after exporting
                    Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                    When you look at the raw file before importing, you are not seeing the actual raw file, but an embedded jpg preview.

                    I'm guessing that the Mac Preview (or whatever application you are using) is applying a lot of smoothing when zooming in, which gives you a false impression of what the image actually looks like.

                     

                    Other than that, there is no point in viewing an image at a higher magnification than 100% to judge the quality.

                    In fact, 100% is the only valid magnification, because one image pixel is then represented by one screen pixel - and this gives you a true representation of the image.

                     

                    So forget about the embedded preview, and view the image at 100% in Lightroom to judge the quality.

                    The same goes for exported images - view them at 100%.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Photos pixelated in Lightroom and after exporting
                      melissapiccone Adobe Community Professional

                      I agree with everything here. Just to address your question, you said you understand that jpg lowers the quality of,the image and seemed surprised at it being significant. It is significant. Jpg is a lossy compression. LR or whatever software you are using to save as a jpg, basically looks at your images, rips out tons of information and throws it away. You have a mere shell of an image compared to the original raw file. however, the images look ok if saved correctly, just don't do anything else to it and try to save it again... Never jpg a jpg.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Photos pixelated in Lightroom and after exporting
                        rachelk49727360 Level 1

                        Hi everyone, thank you all so much for all of your help and information. That is all very useful and exactly what I needed to know. Glad to know that there is no issue with the images! Thanks again.

                        • 9. Re: Photos pixelated in Lightroom and after exporting
                          trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          melissapiccone wrote:

                           

                          you said you understand that jpg lowers the quality of,the image and seemed surprised at it being significant.

                          Actually the issue here is due to viewing the image at greater than 1:1 View (100%) in LR.

                           

                          melissapiccone wrote:

                           

                          LR or whatever software you are using to save as a jpg, basically looks at your images, rips out tons of information and throws it away. You have a mere shell of an image compared to the original raw file.

                          At the 94 Quality setting shown in the OP's screenshot there should be very little if any visible difference in the Exported JPEG file. In fact you may be surprised at just how good JPEG compression is when using even lower quality settings: Jeffrey Friedl's Blog » An Analysis of Lightroom JPEG Export Quality Settings

                           

                          BTW- As explained at the above article there are only 13 JPEG Quality settings in LR despite the scale being 0-100.

                          (94 = 100 = 12 Maximum in PS)

                           

                          melissapiccone wrote:

                           

                          Never jpg a jpg.

                          Yes, very good advice! Use the original file, a Virtual Copy, or an Edit in Photoshop TIFF for making derivative copies.

                          • 10. Re: Photos pixelated in Lightroom and after exporting
                            rachelk49727360 Level 1

                            Update: issue sorted! As Per Berntsen suggested, the file I was importing to Lightroom was a preview image, not the original raw file. My last laptop wouldn't even preview a raw file except in Lightroom. So when I uploaded the images straight to the Mac I assumed it was just more advanced as a) it previewed the image and b) the file extension was correct. Assuming these were the original files, I then imported the files from the computer into Lightroom, thereby importing the compressed file rather than the original. Hence the very poor quality images in and post Lightroom, despite the sharp original image. Thanks all for your help - now slightly further along my learning curve!