LR hasn't ruined your images. LR never changes the actual image file. All LR edits are Non-Destructive to the original image file.
The only time any edits that you make in LR are added to the actual image file is if you export the image. Then the edits are bake into that exported file and during the export it is saved under a different file name or different file extension, image file type.
That Loading banner is because LR is actually rendering the image from the actual image file. what you see prior to that is either the preview LR has created or the small embedded JPG inside all RAW files.
Okay, so how do I get Lightroom to show my photos like I see it in the back of my camera? In the camera I see them flat, but once in Lightroom it seems it's either ignoring the picture profile setting or maybe it simply can't be exported or something. There has got to be a way though, no?
Okay, so how do I get Lightroom to show my photos like I see it in the back of my camera?
If you are shooting RAW, then you can't. That's not a design feature of Lightroom.
You didn't say if you are shooting RAW or JPG, but I am assuming you are shooting RAW, because that's the situation where the view in LR will differ from the back of camera view. There's nothing you can do the make the first view in RAW identical to the back of camera view. You can apply presets when you import the photos to make the photo more pleasing to you with less effort -- for example, if you want the initial appearance of the RAW image to have more contrast (or less contrast) you can create such a preset and then apply it at import.
What you are looking at on the back of the camera is either a JPG image if you shoot JPG + RAW or the small embedded JPG image included in every RAW file (for just this reason to review on the camera. That is also what LR is using for the initial view of the image. The Loading label is LR making a real preview of the image from the actual RAW image. If you want what you see on the back of the camera stop shooting RAW images and shoot just JPGs.
RAW images are RAW images with no In Camera setting applied. That is the way it is supposed to be. So you can make the changes you want not what the camera and or the cameras manufacturer decides is the way the image should look.
If that is not what you want then stop shooting RAW.
There are settings in LR that you can make, depending on the make of camera and what Adobe has included, in the Develop module and then save those choices as the Camera Default. This is Camera specific by serial number.
So if you have multiple camera you can have specific setting for each camera. When that Loading banner comes up LR will load Your Camera Defaults that you have set.
Thank you so much. It was ignorance of how it works on my part. Definitely don't want to stop shooting RAW. I wanted it to look flat only so that it woudl be easier to edit.
Go into the camera calibration section of the Develop module and see what it is set to. look to see if there are any Camera Specific settings other than Adobe Standard. Like this.
Then Google Set camera default settings in Lightroom for tutorials on how to make that the default option. You can also make many other setting changes before you set the default so they always get loaded.
I wanted it to look flat only so that it woudl be easier to edit.
Not everone believes this is the best way to go. Some people -- lots of people -- including me -- think it doesn't matter where the image starts, as long as you can use the software to get the proper looking final result. I haven't yet seen an examnple where different starting points prevent a user from gtting the desired end result. Meanwhile, you spend time trying to get the proper starting point, is in my opinion, not a productive thing to do.
First of all, you cannot force Lightroom to read the settings that you set in the camera. Every camera makers towards these settings differently, so the only solution for Adobe is to ignore camera settings such as picture styles, saturation, etc. But you can apply a Lightroom preset that is already in the develop module called, "zeroed", which will set all of the basic panel settings to zero. And if that is what you really want to start out with then you can zero those settings and then save the new camera defaults. Those are the settings that will then be applied any time you import images or click on the reset button.