10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 15, 2016 9:17 AM by Jao vdL

    Lightroom and JPEG problems

    davidb88717947 Level 1

      Ok so I have searched the internet for the relevant answers to this question but I have not been able to find any I'm afraid...

      Which is rather strange seeing as I thought this was a trivial problem. But anyhow.


      Ok so, when I open an image in Lightroom, it looks a certain way, the colours, the exposure, saturation and the amount of grain etc.

      Then, when I export it into a JPEG file, it looks quite different than the original raw file. And this regardless of me having edited the picture or not.


      But it's not just the colours that change. The ENTIRE picture changes, it's darker, higher contrast and contains more grain!
      Now this would suggest it has nothing to do with the colour spaces, but something else right?


      I am adding screenshots of two pictures so you can see for yourself:





      Ok so the bottom one that is a JPEG file is clearly darker, more grain in the picture and other annoying details that make it differ from the original file in Lightroo


      So my questions are as follow:
      1. Why is this?
      2. How can I change it or fix it? Alternatively, how do I make sure that the picture I have edited in Lightroom looks like how I see it IN lightroom In other places aswell and in other picture formats?

      When I exported the file from lightroom to JPG, these are the values I used (if anyone wonders):
      Colour space: sRGB
      Quality: 100
      Resolution: 72 Pixels per Inch


      Thank you!

        • 1. Re: Lightroom and JPEG problems
          Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Two important questions:


          1. How do you calibrate your monitor?


          2. What do you use to view the jpegs? Many programs on windows including the built in viewer are not color managed and will never show you the correct colors and you should avoid those. The grain is coming from a different scaling algorithm used by the program you are using to view the image.

          • 2. Re: Lightroom and JPEG problems
            D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            This looks like a monitor profile issue.


            This is Windows Photo Viewer, which in fact is fully color managed. These two should be absolutely identical.

            • 3. Re: Lightroom and JPEG problems
              Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Yeah probably a profile issue hence y first question. I don't do windows but I do remember that Windows Photo Viewer's color management is very hit and miss and that it depends on the windows version and the type of monitor profile (icc v4 apparently doesn't work correctly for windows viewer in any windows version) whether it will work correctly.

              • 4. Re: Lightroom and JPEG problems
                D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Could be a v4 profile, most calibrators these days do v4 by default. Still, I'm more inclined to just call it a "broken" profile and to replace it.


                For my own part I've tested v4 from time or time (made in ColorNavigator) and never seen any problems anywhere. That includes Windows Photo Viewer, which has always struck me as a sensible and reliable piece of software. Replacing it with the non-color managed "Photos" seems like a huge step backwards.


                I've seen a lot more issues with table-based profiles, as opposed to matrix-based.


                In any case, I'm sure recalibrating / reprofiling will fix this. And of course if the OP doesn't have a calibrator it's sRGB - or go get one.

                • 5. Re: Lightroom and JPEG problems
                  DdeGannes Adobe Community Professional

                  This is a color management problem and the only way to get your monitor to display the exported image close to what you see in Lightroom is to profile/calibrate your monitor using a hardware device.

                  There are differences in the images apart from the color management issue, and I am just throwing out some hints since I do not know the details of what we are looking at in the two screen captures.

                  a. The Lightroom screen capture looks as if it is the display of the preview file rendered by Lightroom from the original image. This image is in AdobeRGB color space.

                  b. The second screen capture is exported jpeg in sRGB color space. Resized during the export function. Has any sharpening been applied during the export process?

                  c. The second screen capture the image has been distorted (stretched laterally) and am not sure how if this happened if in Windows Photo Viewer or during the screen capture process.

                  There is no way that the two images will display "absolutely identical"

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Lightroom and JPEG problems
                    D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    How do you get that? These two screenshots are both untagged PNGs. If opening in Photoshop, assign sRGB to both.


                    Again, I emphasize that these two should display absolutely identically. Even if one was Adobe RGB originally, and the other sRGB, they should still display absolutely identically, unless viewed on a wide gamut monitor and the image contained some colors that exceeded sRGB. That's not the case here, there's no significant clipping in sRGB.


                    All color managed applications should always display identically, that's the whole point, short of sRGB gamut clipping as seen on a wide gamut monitor.


                    This is the difference between the two - note the black level. This is entirely a color management problem, and the most likely cause by far is the monitor profile:



                    BTW I did notice the stretching, but that's not relevant here. As for noise, I don't see any difference so that must be because it wasn't viewed at 100% by the OP.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Lightroom and JPEG problems
                      davidb88717947 Level 1

                      Ok so I have been reading what you all have been saying but I'm still not getting this cleared.
                      Yes I opened the JPEG with Windows photo viewer. But it's pretty much the same whatever I open it with.
                      I tried Paint and uploading it to Facebook and looking at it on there and it's the same...



                      Ok so I'm seeing most of you think this is a monitor issue, and that it needs calibrating?
                      What is it that I need to do?


                      Also, how does one go about this when it comes to sharing images online, for instance, via Facebook or a website if how I view, in my view, a perfectly edited photo, if every1 else views it differently on their devices? Or do they?


                      Like, if I upload a picture of a bird in backlight, and I have edited the picture so that the bird is dark, you can only see the silhouette of it, I suppose its possible that for some, the bird would still be bright enough to see its beak, eyes etc, and for others the picture would be way too dark?


                      I'm fairly new to "this" part of photography and I'm kind of thinking, isn't this a HUGE problem? For everyone?


                      It would be like being a painter, and you paint a blue painting. Half of the people coming to your exhibition view it as turquoise, another 25% as greenish and maybe 25% can actually see its purely blue.
                      Am I wrong?

                      • 8. Re: Lightroom and JPEG problems
                        Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP



                        to calibrate your monitor, you use a piece of calibration hardware that you hang in front of your monitor and that actually measures the color coming off and builds a profile that color managed apps use to display the correct color contained in the file. Typical ones are eyeone, colormunki, Spyder Pro, and many more. It is pretty indispensable to have access to one if you want to trust what you see on your screen. if you don't want to spend the 150-300$ that these things cost, many photo clubs have one or two that you can borrow. It is pretty essential to do this. In the mean time before buying one or borrowing one, go into your monitor's properties pane and look at the color management tab. Delete any profile that is associated with your monitor. This will make Windows assume your monitor is perfectly sRGB and allows you to test whether monitor calibration is the issue.


                        regarding sharing images online, the take home lesson is that you can't control this perfectly. Very few people calibrate their monitor and even if you have the exact same monitor model sitting right next to each other you'll see huge differences. Mobile is even worse. Only exception really is Apple who ship color management in all their recent mobile devices and actually calibrate the screens. On other brands it is a complete cr**shoot.


                        One one thing to remember though is that most monitors cluster around the sRGB standard and targeting that is usually the best you can do. In order to target that, you absolutely do have to calibrate your monitor using calibration hardware. that is by far the best thing you can do. But you have to understand that you cannot control what any individual sees, just what the average person sees. Anything more is a pipe dream.

                        • 9. Re: Lightroom and JPEG problems
                          davidb88717947 Level 1

                          Ok I see, thank you.


                          What about the grain in the picture and the darker spots. Does that have to do with the monitor too?
                          And will these monitor devices allow me to see what a JPEG I upload on, for instance Facebook and a website, will look like?

                          • 10. Re: Lightroom and JPEG problems
                            Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            the difference in noise/grain could well be due to the viewer using a different scaling algorithm than Lightroom. There are many ways to scale down a picture to the lower resolution of a computer display Than is present in the file. Some soften the image a bit leading to less grain and others tend to emphasize the graininess/noise. Basically what happens in a simplified way is that in the original you have a block of say 4 pixels that have to be displayed by a single pixel. You could do the simplest thing and just pick one pixel and display that. This will result in a strong increase in perceived noisiness but will appear sharper. This is called nearest neighbor scaling and is often what cheap software does. Another way is to average all 4 pixels. This will appear much less noisy but will also appear a bit softer. There are many other algorithms that are used that attempt to strike a balance.  Bottom line is that you can often see some slight differences in detail between different software.


                            regarding you r question about the calibration hardware, what it guarantees is that your own display will display correctly as long as you use color managed software. You can't control what other people see but since monitors cluster around sRGB if you calibrate your monitor and export to sRGB and send that to people/upload to the web, you will on average get them to see what you see. You can't control other people's monitors completely.


                            If you think about internet, internet explorer is not correctly color managed so it can't show correct color, except if your monitor is perfectly equal to the sRGB standard. firefox can be set up to be color managed. On Mac OS X everything is color managed and even without calibrated monitors people get a reasonably close match. Mobile as i said is more or less random Except for recent iOS devices. The situation is improving but not there yet.


                            Lastly, when you upload to a website, you have to contend with what those servers do to your image. Usually they rescale your image and recompress. Sometimes they will strip color profiles from your image. As an example, facebook is notorious for rescaling and over compressing your images to the point of showing artifacts all over. Nothing you can do about that. With facebook, it is often a question of making sure you upload a smaller image (no more than 1600 pixels I believe) to make sure it doesn't butcher your image completely. Other websites have different rules in this respect. There is no hard and fast rule Except to use sRGB and to not upload full resolution images but to try to target the actual display size.