10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 21, 2017 12:55 PM by Todd Shaner

    Help with JPEG quality


      Can anyone point me in the right direction, images i export look different from what i see in lightroom/photoshop.

      The images open in lightroom & photoshop look smooth no color blotching or tearing. But when it comes to saving the image I'm not getting anything like it.

      Photoshop I've tried saving both JPEG and PNG with no good results (always highest quality).


      If i take the image that has been exported, and then re-open it in LR or PS it looks awful.

      If i use Snipping Tool to take a screenshot and save the screenshot it seems to look much better than the save (but of course nothing like the image displayed in LR/PS -maybe the RGB format).





      : Snipping Tool Capture

      :JPEG Export



      : Snipping Tool Capture



      Additionally I tried to save for internet image but still the same problem.

      Any suggestions on how to get a better idea of what its going to look like when it saves, or how to up the quality of the JPEG?

        • 1. Re: Help with JPEG quality
          Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

          Please post the images directly to this thread.


          It is all about the settings you have selected in the Export dialog window. Post a screen shot of that window too.

          • 2. Re: Help with JPEG quality
            xarnthal Level 1



            These windows?

            Everything is on default settings. I did try mess with the "Additional External Editor" to match the Adobe Photoshop CC presets but that left me with a very small even worse quality export... So i reset it back to default.


            Lightroom Screenshot


            Lightroom Export JPEG


            Photoshop Screenshot


            Photoshop Saved JPEG


            • 3. Re: Help with JPEG quality
              Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              You mean the banding in the sky? Those look like they are single bit steps in sRGB space. I opened the jpegs in Photoshop and you can see the steps are exactly that. They are probably unavoidable in a 8-bit sRGB jpeg. Sometimes they can be made less obvious by dithering. The screenshots are in the colorspace of your monitor and are rendered directly from a 16-bit representation of your image whether you are in Lightroom or in Photoshop and so that will avoid the banding as you are not doing two successive color space conversions (first to 8-bit sRGB and then to the 8-bit monitor profile) but only one (from 16-bit prophoto to 8-bit monitor profile) which avoids the banding.


              In Lightroom you cannot control whether it will dither upon color space conversions but in Photoshop you can. In Color Settings, make sure "Use dither (8-bit/channel images)" is turned on.

              • 4. Re: Help with JPEG quality
                xarnthal Level 1

                I just checked and 8-bit color setting is already on, thanks for the help.


                Is there anything else i can try to reduce the banding on JPEGs?

                • 5. Re: Help with JPEG quality
                  JeffreyOD Adobe Employee

                  In case it helps you, I've found the following blog post by Jeffrey Friedl to be a great write-up on jpeg quality settings in Lr:

                  Jeffrey Friedl's Blog » An Analysis of Lightroom JPEG Export Quality Settings

                  • 6. Re: Help with JPEG quality
                    Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    You can use a different color space such as adobeRGB or DisplayP3 which might alleviate this or you can add a very tiny amount of noise in Photoshop before changing to sRGB and then to 8 bits. This will hide the steps a bit. The main issue here is quantization limitations translating between color spaces and bit depths.


                    Also Photoshop is supposed to do this noise thing (dithering is simply adding a bit of noise) already but you have to specifically do the change to sRGB and then to 8 bits before exporting to jpeg.

                    • 7. Re: Help with JPEG quality
                      Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Here is some more info and some guide on how to fix it: Photoshop Actions to fix the banding of Photoshop's gradients.


                      This is a very common problem in subtle gradients and a limitation of 8-bit images. At some point Lightroom was going to add dithering on conversion to 8 bits but it looks like that hasn't happened yet. What version of Lightroom are you using?

                      • 8. Re: Help with JPEG quality
                        xarnthal Level 1

                        Thank you all for the responses I'll try them out!


                        I'm using Adobe Photoshop CC + Lightroom package, I assume it's the latest version..?

                        • 9. Re: Help with JPEG quality
                          Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Check the info screen. It should be 2015.8

                          • 10. Re: Help with JPEG quality
                            Todd Shaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            In addition to the suggestions already provided you may want to look at your monitor brightness setting. The image histogram shows an underexposed image with a very limited dynamic range. Raising the Exposure setting inside LR will make the sky gradient much less likely to show banding when output to 8 bit/color.


                            If your monitor brightness is set significantly higher than the recommended 100-120 cd/m2 the LR adjusted image will appear much darker in print output and on a display that uses a more normal brightness setting. That in fact is what I'm seeing on my100 cd/m2 calibrated monitor (see screen shot below). Just something to consider.