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Images look good, then Lightroom flattens them

Explorer ,
May 08, 2020

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I've had this issue for so long, but I've always just delt with it. But I figured there are a lot of smart people out there that may be able to help me....IS THERE ANY WAY to keep the look that Lightroom originally displays of your raw images? That beautiful vibrant puchy image that is displayed ever so briefly before it all just goes flat and dull and you have to spend so much time editing, NEVER to quite get that beautiful look again?

This happens with Canon .CR2 raw files and also my Fujifilm .RAF files. It is especially prevalent with vibrant images like sunrises and sets, but also with foliage and pretty much everything else.

I understand I can shoot jpeg and get similar vibrant/punchy results that don't go flat like the default raw images, that's NOT what I'm asking. I'm specifically saying there is something in the file that it knows enough to display a beautiful render for like 2 seconds before it goes all flat and lifeless. Is there anyway to access/default to that rendition?????
Thanks very much!!

BTW: I have already tried to use the camera matching color profiles in Lightroom. This can be helpful at times, but still is not the solution I'm after. It doesn't recover the images to that beautiful rendition that LR taunts me with for those brief moments.

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Feature request, How to, Performance, Presets or profiles

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Images look good, then Lightroom flattens them

Explorer ,
May 08, 2020

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I've had this issue for so long, but I've always just delt with it. But I figured there are a lot of smart people out there that may be able to help me....IS THERE ANY WAY to keep the look that Lightroom originally displays of your raw images? That beautiful vibrant puchy image that is displayed ever so briefly before it all just goes flat and dull and you have to spend so much time editing, NEVER to quite get that beautiful look again?

This happens with Canon .CR2 raw files and also my Fujifilm .RAF files. It is especially prevalent with vibrant images like sunrises and sets, but also with foliage and pretty much everything else.

I understand I can shoot jpeg and get similar vibrant/punchy results that don't go flat like the default raw images, that's NOT what I'm asking. I'm specifically saying there is something in the file that it knows enough to display a beautiful render for like 2 seconds before it goes all flat and lifeless. Is there anyway to access/default to that rendition?????
Thanks very much!!

BTW: I have already tried to use the camera matching color profiles in Lightroom. This can be helpful at times, but still is not the solution I'm after. It doesn't recover the images to that beautiful rendition that LR taunts me with for those brief moments.

Topics

Feature request, How to, Performance, Presets or profiles

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466

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LEGEND ,
May 08, 2020

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What you see is the expected behavior of Lightroom that cannot be turned off. Lightroom first displays the JPG preview of your RAW files (it does not display the vibrant punchy image that is a version of your RAW image, as there is no such thing). Then after a few seconds as Lightroom is able to render its own version of the RAW, then you see a different and usually flatter version of the image.

 

Remember, the JPG preview that you see has been edited by the software inside the camera. The RAW has not been edited.

 

You can create your own presets and apply them at import to modify the initial display of the RAW image to be more to your liking. These can include any slider moves that you like, plus you can also select a camera profile that you like. So you have almost infinite flexibility to modify the initial appearance of your photos.

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Explorer ,
May 08, 2020

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Hello DJ.

 

This is what I feared. So you are saying that even though I'm not shooting jpeg at all (strictly RAW), that my camera is still creating a "jpeg preview" in addition to (or embedded in?) the raw file, that Lightroom has access to somehow? I guess that's what I didn't understand.

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LEGEND ,
May 08, 2020

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Correct.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2020

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Hi Macman,

 

It's a great thing you added your little movie, it helped a lot.

 

It's good that you played with the matching camera profiles because that's a good start. What you need to do now is to learn how to use Lightroom. What I noticed is that in all of the images you showed, all of your controls were "null," unmoved. The great news is that LR has an "Auto" button that will get you from 50% to 100% the way to where you want to go. 

 

Before I continue, let me add that LR allows you incredible abilities to alter your image to make it the way you want it to appear. But that is only part of the process. I'm adding this paragraph only because if you have a bad image, neither LR or Photoshop, or ANY software can fix a badly done image. That said, if you have most of the work done reasonably well "in camera," than LR can bring you the rest of the way there. So below are three screenshots:

1) The first one is the image as presented in LR, yes, very flat. This is a raw image out of a Canon camera, the Profile I'm using is Adobe Color (use whichever one appeals to you, that's your choice). 

1.jpg

 

2) The second one is what I got by simply pressing the Auto button (circled). The quality of the results when pressing Auto is as varied as there are images: sometimes the result is "meh," more often then not, it will be great, but the important thing is that it will get you very far along in the processing stage and it's up to YOU to take it all the way to where YOU find the image great. Please keep in mind that you are the final decider here. What looks great to you might not be great to others but you are the one you need to satisfy.

2.jpg

3) The third photo is the one where you take the photo to where you want it to be. Here's where you play with the controls on the right hand side and make the image yours.

3.jpg

So here's the deal: LR cannot do this perfectly out of the box. The JPG look you want is someone else's idea of what you want but you can make it better with LR. To learn how to use the controls on the right hand side may take some time but the end result is Sooooooo worth it. Go online and look for videos on how to enhance your image. There are many many of these tutorials, look for them follow them, learn from them.

 

I had a friend once who was looking for a camera to take perfect photos. He'd show me an image in a magazine and say I want the camera that took that photo. But the photo he was showing me was a studio photo where the photographer was controlling the primary light, the secondary light, the model had makeup up the wazoo, etc. I kept on telling him that the camera he want's will never be made. He's still looking.

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Explorer ,
May 08, 2020

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Hi Gary.

 

Thanks very much for your comment, it was quite helpful.

 

I have been using Lightroom for years and understand how to process a raw image and get incredible results. I do have various presets that I apply during import, but I didn't have any applied to the ones I was showing during the video to help clearly explain the issue.

 

Sometimes it just seems no matter how I adjust my  shadows, highlights, exposure, color profile, dehaze and texture sliders, or even adjustment brushes or graduated filters,  I can never quite get back to the color and tonality of the quick preview that Lightroom had showed me that I liked so much.

 

Thanks much,

 

-Mathew-

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gary_sc LATEST
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 08, 2020

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Hi Mathew,

 

Please do not give up. There is an art to enhancing images just as there is an art to taking images. 

 

Trust me, there is NOTHING that can't be duplicated within LR's controls that is part of what you're striving for. But once you learn the controls, you can do them better. 

 

Think of the JPG as Ikia furniture: it's practical nice furniture. Then think of hand made furniture and think of the beauty and uniqueness it presents itself with.

 

Please, take the time to see how others control what they do in LR.  Learn. Develop yourself as an artist.

You will be better for it because your images will be better for it. 

 

Good luck!

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