Photos turn black and white after opening a folder

Community Beginner ,
Dec 06, 2020 Dec 06, 2020

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I have just rearranged part of my catalog by creating a new level of subfolders (2018, 2019, 2020) and moving individual folders (named by date) into the right catalog. I then opened various individual folders and, in most cases, something very strange is happening: the first photo appears as black and white (even though it should be color) and, as I'm watching but not doing anything on the keyboard, one by one the following photos in that individual folder turn black and white. I can reverse this by selecting all photos in the folder, then opening one photo in Develop, switching it back to "Color" and then syncing the changes, but this is not going to work in folders in which some of the photos are meant to be black and white. Any idea what is going on? Using Lightroom Classic 10.0 Release in Windows.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 06, 2020 Dec 06, 2020

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No need to post the same question twice.

 

All replies should go to https://community.adobe.com/t5/lightroom-classic/photos-turn-black-and-white-after-opening-a-folder/....

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 06, 2020 Dec 06, 2020

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Believe me, that was not my intention.  There was a spelling error in the first one.  Couldn't work out how to edit it.  So figured I would post another and then delete the first.  I have lost about 15 minutes today that I will never get back researching how to edit and delete posts in this forum to discover that neither is possible.  Never crossed my mind that the manufacturer of the most sophisticated photo editing software out there wouldn't provide such basic functionality in its online forum.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 06, 2020 Dec 06, 2020

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Following your thread with interest.

"into the right catalog" I presume you mean into the right 'Year' FOLDER.

Are you moving folders/files within Lightroom-Classic's folder panel, or using the OS File browser?

Are you Importing (with preset options) or using the Folder Synchronize function?

Have you accidently touched the keyboard [V] key? (selected photos will toggle B&W<>Color )

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 10.2, Photoshop 22.3, Lightroom 4.2, Windows-10 Nikon DSLR.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 06, 2020 Dec 06, 2020

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Sorry, yes, I meant the right "year" folder.  I moved the "date" folders inside Lightroom by dragging them into the correct "year" folder on Lightroom's left side panel (except for a few strays that were in the wrong place on my hard drive to start with, which I moved outside LR and then imported into LR).  When I add photos to LR, I use "Import" (usually straight from the memory card), not "Folder Synchronize."  The affected photos were imported long ago.  I have no idea whether the folder reorganization is relevant to the black and white problem, but I mention it because it was the last thing I did before the black and white problem started, so it's possible that these are related.

No, I am not accidentally touching the V key.  I merely open a date folder and then watch the photos turn black and white one by one while I am not touching the keyboard or doing anything else.  I nonetheless checked that my V key is not stuck, although even so I don't see how this could affect all the photos in a date folder given that I have not done a Select All, let alone a Select All followed by Sync when I open each date folder.  I also watched in the upper left as the photos were turning black and white and could not see the progress bar indicating a sync.

I have done a bit more experimetation.  The following types of photos do not turn black and white:  (1) photos taken on my iPad or iPhone that I added to my PC's hard drive and then imported into LR and (2) TIFs, being the photos I have edited in Photoshop.  Therefore, the photos turning black and white are those photos taken on my camera and not edited in Photoshop (which are DNG in LR, as I convert to DNG when I import). 

Thank you for your good questions.  This is the most mysterious problem I have ever struck in LR!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 06, 2020 Dec 06, 2020

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Very "mysterious"!!

The closest forum thread (at Adobe Feedback) I have seen to this is photos changing with a 'Color Tint'.

See some of the last (more recent) posts near the end of-

https://feedback.photoshop.com/conversations/lightroom-classic/lightroomcamera-raw-converting-raw-fi...

Curious to know- what you see in the Develop History panel of one of the images that has changed to B&W.

 

Edit: I just recalled this forum thread with a Lightroom (Cloud version) and similar problem!

https://community.adobe.com/t5/lightroom/why-does-lightroom-and-photoshop-convert-my-dng-files-to-bl...

 

 

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 10.2, Photoshop 22.3, Lightroom 4.2, Windows-10 Nikon DSLR.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 06, 2020 Dec 06, 2020

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Thanks for this.  I have taken a look at both threads.  The first relates to previews, whereas my problem is that the photo is black and white both in Library and Develop.  (In Develop, "Black & White" is active in the "Treatment" line.)  To answer your question about what I see in History, it's typically the import and then "Synchronize Settings," which is what I would expect to see because after importing I select "Enable Profile Corrections" and sync that to all photos in that date folder.

The second thread relates to photos turning black and white on import.  That is not happening on my case.  (I have just now imported today's photos to verify this.) 

Two more observations from further experimentation:

(1) The black and white effect does not occur on date folders I am opening from about mid-October 2020 onwards.  I have also opened a couple of date files from early this year, but in a part of my catalog outside where I rearranged the folders, and there is no problem with those. 

(2) When I change photos in a date file back to color by switching to "Color" in Develop and syncing "Treatment & Profile" to the other photos, that change sticks.  I have closed and reopened LR and those photos are and remain color photos when I open those particular date folders.

Most of the time when something goes wrong in LR or Photoshop, it's my incompetence and I just need to take a bit of time to work out what I'm screwing up.  This problem, though, is so bizarre that I wonder whether it falls into the "Well, sometimes Lightroom and Photoshop malfunction for no good reason and do crazy stuff" category.   The one piece of good news here is that I have a Lightroom catalog backup that is only one week old, and I think I could replicate the work done since then (importing photos and then the folder rearrangement) in an hour or so.  So perhaps the best thing here is to work out how to instead use the backup catalog and, assuming that it doesn't exhbit the same problem, replicate the work since then, hoping that it's problem-free next time around.  Does that make sense?


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Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 06, 2020 Dec 06, 2020

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Take one of the problem photos into Develop and look in the History panel. Do you see a recent step that converted the photo to black & white (or the application of a preset that did that)? If so, perhaps you accidentally had Auto Sync turned on with many photos selected when you converted one to black & white.

 

(You can Undo such a mistake immediately after making it, but if you don't recognize it until much later, you can't use undo.)

 

[Use the blue reply button under the first post to ensure replies sort properly.]

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 06, 2020 Dec 06, 2020

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johnrellis - Thanks for the suggestion.  I have already checked the History panel and there is nothing there beyond what I would have expected to see.  At no point had I done a "select all" of all photos in a folder that would have enabled a sync.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 06, 2020 Dec 06, 2020

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I merged your 2 conversations on this topic together as best I could.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 07, 2020 Dec 07, 2020

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Update:  Unfortunately, going back to my backup catalog doesn't solve this, as I am getting the same problem with photos turning black and white one by one when I open certain date folders there.  Any other ideas on how to fix this?  Otherwise I will need to go through the date folders one by one, switching photos back to color in Develop, which is going to be painful when a date folder contains a mixture of color and (intentionally) black and white photos.  Thanks!

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 23, 2020 Dec 23, 2020

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Adding a note for anyone who comes across this thread.  On further investigation, I did indeed find an unexpected sync operation in the History panel.  (In my earlier review of History, I may have mistaken it on the photos I sampled for another type of sync I typically do when adding new photos.)  Perhaps what happened here is that, when syncing, I inadvertently selected many subfolders and inadvertently checked "Treatment & Profile" on a B&W photo.  That seems very unlikely, as I nearly always convert photos to B&W in Photoshop rather than LR, and my syncing is typically very soon after photos are uploaded, which is before any significant editing is done, including converting to B&W. But I cannot think of another explanation for what happened here, other than that LR had its own wacky moment.

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