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Elements Organiser doesn't work with b&w photos

New Here ,
Mar 28, 2021 Mar 28, 2021

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Hi - I'm a newbie to the Elements world. I'm having lots of trouble working with b&w photos in Elements Organiser. Most (though strangely not all) b&w photos don't display a thumbnail image - it is all black. If I open that image in Photoshop Elements, it also displays an all black image. However, as noted above a very few images display both a thumbnail and full image when opened. All files were created by scanning the original negatives with the same scanner in the same session. Looking at the metadata, there is no obvious difference between the images that display and those that don't. Windows File Explorer has no trouble displaying the thumbnails of these images and Windows Photo Viewer has no trouble displaying the full image. Any suggestions? - I'm at a total loss. Thanks

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Organizer, Problem or error, Windows

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 28, 2021 Mar 28, 2021

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If you are setting your scanner to a high resolution dpi, you may be exceeding the size limits that Elements can handle

What is the size in pixels of your problem scans?  What is the size of the prints that you are scanning?  You probably don't need to scan at the highest scanner dpi.  You may only be increasing the file size without improving real  resolution.

 

If this is not the issue, please post a screenshot of the black thumbnails.

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New Here ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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Thanks for your reply Greg.  I have attached a number of screenshots of the problem photos. I hope they illustrate the problem sufficiently. For completeness my system is:

 

Windows 10 Pro 64, build 19041.867 - Intel Core i5-8600K @ 3.60 GHz 16Gb memory

 

The first shot shows a number of scanned b&w photos as they display in Elements Organiser.

The second shot shows one b&w photo from this set that has a proper thumbnail and displays correctly in Photoshop Elements.

The third shot shows how Photoshop Elements displays the photos that don't have a proper thumbnail.

The fourth shot shows how Windows Photo Viewer displays the same photo as for the third shot.

Windows File Explorer is able to display correct thumbnails for all of these photos.

 

Regards Stu

ElementsOrganiser_PrintScreen1.jpgElementsOrganiser_PrintScreen3.jpgElementsOrganiser_PrintScreen4.jpgElementsOrganiser_PrintScreen5.jpg

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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All your scans have been scanned in 'indexed color', which is not common especially for black and white images. I have searched for 'planar configuration - chunky' and found

https://www.awaresystems.be/imaging/tiff/tifftags/planarconfiguration.html

 

Since you can open the black tiff items in other viewers, I would try to resave to tiff or other common formats in normal RGB mode.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 29, 2021 Mar 29, 2021

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Great catch, Michel!!

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New Here ,
Mar 30, 2021 Mar 30, 2021

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Hi Michel - thanks for your observations. I don't think the problem stems from the "indexed color" setting as all working and non-working files have this setting.  However, the "planar configuration - chunky" setting is different between the files: the working files don't have this setting.  Interestingly, your link states that if the Samples per Pixel = 1, then Planar Configuration is irrelevent.  So not sure why this is a problem.

I have started opening the files in Photoshop Elements and simply saving over them and they then start to work. The re-saved files still show "indexed color" as the Photometric Interpretation. The only observable difference is that the Planar Configuration setting has disappeared.

Hopefully, this will cure my problem.  Only about 700+ more photos to re-save ...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 30, 2021 Mar 30, 2021

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Hi @Stu5DAD ,

"700+ more photos" to resaves takes a lot of time.

There might be more efficient solutions if you could post a sample tiff for other forum members to test.

Could you post a link to Dropbox or similar so that we could try something?

- free external tools like Faststone, Irfanview, Xnview can probably batch resave your tiffs

- external tools based on exiftool may be able to  edit out the problematic metadata field

- It would be interesting to see if other Adobe apps can open those tiffs.

 

Did you try to open such a tiff in the Elements camera raw?  (File >> Open in camera raw)

That has proved to work with jpegs containing non standard fields in the metadata, in which case resaving from basic editors also worked.

 

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New Here ,
Mar 30, 2021 Mar 30, 2021

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Hi all - I've added two files to Dropbox (link below).  The first (BW0003_007) is now a file that correctly displays a thumbnail and image in Elements Organizer.  The second (BW0003_0009) doesn't do either.

 

Link to Dropbox:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/eg79umyle30sl7d/AADMOxZv_QMs0MqE-haBPagva?dl=0

 

Thanks and Cheers.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 30, 2021 Mar 30, 2021

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You should be able to use File>Process Multiple Files in the photoshop elements editor to

resave the tif files as tif files, which should then display in the photoshop elements organizer.

 

conv1.jpgconv2.jpg

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New Here ,
Apr 01, 2021 Apr 01, 2021

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Jeff - thanks for the great suggestion.  I tried that, and as you indicated it worked a treat. I have successfully updated all 700+ images.  I can now proceed with scanning the remaining 300+ that I have.  Unfortunately, all of this hasn't really explained why Organiser has the initial problem - as far as I can tell, both working and non-working files have very similar EXIF data. I can only assume it's something embedded in the internal file format that gets overwritten during the update.  Thanks again. Cheers.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 31, 2021 Mar 31, 2021

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I have downloaded your samples from Dropbox.

I have first tried opening the problem tiff in the editor (PSE2021.2 on Win 10).

I get a warning message that there is a wrong color profile (I did not write the correct wording) and that it will be skipped.

The image opens ok in the editor and can be imported ok in the catalog.

Having a look at the metadata, it seems that the embedded profile is known as some sort of  'grey' profile.

 

Importing again from Dropbox, I try to import directly into the organizer. Result: same as you, with the black thumbnail.

I can open the file in the ACR plugin and open it, then save it in a version set. The edited version shows the correct thumbnail, the original stays black.

 

In that situation, I think that the issue is rather a color profile one. The ACR module ignores the color profile (like most basic editors). As I understand it, the 'raw' editing being done according to your monitor profile, the profile is used when transferring the image to the editor according to your color preferences in the editor:

- in the embedded profile (if it's recognized, which is not the case here)

- in sRGB if you choose 'optimize for screen' - which showed in my own config.

- in aRGB if you choose 'optimize for print'.

 

I am a big fan of  'open in ACR', and in your case, that could be an alternative to the 'process multiple files' rightly suggested by Jeff Arola.

I open batches of say, 50 tiffs at the same time, select all, apply 'auto' corrections to all and click 'Done'

In a second step, I select all those files in the organizer and export them to a new folder with your preferred file type, dimensions and quality.

Then I import those files in the catalog: they will appear with the right thumbnail.

 

 

 

 

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New Here ,
Apr 01, 2021 Apr 01, 2021

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Thanks for your interest and help with this Michel. I would love to be able to fix this at the source if it's a scanning setting but there doesn't seem to be much (any?) access to colour profile settings in the scanning software.  My scanner is a multifunction Canon printer/scanner (MG8250) that I have used extensively to scan 10000's colour negatives and positives, all so far without any problems. The software I use is a version of Scangear that came with the unit. I will keep looking to see if I can spot any access to settings that might be involved with this.

BTW, as a newbie I'm not good with the acronyms that you are familiar with. Can you explain what the ACR plugin module is please? Thanks and cheers.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 02, 2021 Apr 02, 2021

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quote

BTW, as a newbie I'm not good with the acronyms that you are familiar with. Can you explain what the ACR plugin module is please? Thanks and cheers.


By @Stu5DAD

 

Read the beginning of this faq about raw files formats:

https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop-elements/faq-will-photoshop-elements-work-with-my-camera-or...

and also the help file of that raw processing module:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop-elements/using/processing-camera-raw-image-files.html#main-pars_he...

(by the way this help file is not updated since 2018 !!!)

 

Raw files are proprietary formats for each camera model. The recording of the intensity of light on each photo site has to be interpreted to create an image format file like jpeg or tiff. That processing is 'parametric'. No pixel values of the original raw file are changed, but all the edits are saved as a 'recipe' in a small text file. This kind of edits has a lot of advantages, the most obvious one is that it is non-destructive. The good news is that parametric editing can also be applied to image formats (non raw) like jpeg or tiff. The ACR module or Lightroom are based on the same processing engine with different interfaces.  There are many advantages in this type of processing, particularly when used with Elements.

- you can use the ACR to batch process many files at the same time

- you can save the 'recipe' without creating a new version.

- The processing is made in 16-bits and wide color gamut

- Even if you don't have the huge quality advantage of the raw format, you get better results with your jpegs

- The interface is simpler and adapted to edit many files at the same time.

 

We are going away from your original question?

Not quite. The issue with color profiles we have with the mysterious color values is 'bypassed' when used like a raw file. A raw file has natively no color profile, the conversion provides the tool to achieve your selected color mode. In Elements, to make thing simple, Adobe provides the two sRGB and aRGB modes which are safe for most PSE amateurs. It allows keeping other 'recognized' color modes like the ProPhoto one used internally in the calculations in ACR. However, it skips the 'non recognized' modes and chooses your own setting for 'optimize for print' or 'for displays'. That explains why the ACR module is not blocked by the incompatibility we have here in the organizer.

Note that we have been able to open the problem file even if we had the black thumbnail. You reported you could not open those files:  are you on PSE2021?

 

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