Lightroom is automatically darkening my photos

Started Oct 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Vcize Regular Member • Posts: 455
Re: Lightroom is automatically darkening my photos

suddie1215 wrote:

Vcize wrote:

suddie1215 wrote:

Vcize wrote:

I'm having an odd issue with Lightroom 3.  When I import some new photos and click on them in my library the first time, lightroom appears to be darkening the images.

When I first click on them they are blurry, the preview loads and they sharpen out, nice and vibrant.  However the preview continues loading and eventually the image flips much darker and more washed out.  It's like Lightroom is applying some kind of preset to every photo but as far as I can tell, there aren't any presets set up.

I actually took a screen caption of it happening, which you can see in the link below.  Take note of how right as the preview finishes loading, the image becomes much darker and more washed out.  It's especially noticeable in the 3rd and 4th photos.

Any idea what's happening here?  The photos look much better before the darkening happens.

What camera brand and model are you using?  Check the menus to see if you have features like Auto Lighting Optimizer and Highlight Tone Priority (Canon) or Active D-Lighting (Nikon) turned on in your camera.

The reason for the change you're noticingis that Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw (they share the same processing engine) do not read all the in-camera settings for Raw files.The only  in-camera settings read by Lightroom/ACR are White Balance, ISO, aperture and shutter speed.   All other settings such as Picture Styles/Controls, in-camera sharpening, saturation, contrast,  etc. are not read and applied.
When your import first Raw files into Lightroom you initially see preview thumbnails based on the JPEG file embedded in every Raw file. Then as the software caches the images, the JPEG-based preview is removed and replaced with one that only uses the settings listed above.  And if you use settings like ALO, HTP, or Active D-Lighting that artificially lighten shadows areas in your photos, the change is even more dramatic and your photos will look dark in Lightroom.  But its all the first step, you can easily adjust the sliders to make the photos look exactly as you want.

I'm using a Canon t2i.

I did some googling on ALO and HTP and I can't even find them in my menu.  From what I've read it looks like they should be under setup3 in the menu, but I don't even have a setup3 menu (just setup1 and setup2).

Your camera probably doesn't have those features so don't worry about them.  The changes occur with any Raw file imported into Lightroom.  However its even more noticeable when those features are active.

Here's a video that explains why:

Actually, I managed to find the settings and it looks like ALO was on by default.

I played around with shooting some photos with it on and with it off, and it appears this was what was going on.  On my camera a picture with ALO on looks different than the same picture with ALO off, but in LR after it makes the adjustment the two look the same as each other.  When I imported the images with ALO off the image did not change during the preview like it did for the images with ALO on.

I guess the last question is whether there is a way to get Lightroom to recognize the ALO on setting.  If not, is there a preset I can apply to put those changes in there across all images that I haven't already edited?

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