Lightroom: Imported RAW goes darker after "loading"

Started Dec 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
XeroJay Senior Member • Posts: 1,369
Re: Lightroom: Imported RAW goes darker after "loading"

CameraCarl wrote:

As I understand it, the LCD on the camera displays a jpeg image processed however you have your camera set up for jpeg processing. In Lightroom, the first version of your image that you see is a jpeg, then the software processes the RAW image as per your camera settings. So if your camera has a jpeg setting that is not very similar to Camera RAW, you could be underexposing the RAW images to try to match the image on the camera's LCD display. Two things to do when shooting RAW: (1) set your jpeg Picture Style in camera to either Neutral or Faithful and (2) use your histogram, not the brightness of the LCD image, to set your exposure. Then, while you will still see some change in the image as Lightroom software process the RAW file, it will not be as dramatic.

Carl's correct on the mechanics of this, but I would not recommend Neutral or Faithful.

You have to understand that Lightroom is setup and calibrated to each camera's Standard profile. There is the calibration options in Lightroom, which could mimic those profiles a bit more closely, but again, I find that the closest that you'll get is with your camera's out-of-the-box profile, with all bells & whistles turned-off.

I'm actually going to be writing a blog post in the coming weeks about shooting raw and "calibrating your expectations with third party software". It will basically outline how to setup your camera for predictability when shooting raw, and how this is more important that chasing a preferred look with in-camera processing. You have to adjust your frame of thinking to the fact that you will be processing images AFTER the fact with your software when shooting raw, and not with the camera's processing options.

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