Lightroom: Exported JPG images appear flat when viewed with certain photo viewers

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  • Updated 7 years ago
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My OS is windows 7, which has a feature called desktop background to scroll images on the desktop. I also use Wallpaper Slideshow for the same purpose. I have exported RAW files as JPG files in order to use this feature. However, the images appear flat as if all of the enhancements I made to the images using Lightroom 3 have been removed. The flat images also appear when I open the images using Quicktime Picture Viewer and XnView. On the other hand, the images look exactly like the images in Lightroom when they are opened with any of the following viewers: Picassa Photo Viewer, MS Office Picture Manager, Adobe Photoshop CS5, Windows Live Photo Gallery, and Windows Photo Viewer. I would very much appreciate an explanation why some viewers look perfect while others appear to have all of the metadata stripped. Is there something I need to do inside Lightroom to prevent this problem? I have tried Control S to save all of the metadata to inside the file, but this did not work. Please advise. Thank you. Howie
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Howard Fields

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Posted 7 years ago

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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Hi Howard,

I can't tell you specifically why this is happening (though perhaps someone else reading this thread can). But I can tell you that it has nothing to do with stripping metadata. In a JPEG file, no aspect of the image itself is represented in metadata. When you export a raw file from Lightroom, anything you've done to the appearance of the image is baked right into the pixels of the JPEG. Some viewers (for whatever reason) are just displaying those pixels differently. Probably something to do with what color profiles (if any) they're using.

-Ben
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Howard Fields

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Hi Ben,

Thanks for your reply. I knew there had to be another explanation so I experimented with the color space. I was exporting with the color space set to ProPhoto RGB. I switched to sRGB and all of the image viewers displayed the image perfectly. It seems that QuickTime Picture Viewer and XnView fails in converting the ProPhoto RGB color space to whatever color space is native to those viewers. The problem is now solved.

Thank you,

Howie