Lightroom 3 and importing B&W images issue

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I shoot monochrome. Whenever I upload my images, I do see the images as monochrome in the library in icon mode (small images). However, whenever I look at an individual image, whether in library or develop mode, the images change to color and they look jacked up (because they were shot in monochrome). I find this frustrating. I took the images in monochrome, therefore I expect to see them as monochriome when I start to work with them in your $300 product. Even copying them in as DNG does nothing for me with respect to the original B&W images.
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Michael Nolen

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Posted 7 years ago

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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Hi Michael

I do understand your frustration, but that's quite normal if you're shooting raw.

The monochrome setting on your camera only affects the processing that the camera applies to rendered images, such as JPEGs and the small embedded thumbnail in any raw files.

The raw data itself is still in colour because it's the unprocessed sensor data. In LR, initially you see the embedded monochrome JPEG preview, and then it reads the colour raw data to render a proper preview.

You'll find the same situation in any other raw processing software that doesn't use the manufacturer's own processing pipeline. (And before you ask, if Adobe used the manufacturer's own, they couldn't do all the fancy stuff you can do in the Develop module).

You have a few choices:

1. Shoot JPEG, in which case the camera will apply its monochrome processing and LR will see it as a monochrome image.

2. Use the manufacturer's own software, because the manufacturer knows the kind of monochrome processing it would have applied.

3. Shoot raw, accept that they're in colour, and select your own choice of monochrome in Lightroom.
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Michael Nolen

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Well, then, that's that. I appreciate the rather rapid response. I choose option 3 above - thanx!
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Very sensible Michael. It's great to have the flexibility of raw, and you never know when you might shoot the perfect image and wish it was in colour...
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Michael Nolen

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I have been shooting RAW since the middle of 2009, so no big jump for me there. I was not aware that LR would not import them in as B&W. They really look odd until I change them back to B&W with the tool on "Develop". Just a peculiarity of RAW and not your tool, which I am really glad to know.

Thanx again. (you can see my B&W efforts on gremlich.deviantart.com if you are interested.)
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jdv, Champion

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You really ought to explore the option available to you in terms of monochrome conversions.

Just accepting the default Lr settings is no better than accepting the default camera settings.

Monochrome conversions are one of the places where post-production art and craft can really be explored.
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Michael Nolen

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I do turn off the active D-lighting feature in my D90 and boost/drop monochrome or vivid settings as appropriate (brightness, contrast, etc). And while I do shoot in monochrome as a rule, I get to see the beginning of what it is I want to end up with. It is RAW, so, I can live with having to convert back to B&W and not all of my shots are done in monochrome, flowers are done in vivid and cityscapes, if they call out to me to be so, can be shot in color.
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Michael Nolen

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Just to point something out, I see an image in B&W, not the color it comes in. Converting a color image to monochrome in LR isn't in my thought process. The other way around might be, however. I started shooting B&W in 1974 or 75, I see no real reason to think about converting from color now. It's just a step back to get where I wanted to be in the first place.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Michael,

You can also create a Black and White preset with settings of your choosing in Lightroom's Develop module, and then automatically apply that preset to your photos at the time of import, so that they will always appear as black and white in Lightroom (though the black and white appearance in Lightroom may be somewhat different than the black and what appearance as rendered by the camera).

-Ben
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Michael Nolen

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Thanx! I hadn't considered that. I am not observing my own rule - RTFM - read the flipping manual.