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Lightroom 4, Export to Internet Question

Kanovalov 13 29 United States
3 Apr 2013 10:47PM
Hello all,
Thanks for the help ahead of time, I've been looking over the internet for about 2 hours total.

* Both Laptop & External Samsung monitors were both whack on colour & calibration.
*used an online gamma, contrast... sheet to try and get close to good calibration.
*Photos in Lightroom4 look great and just the way I want them.
*Export to internet, my website, shows the images to be lighter than what my edit was...
also in the areas of black on my photo in lightroom, appear on the web as grey with digital noise inside.

I've read about Colour Management, sRGB, ProPhoto RGB, and Adobe RGB (1998)
I shoot my pictures with Nikon D300 in sRGB

I will share my website link & show you the three examples:


The first of the last three images was sRGB
The second of the last three images was Adobe RGB (1998)
The Last image was ProPhoto RGB

sRGB looks dull and flat
Adobe RGB looks more contrast & sharper
ProPhoto RGB looks like sRGB, however it is slightly sharper which to me looks the best.

The man in the back left was totally dark in Lightroom4, and once exported to the internet
he is no longer total dark. But he is slightly grey has noise in his trousers, that is a sight for sore eyes...

Histogram shows no Highlights (red) or Shadow clipping (blue)


question is, is my monitor still slightly calibrated wrong? If I'm seeing the guy in the back as all black
but once exported to the net, he is grey with some noise in his trousers. But even if, If my monitor is
calibrated wrong and what I see in Lightroom, then It's what I should see once that said picture is

Next question is, from this particular photo, ProPhoto RGB looks like the best quality on my computer
but everyone is saying to stick with sRGB, But sRGB looks rough Smile

If anyone can help this would be great


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Kanovalov 13 29 United States
3 Apr 2013 10:53PM
Or could the man in back be slightly distorted by the adjustments I made in Lightroom, causing information to be lost?
GlennH 12 1.9k 1 France
4 Apr 2013 8:50AM
You might need to break these questions down, Aaron, otherwise the post will sink without a trace!

I can't fathom what pictures you're talking about specifically - your black and white photos are all in Grayscale, for whatever reason (I didn't know it was even possible to export from Lightroom in grayscale!). In their early days, SmugMug had a habit of converting all uploaded files to sRGB, even if your main goal was to archive your pictures. So I wouldn't have unerring confidence in photos ending up in the profile you expect.

Calibrating your screen by eye is an inherently flawed process, and the more you try to tweak it the more likely it is that you'll make a mess of it (not you personally - anyone!). Nevertheless, applications such as QuickGamma do provide a means of improving the colour of a monitor without expense.

If you haven't used a hardware calibrator, the likelihood is that you're using a system sRGB monitor profile that doesn't characterise your monitor. That doesn't alter, regardless of what you do with brightness, contrast, gamma, etc.

The chances are that a lot of the problems you're seeing are restricted to your own monitor(s). Laptop and desktop monitors are usually significantly different - laptops tend to have a narrower gamut and almost without exception have low 6-bit colour depth (the two things go hand in hand - wider gamuts ideally need more bit depth).

Don't know if any of that helps you. sRGB is generally a good choice for the internet, but these days it's not absolutely necessary provided you embed a profile into the image. Depending upon what type of picture you shoot, there's rarely going to be any benefit in uploading in anything other than sRGB anyway, although a wide gamut monitor can benefit from Adobe RGB (if the image colour space makes use of that).
Kanovalov 13 29 United States
4 Apr 2013 10:16PM
Thanks Glenn,

So in your experience, Would you use sRGB, Adobe RGB (1998), or ProPhoto RGB? I've been into photography for years but just as a hobby and never really took the time to learn about all the deep-down technical aspects, and now since I'm getting paid for events these technical things seemed to catch up to me.

I've done much more research, to the point where we could have this topic going all week, lol. I've read a ton of information about Lightroom pertaining to exporting B&W Images. There seems to be a common theme in all the forums I've read, that Lightroom exports, as if, in a colour bit depth (RGB), even if the Image appears B&W. I've read that some ppl want B&W Images in 8-bit or even 16-bit, but the B&W JPEGS I uploaded are 24 bit.

Some people say it doesn't really matter if the B&W photos are RGB & 24 bit, but most say It's not a true B&W file Unless it's 8-Bit, which Lightroom can not export. With knowing what Lightroom CAN'T do, then how do I solve this problem, and is it really that important to spend the time on it?
or is it just the matter of Open LR/Edit B&W/Export/OpenPS/Convert to 8-Bit.... Is it that simple?
GlennH 12 1.9k 1 France
5 Apr 2013 1:31AM
An 8-bit and 24-bit image are the same thing in RGB (i.e. 8-bit x 3 RGB channels), which I presume is what you're getting at Aaron? The strange thing is that your black and white web images ARE in 8-bit grayscale, so I presume you've converted them outside of Lightroom? If you want to convert to grayscale in Photoshop for output to the internet, 'Gray Gamma 2.2' may be a better choice.

The only way that an RGB B&W image is not 'true' black and white is that it contains colour data, with that data aligning across all three channels to produce a neutral image - the net result is the same. Traditionally you could mix these three channels to achieve the result you wanted (i.e. cyan/red, magenta/green, blue/yellow). In Lightroom cyan is dropped and aqua, orange, and purple are added, for a total of 8 channels.

I think decent black and white conversion simply needs high quality processing prior to conversion. It needs accurate profiles when printing, too. If you're not going to finish with the photo in Lightroom, editing the rendered image in 16-bit mode might be preferable (will definitely be preferable if you've converted to ProPhoto RGB). There's a decent page on some of these points here.

I have no real opinion as to which colour space might work best for a black and white conversion. Some images even in colour benefit from working with a wider gamut (see here for example). Since a ProPhoto RGB image has a 1.8 gamma, if you were to publish that on the Internet without a profile it would appear noticeably darker than you intended. Converting to sRGB prior to uploading probably isn't a bad idea.

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