Will Lightroom remove orange cast from existing downloaded JPEGs in iphoto?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by crossen, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. crossen

    crossen Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2014
    That's my question.

    I have followed the advice in an earlier thread on how to do it with iPhoto on a Mac but it hasn't worked well at all. I have many hundreds of evening and night shots, outdoors, that were downloaded to iPhoto in JPEG only, that I would like to remove the orange cast from without turning the image green.

    I know LR will do it on photos I now take if I download them as JPEGS to LR, but what about photos already downloaded to iPhoto with their orange cast? Has iPhoto preserved enough information for LR to remove the cast or was the necessary information lost in the JPEG download to iPhoto?

    Many thanks for any help you can give.

  2. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I don't know. Try it and see is the only answer I have.

    But you said: "…but what about photos already downloaded to iPhoto with their orange cast? Has iPhoto preserved enough information for LR to remove the cast or was the necessary information lost in the JPEG download to iPhoto?"

    I think I can make some comments on that question.

    First, I don't believe any information is lost in the JPJEG download to iPhoto and I think you have some misconceptions there. In the download the photos are not downloaded to iPhoto. The photos are copied from your camera to your computer's hard drive. iPhoto "learns" where the photos are located on the computer as part of the download process, and it opens the JPEG file when you look at or edit the photo in iPhoto. No information is lost in the download. What is downloaded is the JPEG your camera created from the RAW sensor data. Certainly information is lost but it's your camera which throws information away when it saves the image as a JPEG. Whatever is present in the JPEG your camera created is downloaded to your computer and available to iPhoto.

    Second, a JPEG is a JPEG. JPEG is a file type which uses lossy compression. Your camera throws data away when it creates the JPEG. How much data is thrown away depends on your choice of JPEG option in the camera's setup menu. My E-M1 gives me several choices from "super fine" which throws away much less data to than the smallest file size JPEG option which throws away lots of data. When you open a JPEG in Lightroom it has access to all of the data contained in the JPEG file and you're made the choice about how much data that is when you chose the JPEG file option the camera saves your image in. What the camera throws away in creating the JPEG is lost forever. iPhoto can't bring it back or work with it, Lightroom can't bring it back or work with it, no program can bring it back or work with it. You can only play with the data the camera saved whatever program you choose.

    When you open a JPEG in Lightroom, it doesn't matter whether the JPEG is coming directly from your camera on import or whether you're importing it from your iPhoto library folder. It's a JPEG and the editing options available are going to be the same. If the JPEG file that came from the camera has been altered and re-saved by iPhoto, Lightroom is going to open the edited file and you will still have the same processing options as you would if you had imported it directly from the camera, it's just that the image in the altered file is not going to be identical to what came from the camera and you may not be able to get the same results with it as you could if you were working with the file that came from the camera. A lot will depend on what has been done to the JPEG by iPhoto, or any other processing application for that matter, before you open it in Lightroom. Lightroom can only work with the image file you give it.

    Whether you can get closer to a result you want with Lightroom is going to depend in part on the level of control Lightroom gives you. LR allows you to adjust the hue, saturation, and luminance (brightness) with separate controls for 8 different colour bands whereas iPhoto's colour editing options are much simpler and you aren't going to be able to make adjustments in iPhoto as finely as you can in Lightroom. That means you can make subtler adjustments to colours in Lightroom than in iPhoto and, of course, there's also white balance adjustments as well as simple global vibrancy and saturation adjustments you can make as well. You may be able to get a result you want but you may not. I suspect results are also going to depend in part upon the image. For example there may be an obvious orange cast in some areas and there may be some parts of the image which are actually orange. Reducing the cast is going to also change the colour of the orange parts of the scene as well and eliminating the cast where it is visible may result in genuinely orange coloured parts of the image looking worse. Results are also going to depend in part on whether your camera threw too much data away when it did the JPEG conversion. If you're going to have your camera save files as JPEGs, have it save them in the highest quality JPEG (lowest compression format) it can so it throws away less data because once that data is thrown away by the camera it is lost for good. With the images you have already you're stuck with the data you've got. If you're not using the highest quality JPEG format at present, changing it to the highest quality option will give you more data to work with in future images and you may then be able to do better in iPhoto also.
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  3. crossen

    crossen Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2014
    Thank you! This is exactly what I wanted to know and it answers my question exactly. I appreciate the time and care you put into your answer and the precision of thought it shows.

    I am therefore going to buy LR and give it a shot at my images. I do already save in the super fine format but I don't know what my previous cameras have done. It sounds like LR will be of some help with all my JPEGs even though it can't do what it would have with RAW files.
    Thanks once more.
  4. Mohun

    Mohun Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 19, 2012
    Certainly, David A is strongly recommending shooting in raw and post processing, and I would echo that recommendation. I've been using Lightroom for about six years and I've not not achieved expeertise so much as an increasing degree of satisfaction. Some of we older photographers have accumulated images over many years and, with a fair amount of scanning of monochrome and color negatives and transparencies, Lightroom's easily accessible cataloging system makes it possible to archive literally thousands (it can be time-consuming, of course) of one's images, together with more recent digital work.

    Now we're getting to the relevant part: I served with the US Army in Germany in 1958 to 1960 and used my Retina and Leica to record local German scenes and a trip to London. For the London trip I shot with a long-gone transparency film branded "Ikocolor" which was a Gavaert (sp?) 50 ASA (ISO) film made for and to be marketed by Carl Zeiss. Well, this was a sometimes meticulous photographic period for me and I took the time to mount my London Ikocolor transparencies in glass slides for preservation. I brought the transparencies back to the US, viwed them a few times and stashed them away. Years, many years later, I found the London glass slides and chemical changes had happened that produced a consistent magenta/purple cast to all of the images. I scanned all these transparencies as jpegs (perhaps I should have scanned at TIFF to maximize file size), and entered them in my Lightroom catalog where I was able to remove or diminish the color cast to "restore" many of these slides to 60% to 90% of their original colors. Some of the more difficult restorations I just converted to monochrome images in Lightroom so at least the images are still viewable and printable.

    There's a lot to recommend shooting raw and post-processing. There are also possibilities for some rescues sometimes, using Lightroom or another good pos-processing program.
  5. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Don't forget one can use a free trial of Lightroom just to be certain the corrections you are attempting are well achieved ... save regret at having purchased for a specific reason only to be less than satisfied later.

    Perhaps posting a few sample images showing the problem would be helpful. In some cases the local lighting may well be the cause of the orange cast so 'fixing' the issue may be a significant challenge in such cases.

    On the other hand if a mismatch white balance (camera selected auto WB incorrectly) then there is much hope!
  6. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Real Name:
    This is what I was going to suggest as well. Especially since LR is not a program that is for casual use. I have been using it since v.1.x, and I cannot tell you how many new users end up in trouble because they did not RTFM, or bother to learn how to use the program. IMHO, it is not a very intuitive or kind program to unfamiliar users.

  7. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    In LR you can adjust the overall image temp and tint. You can also go to the orange color slider to adjust the saturation, hue, and luminance of the whole imagee. Then there is the adjustment brush for addressing specific areas of the image. All of that is non destructive if you start with a good raw file.
  8. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Keep in mind that removing the orange cast does not make an image turn green. What's actually happening is that removing the excessive orange cast has revealed a green tint that was always present but unnoticed while being "drowned out" by the excessive orange.

    After making the appropriate blue/amber adjustment you then need to make the appropriate green/magenta adjustment. In LR, these two adjustments are very easy and the controls are in the Basic section of the Develop module.

    This example needed the opposite adjustment (more green) after adjusting the Kelvin temp (blue/amber) slider.

    Attached Files:

  9. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    Real Name:
    call me Arg
    Lightroom is not magic and will not do anything that you can't also do with other software.

    The comments made in your other thread still stand. Why didn't you ever post sample images in that thread?

    You gave the impression in the other thread that your established workflow is something you want to keep. Well Lightroom will make you throw that all in the bin and start again.