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best option to batch auto enhance collection of TIFF images

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Reddwarf4ever

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I need to auto batch enhance, 1700 TIFF images, the scanning company have shown me examples of the scanner enhancement, but think i can do as well or better with LR or PS..Need an opinion which is best for me to use to give a good balanced overall enhancement. I know this is not the best way, not looking for perfection, just some improvemnt.

I know PS can use Image processor, but not explored LR capabilities i this area yet.

thanks
 
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The auto enhancements available in Lightroom and Photoshop fall into two categories: Algorithmic (the old way), and machine-learning powered (the new way).

Photoshop offers the algorithmic method that goes back many years. You can use three commands on the Image menu: Auto Tone, Auto Levels, and Auto Color. You can customize how Auto Color works. But those commands are destructive, so if you want to be able to edit or remove that correction, it’s better to add a Curves or Levels adjustment layer to each image and apply Auto Color through that. Also, these algorithms can be thrown off by scans where the white point and black point were not set consistently when scanning.

Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, and Camera Raw offer the newer Auto Settings and Auto White Balance features, powered by machine learning. These tend to create a consistently better automatic enhancement than what you’d get out of Photoshop, and the results should improve as Adobe trains the machine learning model with more images.

Time is probably a consideration. The Auto Settings/Auto White Balance method should be much faster, because you can easily select a large number of images in Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, and Camera Raw, apply Auto Settings/Auto White Balance, and sit back while they process using as many cores as your computer has. The Photoshop auto corrections will be much slower, because batching will require running images through a batch action or script. This tends to be slower to start with, and processes images serially (one after the other), not in parallel like Lightroom/ACR. So Photoshop will probably not take full advantage of a computer with many processor cores.

When you consider both quality and time, the better and faster way is to use Auto Settings/Auto White Balance in Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, or Camera Raw. You’ll get both the latest machine learning technology, and parallel processing of a batch of files.

The methods above address tone and color only. They do not enhance other aspects such as detail/sharpness. To add that on in Photoshop you can add a sharpening step to the batch action. In Lightroom/Lightroom Classic/Camera Raw you could apply a sharpening preset in one step (select all images and click the preset), or use output sharpening in the Export (Lightroom Classic) or Save (ACR) dialog box.
 

Reddwarf4ever

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Wow thanks, very helpful, so I’ll go the Lightroom route, will have to investigate tge exact procedure, think I use tge develop tag, but I understand Lightroom creates another file with a different extension, sounds confusing

thanks again
 
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Conrad said what I was going to say when it comes to auto corrections on large batches but let me add this bit of "wisdom" from my (too much) experience with this. I started shooting only raw a long time ago, but I do have 20,000 TIFF files that I have to deal with. Those TIFF files are a pain because they are not raw files, and nothing beats a raw.... Anyway, here is what I would do. But first a story.

I shot film and slides pretty extensively for 25 years before switching to all digital back in about 2000. I shot a lot as a young man and kept about 30,000 negatives and slides through several moves all over the world in my military career. In 2003, I bought a Nikon film scanner and started a process of scanning all those negatives and slides one at a time and working on them in PS to make each one as good as I could and then saved them as a TIFF file. I now wish I had the original scans prior to trying to fix each one in PS because PS is much better now and so am I. But anyway, I saved the edits and now have 20,000 TIFFs on my disk that have had work done on them in PS that is not recoverable like it would be on a raw. I organized the 20,000 into folders that I created (in a system that makes sense to me) as I was scanning the film and saving the TIFF files.

I sometimes for fun import one of those folders full of TIFFs into LR and further edit the TIFFs and export them as jpegs to send to family (a lot of family and trip shots from 30 years ago). Those TIFF files are all about 40 MB, which was huge 15 years ago when I was doing the scans but not a big deal now. Those TIFFs were high-quality scans on a very good scanner, but my film was dusty and some of thew negatives and positives had some warping and heat damage, so there was a lot of PS work done back then.

Here is what I notice right away. I shoot high-res digital now (GFX Medium Format and high-res FF 50 MP and up). Those raw files have tremendous latitude in LR. Mind-bending latitude and DR to play with in LR. If you guys have not edited a GFX raw file in LR, you should try it because it will blow your mind there is so much room to wiggle.

Here is the thing about my TIFFs in LR. It is much harder to batch edit them and there is one-tenth the latitude to play with them in LR or PS. Each one demands individual attention.

But you have 1,500 TIF files? No big deal. Here is what I would do. I would import them all into LR (with no presets) and create 1:1 previews. I would spend 3 or 4 hours in LR and edit those 1500 files 1 through 1500 and apply batch edits and syncs as you go through the pile as best you can.

In my case, the TIFF files were scanned and created from vastly varying shooting situations over many years, making batch edits more difficult. Maybe yours are all in similar studio or sports lighting conditions. I don't know.

I don't know how experienced or comfortable you are in LR, but if you are not, this is a good opportunity to get experience. I would import those 1500 TIFFs into LR with no presets. I would then edit that first TIFF file and make it as good as I can in the dev module. I would name it, title it, key word it and use every slider in the book on it if I needed to. Then figure out the sharpening depending on your needs. Then I would apply that edit to the next file and see how it looks. I would work my way through the 1500 TIFF files like that and it would take me maybe 3 hours (but I'm very good at LR edits having done hundreds of thousands of them so I'm faster than most guys probably). A lot of that depends on how much cloning, spot removal and masking work you might need on individual TIFF files as you work your way through.

That's what I would do because if those are all scans from your previous work, each TIFF is going to be different and scanning results vary. I'm sure they ran a dust removal algo on the scan and some auto color, levels and curve stuff on the scans.

But if this is your stuff, and you are not on some kind of deadline for a client, you need to do some individual PS or LR work on those 1500 scans.

By the way, you won't see a sidecar file as LR will write the changes to the TIFF directly. But at least it is non-destructive editing. My big regret is that I did destructive editing on all 20,000 of those scans 15 years ago in PS and hit the save button!

I wish I had those edits back. No way I'm rescanning all those negatives and positives.
 

Reddwarf4ever

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Hello
very interesting reading. I don’t have the stamina to sit in a chair at my PC for very long, which is why I paid a company to scan my photos. They are mostly all different by different photographers, the earlier ones, 1940-1960 are largely B&W. The scanning company are doing the scans without dust removal etc, as is scans, insisted on 1200 and Tiff, to get the best results I could, I won’t do this again. I was sent some examples of bare scan Vs scanner enhanced & Photoshop auto tone did as good a job, so going to have them scanned as is. The reason I want them enhanced, I will keep copies of the original scans safe, is for family to view on their TVs etc. so, what I achieved in Photoshop with auto tone mostly and colour and contrast seem to be enough for this purpose. If family would like certain photos printed, or improved, I will do those individually on request.

Hope that makes sense, your suggestion on doing them individually is obviously the best option, but OTT for my needs presently, I enhanced a complete wedding album for a friend, looked really good, massive improvement, I have given up asking if she has looked at the images, each time I asked I was told “not yet” so how much people look at these family photos is unknown. IMO a printed photo album , of the very best photos is sometimes the best way to go, o thing beats sitting down perusing through a photo album. But as I said, I that’s needed I will enhance the photos for printing individually.

I am in total agreement with your sentiments, but for my purposes, I think what I have planned is what I need.

I am very new to Lightroom, so it would be an enormous help to me to be guided through the best all round settings I could use, and the procedure. Learnt a lot about face tagging, but this area is unknown to me at present
thank you
 
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think I use tge develop tag, but I understand Lightroom creates another file with a different extension, sounds confusing
It shouldn’t be very confusing. It isn’t a lot of steps (see below).

An automatic enhancement pass doesn’t have to use the Develop module. It could work like this:
  1. In the Library module in Grid view, if you want to auto-correct all files in the current view, choose Edit > Select All.
  2. Choose Photo > Develop Settings > Auto Settings.) (Or, in the Tone Control options in the Quick Develop panel, click the Auto button.) That’s the automatic tonal correction.
  3. Choose Photo > Develop Settings > Auto White Balance. That’s the automatic color correction.
Now, it is necessary to create a new file because just like any of the other nondestructive photo editors out there, Lightroom Classic does not alter an original photo file. To use a file with the corrections rendered into it, it’s necessary to export a new copy:
  1. In the Library module in Grid view, if you want to export a corrected copy of all files in the current view, choose Edit > Select All.
  2. Click the Export button (or choose File > Export), set any options (such as the file format, file name and extension case, destination folder, and output sharpening), and click Export. It can be a good idea to slightly modify the filename here, so that you can tell the difference between the originals you want to preserve and the corrected copies you are exporting.
If you like working faster using keyboard shortcuts, every command above has a keyboard shortcut, listed next to its menu command as usual.

About the “different extension” you mentioned: If you edit TIFF format images and you export the corrected copies as TIFF, it will still have a TIFF filename extension. However, the extension might vary slightly from the original. For example, some applications use the extension .tiff or .TIFF but Lightroom Classic exports using the three-letter version (.tif or .TIF). Whether the extension is uppercase or lowercase is your choice; it’s an option in the Export dialog box. Either way, it will be a legal filename extension for that format.

I would import those 1500 TIFFs into LR with no presets. I would then edit that first TIFF file and make it as good as I can in the dev module. I would name it, title it, key word it and use every slider in the book on it if I needed to. Then figure out the sharpening depending on your needs. Then I would apply that edit to the next file and see how it looks. I would work my way through…
I agree that’s a good way to refine edits after an auto enhancement pass, because if you find out that certain Develop settings work great for many of your scans, or for certain groups of scans, then you can make a Develop preset out of those settings. After you create that preset, you can then apply it to many images at once.

For example, I found that a certain tone curve and noise reduction setting works well for a batch of scans from one roll of color film, but another roll of black and white film needed different settings. I created and named presets for both groups of settings, so now when I come across another similar roll, I can select all the frames from that roll and batch apply the preset that does a lot of the initial work for me. Then I can just check each image to see if any need further tweaks.

So my Presets panel contains several presets for the way I like to develop my digital photos from various cameras, alongside other presets for the way I like to develop TIFF scans from different types of film. They save a lot of time.
 

Reddwarf4ever

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Aug 2, 2022
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Thanks, that’s all been very helpful, just one problem, after the enhancement edits have been made, I need to export the files, however Lightroom exports all the the same folder, as I understand it, it doesn’t maintain the folder hierarchy, so I assume I would use the plugin I have installed, which I know works, would this still have the dits as if I had exported via the Lightroom menu ? Thanks

one thing I just realised, I don’t have to use the Auto options, if I have selected all files, then I assume any manual edits will be applied to all files as they will all be selected. if for example I had 500 files selected in grid view and made an edit, to contrast, just as an example, would Lightroom then proceed to apply all those changes, or does it do it during the export wasn’t to sure.
 
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