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Importing black and white JPGs results in Development module error

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MarathonMax

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I received some black and white pics and imported them in LR 3.4.1 on my Mac.

The JPGs are fine and I can clearly see them in full size using the built in Mac OS Preview tool.

However, in LR, I can only see the thumbnail. Zooming in to full size or going in the Development module results in an error message saying that this file can not be used in Dev mode.

What is happening???

Max
 
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Hi Max. What colour space are they in? Do you know what program created them?
 

MarathonMax

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Probably created in LR as they came from my wedding photographer whom I know uses LR3 on her Mac. As for color space, I would guess sRGB. How can I chkc this?
 

Mark Sirota

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In the Finder, select the files and hit Command-I. This will bring up an Info window about each file. In the More Info section, the color space and color profile will be named.
 
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How big are the files? I'm wondering if they've got the wrong file extension, or something daft like that.
 
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You're on my wavelength Max! I've seen some weirdness like that with Photoshop in the past, so it's definitely a possibility.
 
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Yep, either Mark or I could do with a quick look at one of the files. Could be another format - PSD, something like that perhaps? Or a corrupted grayscale profile, something along those lines.
 

Mark Sirota

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This is a small 800x1200 pixel file -- is this the original file you received, or is this a downsized version for posting? It was not created in LR, but it seems possible to me that what we're seeing here is something modified by the forum software. In any case, it is a proper color JPEG; I think we'd all been guessing that maybe it was a monochrome file.
 

Mark Sirota

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Yes, this is a single-channel (monochrome, not color) JPEG. One color channel, not RGB. But it also says that it was created with Lightroom 3.4.1, and the sRGB profile is embedded. I need to experiment a little...
 
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I took a look at the file.

Photoshop reports that the ICC Profile is invalid.
When the profile is ignored the image becomes a Grayscale Profile at 8 Bits.

If I open in Photoshop and allow it to discard the embedded profile, save it, the file opens in Lightroom just fine.
 
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Mark Sirota

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I can't get Lightroom to create a file like this one, with one color channel. Something must have post-processed it and turned it from a three-channel file into a 1-channel file.

I can replicate Rikk's findings -- deleting the embedded profile makes the file import correctly.

So here's what this means:

(1) These files are broken. It's not appropriate for a monochrome file to have an sRGB profile.

(2) You can fix this yourself by eliminating the embedded profile using whatever tools you have handy that can do this. Rikk used Photoshop, I used exiftool with the command-line argument "-icc_profile=".

(3) You could ask the person who supplied the files to give you unadulterated files, straight out of Lightroom, or at least explain how these files were created.

Detailed explanation: In this case, a "monochrome file" is one with only one color channel. Normally, color files have a red channel, a green channel, and a blue channel. A grayscale image like this can still be a color file, it's just that for every pixel, the three channels have the same value. Lightroom cannot create monochrome files; it creates color files even if the photo is grayscale/B&W.
 
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