iPhoto Corrupts Imported B/W Images

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Macmonter, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. Macmonter macrumors regular

    Macmonter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #1
    Hi Mac folks! I'm back to Mac after 8 years of using a PC exclusively. This is my first submission to the Mac Forum so please forgive me if I'm in the wrong forum, too wordy or I'm presenting a problem that has been discussed already. I'm a photo hobbyist who recently bought a Mac Pro with Parallels and XP. My old HP Photosmart 7850 printer and an Epson Perfection 1640SU scanner are connected with the latest drivers installed by the Apple retailer. The new Mac replaced an 8 year old Compac PC running Windows 98SE. I regularly archived the PC's files onto CDs including nearly 3K of my photos which originated from digital cameras or from color slides, prints and color and b/w negatives scanned on the Epson 1640SU.

    My problem is with importing the b/w images from a CD to iPhoto. All the color images import with no problem, but most of the b/w appear as a black box with no apparent image either in Events or Albums. When the black box is expanded, the b/w image appears dark and translucent with the iPhoto window contents visible thru the image. This happens with a majority of the b/w images, and I have not found any commonality with those that did import correctly or with those that didn't. Disabling the the 'Embed ColorSnc profile in iPhoto Preferences made no difference (I admit that I don't know what the ColorSync profile does). My Photoshop Elements 6 would not load the corrupted images. Interestingly, when the b/w images are displayed in Preview from the CD, all appear with no problem. Also, the Windows Picture Viewer on the XP side of my Mac displays all the b/w with no problem.

    If you kind folks tell me that this is a known problem in iPhoto, the Ansel Adams in me will be greatly disappointed since my biggest pleasure in photography is b/w landscapes. As of now, the only option I have is to use XP for all my b/w (or all) photos or to buy another Mac compatible image archiving program more acceptable of b/w than iPhoto.
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    If might help if we know a little about the format of those B&W images. Are they .jpg files tiff files? 16 or 8 bits? What program did you use to write them with?

    Can you do a right click, "get info.." on the files that don't work. You say some do? Do the same on those. When they display inside Elements what doe Elements have to say about the image's format?

    If you could find a place to post a sample file that would help too.
     
  3. Macmonter thread starter macrumors regular

    Macmonter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #3
    Chris, you led me to find the commonality I missed between the b/w that imported and those that didn't. Under "get info" all the b/w that imported to iPhoto correctly had the following listed:
    color space: RGB
    profile name: Adobe RGB (1998)

    All the b/w that did not import had the following listed:
    color space: gray
    profile name: dot gain 20%

    Other than those differences, all the b/w are .jpg and 8 bit. If the color space and profile are the reason for iPhoto not importing them correctly, why is Preview and Windows Picture Viewer not affected. I apologize for my ignorance about the technical aspects of digital imaging? I'm much better about image composition and exposure.

    And, the most important question, if the color space and profile are the problem, how can it be fixed? Will I have to rescan all the problem b/w?
     
  4. Macmonter thread starter macrumors regular

    Macmonter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #4
    I finally found a work around to my problem of not being able to import my b/w pics to iPhoto. I opened the pics in Photoshop Element and did a "save for web" using the maximum setting". This changed the b/w image to a RGB profile which iPhoto accepted without corrupting it. There may have been a better way of changing the profile, but it was the only one I found. Oddly, using Elements' "save as" and checking the "embed color profile" did nothing to the profile of the b/w's.
     
  5. photoshopbymark macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    #5
    final check, and iPhoto preference question

    If I was you Macmonter, I'd open a couple of those B/W pics you put through the ringer to get into iPhoto. Make sure artifacts or resolution isn't a problem, as happens when jpegs are saved a few times.

    I'm new to mac too and I'm trying to figure out where I want my library. Mind sharing what made you decide ot have it in iPhoto instead of your adobe product (elements I believe you said).
     
  6. sreedy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Location:
    Somerset
    #6
    This is another instance of this problem..... still yet to resolve mine :(

    This Thread

    Any help would be good, I don't have Elements available.........
     
  7. OneSimpleGeek macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    #7
    Good News!

    I may have an easier workaround for this than the one using PS Elements.

    I came accross this issue with some ultrasound images I had scanned to JPG image files. The files looked fine when I opened them, and I was even able to upload them to flickr with no problem. However, when I tried to put them into iPhoto they imported as solid black images.

    My solution was to adjust the image with the ColorSync Utility. Once I opened the document with the ColorSync Utility, I selected Apply Profile,Display | Generic RGB Profile, and Automatic from the three drop-down menus at the bottom of the window. I then clicked Apply and then saved the changes.

    After doing this, the files imported beautifully into iPhoto. I'm sure there was a more appropriate choice of color profile, but I'm no pro, I was just trying to get my baby's ultrasound photos into iPhoto.

    I hope this helps someone, let me know if you have any questions.
     
  8. Macmonter thread starter macrumors regular

    Macmonter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #8
    Yes! I checked the b/w after "save for web" in Elements and found the file size little changed and the visual quality still acceptable (I selected the maximum quality setting). I agree this puts my b/w "through the ringer", but I have yet to find another way to get nearly a hundred of my old scanned images into iPhoto without having to rescan them all.

    I chose iPhoto mostly because it was already there. On my old PC I had used Adobe Album as my image library (Elements is only for editing images) which I did not consider great but better than what Windows 98 could do and better than the HP Image Zone which came with my printer. iPhoto currently meets my needs for image storing/viewing since I only have jpegs. If and when I buy a new digital slr and shoot RAW, my storage/viewing needs may become more complex leading me to consider Aperture or Lightroom.

    Good luck with your new Mac! I love mine, but I'm often frustrated by not knowing my way around it as well as I did with my old PC.
     
  9. Macmonter thread starter macrumors regular

    Macmonter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #9
    Hey! I almost thought you found the solution. I followed your instructions using ColorSync Utility. The b/w scanned image imported beautifully to iPhoto. But, as I mentioned in another thread on this same problem, I have a habit of tweaking my images in Photoshop Elements. After tweaking the image, it reappeared in iPhoto grossly overexposed. Possibly, if I had left the image alone, it may not have changed. I assume that you did no editing post importing to iPhoto of your babies' ultrasound (unless you tried to change his/her gender:)).
     
  10. photoshopbymark macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    #10
    iphoto and RAW

    Yeah MacMonter, when you start taking in RAW iPhoto will work, and quiet beautifully I think.

    I'm kind of becoming sold on it as I play with it (and remain ignorant about Bridge). I've been going through the tedious process of tagging years of pictures in iPhoto. With hotkeys and quick keys its going pretty smooth.
    Also being able to double click and going to iPhoto full screen, but right click and going to PS is wonderful. (silly to cheer about but it wasn't easy to set it up). The selling point was when I save the pic in PS (I use CS3) it goes right back into iPhoto.

    Supposedly iPhoto will bog down when I get in the 10,000-20,000 pic range. But I imagine others would too.

    I have barely any experience with Bridge but I'm going to ignore it unless I want to fiddle with its macro's (doing the same changes to multiple pictures).
     
  11. Macmonter thread starter macrumors regular

    Macmonter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #11
    When I first used my new Mac, I was totally confused as to what Bridge was or why it was there. I didn't need any "bridge" on my old PC. I easily imported images to any place of my choice. But the problem of iPhoto corrupting most of my scanned b/w led me to try any and everything to solve the problem including using that mysterious Bridge. The first thing I noticed was that Bridge had no problem displaying those b/w and when an image is selected it displayed a window listing the image's attributes including color mode and profile. It appears that it's the lack of an RGB profile that causes iPhoto to corrupt the image, but the lack of RGB doesn't seem to matter to any other image viewing program. On another thread about this problem, the sender referred to it as a bug in iPhoto that was present in iPhoto 2007 and felt that Apple should have corrected it by now. All of my corrupted images had been scanned with a b/w and gray scale setting on my scanner. I now scan my b/w negatives using the b/w setting but with 24 bit color also set which applies an RGB profile. Some images appear with a slight color cast that requires editing out. I've been using Bridge to open my scanner and to send the scanned images to PS Elements to remove the color cast and other tweaking. For some reason Elements does not recognize my scanner but Bridge does. My Apple retailer blames it on Epson for not having updated the drivers on my 6 year old scanner. Bridges must be more lenient for old drivers.

    If I could import images directly from my scanner to PS Elements, I would ignore Bridge as you do!
     
  12. skybolt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    #12
    I've done a lot of scanning of old photos, and found that when I scan a Black & White photo using the "color" setting on my scanner, I have no problems at all. Just an idea for any that are in the process of scanning.
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    The problem is with the profile or lack of one that is added to the scanned file. What's happening is that the black and white file is created with an assumed profile (possably "linear") and then iPhoto assumes another, different profile. The file is NOT "corrupted."

    The root of the problem is that there are many ways to assoicate a number with a shade of grey. If we agree that 0 is black and 255 is white then what is 128? Is is 18% grey (like a photographic "grey card") or is 128 half the light intensity of white?

    My guess is that the scanner software assumes one answer but does not attach a profile then iPhoto when it sees a black and white image with no profile assumes a profile and assumes a different one then the scanner.

    Attaching ANY profile to the image will fix the problem. What you need to do is tell your scanner to attach a profile.

    The problem goes away if you use a color file because just about "everyone" when they process a color image that contains no profile assumes sRGB.
     
  14. Macmonter thread starter macrumors regular

    Macmonter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #14
    ChrisA, your technical knowledge of digital imaging is much greater than mine and I appreciate you sharing it. Again, my hopes were raised that I could get scanned b/w images into iPhoto without smoke and mirrors; i.e., using "save for web" in Elements or scanning with a 24 bit color setting. Prompted by your post, I discovered my scanner's configuration settings and found the color target with no RGB choices checked. I checked sRGB and scanned a b/w neg with the 16 bit gray scale set as I normally do. My hopes were dashed when the image appeared in iPhoto as the dreaded "black box". Image info indicated that it had a b/w profile - not RGB. Could the scanner's gray scale setting off set the sRGB setting. If so, my only other choice other than scanning with 8 or 16 bit gray scale is 24 or 48 bit color. I'm back where I started.

    You commented that iPhoto "assumes another, different profile" from what is or isn't in the b/w image. All well and good, but what must be answered is why does iPhoto assume incorrectly but other image displaying programs such as Windows Picture Viewer, PS Elements, Bridges and possibly many others assume correctly or are unfazed by it. What codes were written in those programs that are missing in iPhoto? I may have a simplistic view of the problem, but it doesn't lessen my frustration with getting scanned b/w images imported to iPhoto. This is definitely an issue where Mac does not live up to its user friendly reputation. (Hope somebody named Steve in Cupertino is reading this).

    Admittedly, my use of the term "corrupted" is misleading. It was intended to describe image appearance only and not the integrity of the image file.

    ChrisA, again I thank you for your responses! Please continue to contribute to this thread. I learn something new whenever you do!
     

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