Lightroom and Picture Control

In Standard, Tips and Tricks by Patrick

So maybe I forgot this and this is old news, but I had. to re-visit the thought when I recently took some black and white images. I live in the Midwest and the weather has been somewhat of a roller coaster to say the least. 70 degrees one day and below freezing the next. I only mention this as it is pertinent to my story her so bear with me. The other day we got a surprise snow fall. As I was looking out my window at the snow sticking to the bushes and trees, my mind immediately turned to black and white. I grabbed my camera and off I went with flurries coming down.

This is the image I saw when i looked out my window, but much my surprise, this was not the image that imported into Adobe lightroom. As the pictures were popping up one by one, they were in color almost looking somewhat sepia tone. For a moment I thought, pilot error and forgot to change the settings in picture control. Quickly checking, I had it on Monochrome with the following adjustments:

  • Sharpeing +5
  • Mid-range Sharpening +5
  • Clarity +5
  • Contrast 0
  • Filter Effect – Red

So why did this image pop into Lightroom? That is what I was asking myself. Then I recalled a quote I read recently on about the Nikon Z6/Z7 that states:

Setting a Monochrome Picture Control does not impact the raw data that is recorded if you’re shooting NEF. Only JPEGs and TIFFs will be recorded in black and white (and remember, NEFs have an embedded JPEG in them for image preview, which is why they look black and white on the camera but not in your raw converter)

Thom Hogans Z-Series Manual

Realizing then, which was really a reminder to me that Lightroom is my RAW converter and what I was seeing on the camera was the JPEG embedded in the RAW file. Duh!! ?

Once I realized that I had to convert to black and white and get the settings correct. I created a preset that allow me to with one click, match the monochrome profile and make my black and white. Much easier with the preset for sure. Good thing I did get the shot , because it warmed up to about 50 degrees and this scene was gone, back to just branches with no snow.

I love the black and white right out of the camera in the Z6 and I personally use it to see black and white in a color world. Knowing that I can use this to determine if my vision of what might make a good black and white really will work. Simple, easy and useful.

Share this Post