Out of the grayscale

[UPD] If you received or read this post earlier, I’m very sorry for that as the post wasn’t ready and was published due to a technical issue.

A monster of clay. Lubitel 166B, Ilford Delta 3200. Ktura, 2017.

Remember that time I wanted to jump off the Lightroom hook? Well, I didn’t post an update but I did cancel the subscription after that and bought another software that suits my needs, as I thought.

This piece of software is called ON1 Raw Photo, you may have come across it too or even some of you are using it now. As I said in my post back then my requirements were simple: cataloging feature with the ability to create collections and albums like in Lr and photo editing of course. The former is more important as I use it with all my photos, while the latter is needed only when I shoot digital which doesn’t happen a lot.

On paper, the aforementioned program promised to do exactly that with some nice extra features on top. In practice I came across a problem I couldn’t see coming and now it makes me doubt my decision to buy this software.

If you’re shooting film then you would know that scanning is the essential part of the workflow these days. When scanning black and white film it only makes sense to use the grayscale mode. At least it makes sense to me and this is what I’ve been doing for some time. 

After purchasing ON1 Raw Photo I saw that its catalogue manager showed some of my folders and didn’t show others. I contacted the support and was told that the reason might be in the network drive. They said it is a known issue to be handled in the future. But as I’ve accidentally figured out only a couple days ago, the real cause is different.

It turned out the program doesn’t support pictures in grayscale color mode, while RGB photos, both color and black and white ones, show up fine. This revelation came out of nowhere really, when I was looking through my latest scans in XNView (just because ON1 doesn’t see them) and noticed this property that reads “Jpeg(Grayscale)”. I checked those b&w photos that do show up in the Raw Photo manager and found out they had the RGB color mode. A simple experiment with changing the color mode in Gimp proved my suspicions right, and I could see this photo in ON1 too. 

Finally! The mystery is solved! Hooray! Or is it?

Now I’ve got this dilemma. Either I have to somehow batch convert those grayscale photos into the RGB mode and scan my black and white film as the color one ever since, or I wait for the software update hoping they include support for grayscale images. Or should I keep looking for another app? Get back to Lightroom? I’m confused.

For the meantime. I’m going to manually convert the photos I want to edit and work this way, but I don’t see it as a viable solution.

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