Smart Lighting has no effect at all on some DNGs

Hey. I continue my adventures with my trial of PL6.
I asked for the license for my birthday and no one had my back.
As such, I am clear I will begin jonesing in 5 days since my trial ends in 4.

Aside from that, I am hoping to discover what may be preventing the DXO Smart Lighting feature from having any effect whatsoever on some, not all, DNG files shot with a DJI Mavic Air 2.

I also fly the Air 2s. Haven’t had any issues with the features on those DNGs.
And it’s not a consistent, “No Air 2 DNGs work,” it may be closer to half.

Maybe ought to have another thread for this one though in addition, any guidance or resources to help me understand achieving glare reduction would rock. I mean, I know how to reduce glare, except there’s no whites slider and I’ve read the smart lighting is meant to address adjusting the peak brights. I’ve found that often SMart lighting does not take the highlights down at all, rather brings the shadows up.

I’m not so unskilled so it’s a matter of not understanding the tool I’m using rather than not knowing how to edit.
Thus far, often when I have clipping whites, I have had to use another program to get my highlight details back.
That’s about the only thing so far as getting my light and color, that has tripped me up. And begrudgingly it might be a deal breaker for me. It’s rough having a date that is perfect in every way, until they kick a dog and it’s like, “say it ain’t so. Please say you truly DO love dogs!”

How about uploading 1 DNG file that does work and 1 that doesn’t work and their corresponding DOP files to a file sharing service and post a link here so that we can have a look and see what’s wrong.

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My own finding with Olympus RAW files is the same as yours. with PhotoLab 6, Smart Lighting does tend to keep the highlights very bright to maximize contrast. So bright that color and detail get lost. This was not the case in older versions of PhotoLab. I don’t have the impression that the choice of working color space makes a difference. As for Smart Lighting making no difference at all, I also have the impression that this is more often the case with PhotoLab 6 than it was with older versions.

To reduce glare, I find it usually helps to turn Smart Lighting off and adjust the Color Rendering settings first so that contrast isn’t too high. Then, turn on ClearView Plus but keep it low. If the effect of ClearView Plus isn’t good, turn it off. Now use the Contrast and Selective Tone adjustments to get the look you want.

It turns out I was mistaken. I had several Air 2s files in an Air 2 folder and neglected to double check on the library page.

So it seems none of my Air 2 DNG Raw files are affected by Smart Lighting.
I have a 2 day shoot I am working on now with bright sun and fresh powder coating everything.
It seems the only way to adjust anything resembling exposure or whites is to move the right side of the tone curve down from 255. The exposure compensation doesn’t move the high point. It seems to squeeze highlights and mids down into the shadows, but that dang white on the snow in some cases and the sun in every case, stays firmly locked to the high peak.

I’ve spent a TON of time with this software during my trial. I have loved so so much. Most of my results with my Air 2s files are epic and a massive improvement over any results I had ever gotten before with other products.
Working with the air 2 files I think has brought some particulars of this software design to light (no pun intended) that weren’t as evident with the 2s. Many 2s photos were like butter on the counter in August. Yet these day after fresh snow photos are, with my current understanding of PL, uneditable. It has made for my first experience of dramatic frustration where I’ve caught myself wanting to cry from the perturbation. :wink:

I will see if I can get a screen recording up to show what I’m getting.

Hello Yooper, have you adjusted the exposure of the camera for the snow conditions before taking the shots?

I suppose that’s not obvious as yall don’t know my skills.
Yes. I can edit them beautifully in another program.
My goal with PL6 is to move to it as my full editing solution.
Though at this point, having still not figured out how to work my Air 2 files I’m a bit frantic because I WANT it to work for me. But of course, whether a bug or a design feature, an inability to work with half my work is a no go.
With the Smart Lighting gone, I’m forced to reconcile how little control I actually have. All of this software’s smart features are great when they work. Once one piece is out though, what was cool becomes patronizing; only in its absence though. It’s like I didn’t know I was being condescended to until I missed it. And when that piece is gone, I seem to only generate garbage.

Here is a version edited in LRC.

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The truth is, if you have clipping highlights, you have over-exposed the image and nothing can truly recover that. Yes, PS and others claim to have “highlight recovery” but all that does is to change the white to grey and invent a bit of pseudo-detail. In other words, it fakes it.

That can help but, as with all other software, all it is doing is turning the white into grey.

Especially with the sun, you are talking about a brightness that can never be completely removed because it, well, the sun!!! Your eyes can be blinded by looking directly at it and sensors can be damaged by too long an exposure.

Smart Lighting might help if applied correctly. Are you using the Spot Weighted mode?

Using your posted example, here is how I would setup the three Smart Lighting zones I think are necessary…


Pardon my unclear communication. Perhaps because I posed 2 questions in one.

The main issue is that Smart Lighting does nothing. nothing at all.

After that, Well, of course the sun is bright but I have not overexposed the image. I mean, I have bracketed shots so some are over-exposed, but not what I am attempting to edit. Not so much that I have no pretty highlights lurking in there.
WIthout Smart Lighting though, I am a little weirded out because I realize how much work it is doing for me without giving me an option (but only in the absence of a needed tool). I don’t understand not being able to adjust the actual exposure rather than, “exposure compensation,” and while I love the smart lighting when it works, I’m realizing now I don’t know for sure I want it to decide how to adjust my dynamic range.
I do imagine I’m not fully comprehending the smart lighting, even as I thought I did… That may be because it doesn’t work on half my files. *shrugs

brief video showing the issue or design feature
If need be or if desired I can share more examples including from 01/08 fresh powder and bright blue skies.

Thank you Joanna. I have misused words.
I have some high dynamic range images exposed appropriately which I am having a lot of difficulty with because the Smart Lighting feature has zero effect. It does absolutely nothing.

I have enjoyed learning the nuance of how to edit with different controls/by a slightly different method.
I have achieved results better than I’d ever before.
Except the other half of my work seems to be untouchable in PL6.

Is it a design feature for the Smart Lighting to have absolutely no effect on some files?
I’ve been able to find my way, by a different method than I’d use in any other program, to absolutely stunning (for me and my growth) results in PL6. When Smart Lighting doesn’t have any effect on an image though, I cannot find any other combo of tools offered to make a decent image.

If Smart Lighting is indeed fickle and it is to be expected it sometimes won’t do anything, okay. I suppose that means I move on to testing another software.
If, however, I am experiencing a bug, I want to know so I can assess properly and perhaps let DXO know, “Hey I spent half my trial attempting to get my compatible files to work in your program due to a bug, maybe could we fix it and have another go?”

Pardon my miscommunication. And yes, of course I want the sun to be white. haha. I just want to be able to adjust the stuff around it to get the real details that are indeed in my raw data. I have found that, without the smart lighting feature, there is no way to get as good a result as with it…

It is after this point, the point of realizing Smart Lighting does nothing on some images; in its absence I become aware of how much control that feature actually takes away from me. I know because without the feature doing what it does for me, I can’t do crap. So first, why isn’t it working on half my images, then second I’m simply pointing out how it not working has made me more aware of what it does and how much control it takes away or how much it is … for lack of a better word, patronizing.

ie the second half is opinion and or me attempting to make sense and make my value assessment. I share what I think in case it inspires a rebuttal from anyone so I can be informed by as many perspectives as possible.

So the question I most need answered is IS SMART LIGHTING SUPPOSED TO WORK ON ALL IMAGES? or is it designed to NOT work on some images? ie Since it does NOTHING on my images (literally nothing) am I experiencing a bug or is that a design feature?

Why don’t you make an image that does work and one that doesn’t, available for us to download, then we can actually see what is or isn’t working?

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Nice image. Thanks for the reference point.

Please upload some original images (the RAW file) or at least one, where you are unable to do process it in PhotoLab 6 to the standard you would like, along with the LRC version. Some of us can have a go and share our methods to match your LRC processing.

The image you’ve already shared in the LRC version would be a great candidate. If that image has too much commercial value, pick one with less value.

Zero Images from My Mavic Air 2 will work.
Should I send an image from a different camera or just the offending one?

Well, in the interest of time, here are some Air 2 files.

Thanks for the support.

First things first, why won’t dxo smart lighting work?

I am saying, without that tool, I cannot get a good image. IF that tool is supposed to be available, I don’t want to learn to work without it, rather, I’d like to see what this software will do with my images if it were functioning correctly.

Again though, I don’t know if it is an intended design feature of the program to just not work on my compatible Mavic Air 2 files.

I remain grateful for the support.
While everything else is going on, people downloading and testing my files etc. Will someone please tell me if Smart Lighting is supposed to work?
I still don’t even know if it is supposed to work with all compatible camera images or not.

That would help me stop squirming a bit. I have to know if it is a limitation on purpose
or if it is a bug. That detail will inform my next steps entirely differently, depending.

Yes, it is supposed to work on all supported files. Effects are more noticeable on darker files rather than lighter ones.

Thanks for sharing the images. For copyright concerns, you could take the RAW downs after a few days when those who are interested in the issue have downloaded the RAW images.

It could be as simple as some setting set wrong in your local copy of PhotoLab. Having some others try on the same images will quickly clear up if it’s particular to your computer or if it’s a serious bug with SmartLighting in PhotoLab 6. I’m very curious myself about this.

I have just downloaded your files @YooperSoul and can confirm that Smart Lighting has absolutely no effect on any of them in both PL5 and PL6

Would you be so kind as to upload some that do work?

I also downloaded some sample files from Digital Photography Review and they suffer the same problem

That’s good to know. I would have been gravely disappointed to discover semantic half truths employed for marketing… (Like PowerDirector advertises they support 10 bit video . Except they convert it to 8 bit and only export 8 bit. It’s misleading and they know it.)
I can work with, “It’s a bug that needs to be addressed by DXO.”
My hope then is they will fix it and let me see what I can do with a fully functioning program.

As for effect visibility, In this case, It’s not a matter of it NOT being noticeable.
It simply does nothing whatsoever. The histogram remains statuesque through all Smart Lighting settings.
Something not noticeable to my naked eye would still almost certainly be observable in the histogram.
That said, I have autism and apparently can discern ridiculously low gradients of color/light based on being able to see a color tag bug emerging from PhotoShop that no engineer could see. In fact, they told me for 2 weeks I had simply failed to calibrate my monitor, somehow missing the fact that the source file and the render were open in the same workspace same program on the same monitor, so if the monitor were off kilter, both images would still display the same shade, they would just both be equally incorrect. Someone finally tested it with the dropper and vindicated me. Though it is one of the reasons I don’t want to use Adobe anymore. I was eyebrow deep in learning color science and those jerks made it 1000 times harder than necessary by operating incorrectly and then assuming I was a dumb-a$$ when I inquired about the color, even noting I was clear on all those distinctions.

Pardon my ramble.
I guess my point was, I’m quite confident the smart lighting is bugged with my camera profile if indeed is supposed to work with all advertised supported models.
Though as Mark Twain said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Joanna, no images from the Mavic Air 2 work. Imagining you have some images that work, I will conclude my earlier miscommunication is to blame.
I have other files that work from a different camera. That’s ultimately how I realized it was doing nothing on these. The distinction when it DID do something made it clear.

And it is also a relief to know this has caused my drastically inconsistent results with the program… For instance, Here is an image from a DIFFERENT camera that impressed me as well as my audience.

@YooperSoul Yes I confirm that Smart Lighting has no effect on these files. Good news is that there is a workaround until it gets fixed. Simply select the “Lens corrections only” preset and apply. Then select DeepPrime XD for noise reduction and export as DNG using using the option to “Export to DNG with NR and optical corrections only”. The Smart Lighting will now work on the exported DxO DNG file.

I have no idea why this works but apparently PL6 doesn’t like the original Mavic DNG but prefers it’s own linear DNG.