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  1. #1


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    Using sRGB Colour Profile makes everything look drab
    Here's my problem - I recently had some colour mismatching in Photoshop and found out it's due to Apple's 1.8 gamma. Basically, when you Saved to Web images would look lighter in Firefox and Opera.

    If you set the OS X display profile to sRGB and your Photoshop profile to sRGB everything matches fine but the problem is everything looks drab . . . is anyone else experiencing this? Is there a fix?

  2. #2
    MacHeadCase
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    I would keep on using Adobe RGB and keep your colour gamma at 1.8. You will notice how Adobe RGB has a wider colour gamut than sRGB (linked to below).

    I use SmugMug and they started asking members about a year ago to save their photos in sRGB (heck, you can't ignore all those Windoze people complaining how images look too dark, right? LOL).

    When you save your images in Photoshop just before using the Save to Web procedure, assign to your images an sRGB profile. If you have Photoshop CS2 you will find this under Edit -> Convert to Profile. In Photoshop CS, it's under Image -> and either Mode or Adjustments (can't remember which right now) -> Convert to Profile.

    That way you get the best of both worlds: you don't have to look at a monitor with ugly , washed out colours and all our Windoze friends will be able to appreciate what a Mac can do with an image.

  3. #3

    mac57's Avatar
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    In addition, I would STRONGLY recommend calibrating your monitor with a product like SpyderPro or Huey. These products have a light sensor that you hang in front of the screen. They then run your screen through all the colors and produce a screen specific calibration. You then apply that via the System Preferences Display panel and your colors are henceforth pretty close to perfect.

    BTW, I have been running mine at a 2.2 gamma all along.

    As to our friends in PC land, it is true that most PC graphics programs and web programs simply don't understand the concepts of color management and color spaces, and treat EVERY image like it is sRGB. If you don't conform to their preset and unchangable preconception, your images look awful. What can you do????

    Well, per the above, you can at least make sure that your images look as close to perfect on your Mac as possible. By and large, the same picture viewed in Adobe RGB (presumably the original) and in a sRGB converted form don't look THAT different.
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  4. #4


    Member Since
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    Thanks for your replies.

    Is it wrong to use your monitor profile then? OS X seems to choose my monitor profile by default.

    When working with web (which I do 99%) is it best to accept colour is subjective and disregard colour profiles all together? I've since discovered if I use my monitor profile in OS X everything looks great and if I stop Photoshop managing the colour (through Edit > Asign Profile > Don't Colour Manage This Document) and choose use document Profile when saving to web everything matches up great - it's what you see is what you get. Is this the way to go if you're a web designer?

  5. #5
    MacHeadCase
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    I would say it's fine. As long as you do Save for Web in Photoshop. I mean why lose the pleasure of using your Mac and the rich colours in your display just for the Windoze users out there?

    Like I said, I know certain places insist now before uploading photos that you assign the sRGB profile before uploading to online galleries but if you can never mind, that's great!

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Thanks. How do you manage colours for web - do you go attach the sRGB profile? I've found I sometimes get Safari using the profile and Firefox, Opera, etc not using it.

    By the way, what are the repercussions of not using profiles? Does it mean everything will look darker on Windows systems?

    Another question . . . this is weird. If I do Save for Web the Photoshop preview matches the canvas but when I open the exported image in OS X Preview it's gone lighter - what's happening there? I can only get an exact match if I assign my monitor profile to the canvas.

  7. #7
    MacHeadCase
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    If you do Save as Web, it makes sure the image has web-safe colours for one thing. I don't think it allocates the sRGB profile but it does lighten up images a little, that's for sure.

    As for giving your images the sRGB profile, I describe how to do it in an earlier post.

    Read the links I posted, sRGB was developed by M$, claiming it was their own colour management thingy as opposed to Apple's ColorSync. It was obvious that the majority of computer users would use sRGB, since the majority of computers in the world are Windoze boxes. But if you look closely at the diagrams representing the colour space, you will see that Adobe RGB 1998 has a wider colour gamut.

    So majority doesn't necessarily equal quality. But we knew that already didn't we?

  8. #8

    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    Here's a decent article:

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/adobe-rgb.htm

    sRGB is the standard...so that's what I'd stick with. adobe RGB does show up brighter on the screen, but can pose problems seeing as how most of the world's computers work in the sRGB color space. Even shooting with a digital camera, it can give you an "off" representation and make things harder to deal with.

    If you're going to do any design at all where other people depend on being able to accurately view your work, use the standard or be prepared to accept the consequences that it just won't be compatible with many other people's systems.
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  9. #9
    MacHeadCase
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    It depends on where you get your info.

    I read a book on Photoshop and shooting in RAW and the author says it's best to shoot in Adobe RGB 1998 (because, again the colour gamut is wider) then convert it in sRGB if it's to be used on the web.

  10. #10

    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacHeadCase View Post
    It depends on where you get your info.

    I read a book on Photoshop and shooting in RAW and the author says it's best to shoot in Adobe RGB 1998 (because, again the colour gamut is wider) then convert it in sRGB if it's to be used on the web.
    sRGB is a more accurate representation of what we actually see, if I remember correctly. Adobe's color space makes things more vibrant but does not necessarily make them "visually correct".

    Plus if you read the article it covers printing as well. Of course there are places that print adobe RGB, but some of them specifically request sRGB only I believe...

    I remember there was a long discussion on the Canon Digital Photography Forums about how sRGB was better to use when shooting digital than adobe.
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  11. #11

    mac57's Avatar
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    I am not sure I completely agree. Adobe's RGB allows you to represent a larger number of colors than sRGB, but that does not make pictures in Adobe RGB more vibrant, just potentially richer. If that says "vibrant" to you, then I agree.
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