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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2007
    Desktop Wallpaper Color Issue
    Today I ran into an interesting and somewhat minor issue, but one that I think probably has a simple solution.

    I applied a photo I had taken as my desktop wallpaper, but the color (saturation, mostly) of the photo is not the same when it is applied as the wallpaper as when viewed by any application. Even comparing screen shots reveals that the photo's color in the original file is noticeable different than when it is applied as the desktop wallpaper. A cropped comparison is attached.

    The less saturated clip is a screen shot of the desktop wallpaper whereas the clip with deeper colors is taken from iPhoto.

    Any ideas?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    White Macbook
    2.0 GHz Intel Core2Duo
    2GB 667MHz RAM

  2. #2

    Member Since
    Nov 06, 2007
    Sorry to dig up an old thread...but did you ever find the issue? I'm having the same problem!

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Jun 16, 2008
    yay! people with the same problem
    Hey I finally found some folks with he same problem I'm ever find any solutions? again, what's going on is that any picture i use as a desktop background loses saturation when it's applied as the desktop picture...the problem is very clear on my external monitor because the contrast ratio is so much better than my!!!

    p.s....check the attached pic to get an idea of the problem
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4

    mac57's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 29, 2006
    St. Somewhere
    iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, 256 GB SSD, 2 TB HDD, 8 GB RAM
    This is likely a color space issue. I would guess that the desktop photo you are trying to display is in the Adobe RGB color space (or some other color space). I suspect that the wallpaper is being posted as if it were the default sRGB color space. This throws off the color quite a bit.

    Applications such as iPhoto and even humble Preview are color space aware and do the right thing with images that have embedded color spaces. However, Mac OS X may not do the right thing when it posts a desktop wallpaper image.

    You will need an image editor that is color space aware, and that allows you to convert an image from one color space to another to test this theory. If you have such an image editor (Photoshop for example) open the image in question and check the color space. Then convert it to sRGB and save that off as a separate file. Try posting that as your desktop wallpaper. I bet that this resolves the issue.

    By the way, the excellent and free GIMP image editor, v2.4.x, is color space aware and does allow you to convert and assign color spaces.
    My Macs: iMac 27" 3.4 GHz, Mac Pro 3.2 GHz, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5 GHz, G4 Cube with 1.2 GHz Upgrade
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  5. #5

    Member Since
    Jun 16, 2008
    hmmm...more weirdness
    no dice...the color space idea made sense so i opened the original jpeg in photoshop and lo and behold...photoshop rendered the picture the same washed-out desaturated colors as leopard had done when displaying it on the preview is the only program that shows the picture correctly

  6. #6

    Dysfunction's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Way... way too many specs to list.
    or maybe preview is rendering it incorrectly
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  7. #7

    Member Since
    Jun 16, 2008
    problem solved, for any who might need this info in the had to do with the color calibration differences between my MBP lcd and my external Dell now having the MBP lcd on normal calibrated color and the external monitor on apple rgb color settings....seems to fix things pretty well...all-in-all to fix things for certain one should probably buy a real color calibrator (never used one, just seen them online) and not just the system preferences colorsync utility...

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