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Author Topic : [Sticky!] Tutorial - why don't my pictures on the web look like they do in PhotoShop? 
paulcoxphotography

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Views : 10677  Dec 29, 2007 2:55pm

One of the most common issues with images here and elsewhere on the web is that the photographer is using the wrong colour space. Regardless of the space you use for editing you should always convert to SRGB when it goes on the web. Unless you are using Safari the browser will not pick up on the colour profile and therefore treat it as if it were SRGB.

To overcome the problem in Photoshop all you have to do is got to Edit, Convert (NOT asign) profile and choose SRGB.

Here's an example. This photo was edited in ProPhotoRGB. It looks nice in PS but this is how is looks if you don't convert it



Not really what I wanted!

Things get a bit better if you convert it to AdobeRGB but not much



However for the closest match to what I intended it really needs to be converted to SRGB



I have an action that converts the colour profile as well as convert to 8 bit and resize ready for the web.

Hope this is useful as it's a question that has been raised quite often over the years.

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Top  IP: Logged | Edited by escape at 12-31-2007 2:41 PM Report Post Reply Reply w/Quote
Clarebunny

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Oh goodness, I have so much to learn.....

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paulcoxphotography

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I take it you're using Safari?

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ccp

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They look the same to me aswell, I'm useing netscape 7. I still haven't got around to updating my browser. I'm worried my computer will commit suicide on me, it's been pretty suicidal lately.

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Redlight

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My images look great on my display, but when I view them on other peoples monitors or get prints, the images look dull. A reverse of what you have shown

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JasonTang

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I find the converted versions still lack alot of punch the original had

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paulcoxphotography

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quoting post from Redlight:

My images look great on my display, but when I view them on other peoples monitors or get prints, the images look dull. A reverse of what you have shown

You probably need to calibrate your monitor?

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paulcoxphotography

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quoting post from JasonTang:

I find the converted versions still lack alot of punch the original had

What's your workflow? Your main image doesn't have a colour profile but does look better in AdobeRGB.

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JasonTang

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quoting post from paulcoxphotography:

What's your workflow? Your main image doesn't have a colour profile but does look better in AdobeRGB.

Take pics in adobe, open in raw and edit. To produce webimages use action that converts to srgb and then save for web.

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paulcoxphotography

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quoting post from JasonTang:

Take pics in adobe, open in raw and edit. To produce webimages use action that converts to srgb and then save for web.

Hmm save for web is the spawn of satan...

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JasonTang

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quoting post from paulcoxphotography:

Hmm save for web is the spawn of satan...

aaah.. so I avoid spawn of satan and use 'save as' instead?

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paulcoxphotography

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I would / do. It keeps in any copyright info in the EXIF too.

Check to make sure it still has an SRGB profile attached, not that it makes any difference in a browser but does ensure that it has been converted.

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CSD_Images

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Paul whilst your technique is a quick method it's not really the proper method for calibrated output images.

For outputting you need to set up your screen (calibrate by using a puck) and have a media profile to hand. You then can do the following:

Duplicate image and resize to find a spot you want to watch for colour/shadow changes. Put it alongside the existing image. This is going to be your master image.

Next you make sure your working colour space is your output colour space. By going to view -> proof setup you can choose the output profile. As you've pointed out if you going from a ProPhoto space to a sRGB space you will get some funky colours so you have to convert to sRGB using perceptual and black point compensation. This will preserve the images tonality better.

Once you have converted the image to the new profile verify that there is no posterisation, the tonality is preserved and also there is no gamut clipping on the image.

However if you're outputting to a print media then you will see either colour shifts or shadow shifts. These are what you have to correct and why you have a master image to compare the image to. Use the usual methods to correct colour shifts and shadows such as curves, levels and hue/sat layers etc.

Once you have a properly calibrated image for your output media then save and output it through your favourite printing app. If you're using Photoshop make sure you don't double profile.

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CSD_Images

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quoting post from paulcoxphotography:

I would / do. It keeps in any copyright info in the EXIF too.

Check to make sure it still has an SRGB profile attached, not that it makes any difference in a browser but does ensure that it has been converted.


Paul,

In Photoshop CS 3 10.0.0.1 Save for Web now preserves XMP data as part of the image and also you can now have the option of embedding the image profile. This means that SfW is no longer the bane of photographers. Of course the EXIF information is discarded but sometimes that's a good thing. So you need to make sure your XMP sidecars are preserved and properly filled out for your images.

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paulcoxphotography

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quoting post from CSD_Images:

Paul whilst your technique is a quick method it's not really the proper method for calibrated output images for print media.

Thanks. Where did you intimate I was referring to print media? Please keep this on topic rather than regurgitating what you have read about printing.

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paulcoxphotography

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quoting post from CSD_Images:

Paul,

In Photoshop CS 3 10.0.0.1 Save for Web now preserves XMP data as part of the image and also you can now have the option of embedding the image profile. This means that SfW is no longer the bane of photographers. Of course the EXIF information is discarded but sometimes that's a good thing. So you need to make sure your XMP sidecars are preserved and properly filled out for your images.


Yes I realise that preserving the profile is now an option. However I did take the trouble to see if it had been preserved before I replied.

As the adelphi scenario demonstrates, overall, it is better to retain the EXIF

If you use Capture 1 (as I think Jason does) sidecars are not part of the workflow.

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CSD_Images

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I covered both bases since I was covering sRGB. The principles are the same in any case for both any calibrated media output in essence so it's not really off topic. You will see this by the fourth paragraph. Whilst the first paragraph is confusing because of my wording please read the whole article instead of making assumptions from the first line.

These are standard practices I was taught 7 years ago and wasn't read they came from a professional printer and media designer who taught me a lot about outputting imagery from Photoshop. The method you shown can produce poor quality output hence why I put an appendium onto this post.

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CSD_Images

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quoting post from paulcoxphotography:

As the adelphi scenario demonstrates, overall, it is better to retain the EXIF

If you use Capture 1 (as I think Jason does) sidecars are not part of the workflow.


Preserving EXIF is well and fine but if you also have to have sites that's enabled to preserve the data as well. Most model portfolio sites don't bother.

As to data sidecars they can be added within Photoshop just press Alt+Ctrl+shift+I. That will bring up the file info, this is preserved within the file upon saving. The data sidecars are used for RAW. I rarely use the File Info as I embed my meta-data upon import.

I believe Capture One does support XMP data fields now as of v4? It's not an application I'm familiar with.

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paulcoxphotography

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Rob, I'm not sure what you are trying to prove here. The method I demonstrated allows people with limited colour management knowledge to post images close to the way they intended them. Even some of th top pro photographers on here are posting images in AdobeRGB.

You unnecessarily complicate the topic.

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CSD_Images

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quoting post from paulcoxphotography:

Rob, I'm not sure what you are trying to prove here. The method I demonstrated allows people with limited colour management knowledge to post images close to the way they intended them. Even some of th top pro photographers on here are posting images in AdobeRGB.

You unnecessarily complicate the topic.


I'm not trying to complicate things nor being argumentitive for the sake of it, I'm teaching proper workflow if you want quality images from Photoshop.

Also if you start to get gamut clipping, posterisation or weird colour shifts then the above will help you understand what's going on. Telling people how to do things is fine, but sometimes you need a bit of background knowledge to help fix things the go wrong and the method you use can and does go wrong especially in the wider gamut spaces.

It's like the old saying give a man fish and he has a meal, teach a man to fish he will have meals for a lifetime. Colour management was and still is hammered into me on a daily basis. Most problems with colour management arise because of user error because they follow formulas and don't understand the why.

You've proven the point in your last post with professional photographers not understanding colour management. You've given them a formula which will give halfway decent results but not professional results... CM applies to *every* aspect of digital photography from taking the shot to the final output.

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paulcoxphotography

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quoting post from CSD_Images:

I'm not trying to complicate things nor being argumentitive for the sake of it, I'm teaching proper workflow if you want quality images from Photoshop.

Also if you start to get gamut clipping, posterisation or weird colour shifts then the above will help you understand what's going on. Telling people how to do things is fine, but sometimes you need a bit of background knowledge to help fix things the go wrong and the method you use can and does go wrong especially in the wider gamut spaces.

It's like the old saying give a man fish and he has a meal, teach a man to fish he will have meals for a lifetime. Colour management was and still is hammered into me on a daily basis. Most problems with colour management arise because of user error because they follow formulas and don't understand the why.

You've proven the point in your last post with professional photographers not understanding colour management. You've given them a formula which will give halfway decent results but not professional results... CM applies to *every* aspect of digital photography from taking the shot to the final output.


Unfortunately Rob I think you are being overly pedantic. If you were preparing archive quality prints for an exhibition I may agree with some of what you say, but in preparing images for the web you are converting colour spaces, not soft proofing to known colour profiles. Everyones monitor is different and colour clipping is the least of ones problems. I started developing a colour managed workflow in the days before it was even properly supported in PS (using Qimage). When converting colour spaces to SRGB I've yet to see an issue with posterisation or weird colour shifts. Going to CYMK can be more problematic but in my experience cured by having a larger gamut to start with.

This short guide is intended to help people on the road to decent colour management, who have an otherwise good portfolio, rather than turn people instantly in to colour management experts. Of course if you would like to give a more in depth guide feel free to start your own thread.

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JaySanderson

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Paul, I have to say that after the best part of a bottle of JD your suggestions seems to be the clearer and most concise and good introduction to colour workflow...I'll have another crack at getting my head round Robs apparently detailed methodology when I'm sober, it's just not sinking in at the moment, no reflection on Rob I must add. Any text of more than 4 lines is being processed as 'blah blah blah blah blah' in my head at the moment and it's taken me a good 20 minutes to write this...thank christ for spellcheck in Firefox

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McGillicuddy

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quoting post from JaySanderson:

Paul, I have to say that after the best part of a bottle of JD your suggestions seems to be the clearer and most concise and good introduction to colour workflow...I'll have another crack at getting my head round Robs apparently detailed methodology when I'm sober, it's just not sinking in at the moment, no reflection on Rob I must add. Any text of more than 4 lines is being processed as 'blah blah blah blah blah' in my head at the moment and it's taken me a good 20 minutes to write this...thank christ for spellcheck in Firefox

my head ALWAYS processes as blah, blah, blah. The standard reply should be...

"Really, how interesting" smile then reach for another canapés!

McGillicuddy 60% Photographer 40% Magician

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JaySanderson

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quoting post from McGillicuddy:

my head ALWAYS processes as blah, blah, blah. The standard reply should be...

"Really, how interesting" smile then reach for another canapés!


Sounds like we've been to the same parties Damian. I usually fall back on "Do excuse me, there's someone you simply must meet" disappear for half an hour and come back with the next person you want to palm off. End of the night there's a corner of the room filled with boring old farts wondering how to get away from the boring old fart they're talking to.

Anyway, back on topic...sRGB, it's the shizzle

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McGillicuddy

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quoting post from JaySanderson:

Sounds like we've been to the same parties Damian. I usually fall back on "Do excuse me, there's someone you simply must meet" disappear for half an hour and come back with the next person you want to palm off. End of the night there's a corner of the room filled with boring old farts wondering how to get away from the boring old fart they're talking to.

Anyway, back on topic...sRGB, it's the shizzle


LMAO

McGillicuddy 60% Photographer 40% Magician

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